Print Article

Washington Post: Affordable Care Act ruling promises religious fights for the forseeable future

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

“It seems to me the administration has won one legal challenge and there are 23 others waiting in the wings” –Mark Rienzi, Becket Fund

Affordable Care Act ruling promises

religious fights for the forseeable future


MORE LITIGATION TO COME Attorneys in cases alleging religious liberty violations saw lots of fodder in Thursday’s ruling and predicted much more litigation now that the Act’s basic existence was affirmed. “I think the court’s decision makes clear Obama is still subject to legal challenges and that the Supreme Court is willing to entertain that the HHS regulations violate the rights of religious freedom,” said Hanna Smith, senior counsel at the Becket Fund, a D.C. firm involved in some of the 23 pending lawsuits against the White House. The lawsuits all focus on opposing a mandate announced by the Department of Health and Human Services after the law was passed. Mark Rienzi, another Becket attorney, said in a phone conference call that the ruling today only spoke to whether Congress had the right to pass the act – not on the details of how it’s implemented. “It seems to me the administration has won one legal challenge and there are 23 others waiting in the wings,” he said. The attorneys honed in on two parts of Thursday’s ruling. One, from the majority opinion, said: “Even if the taxing power enables Congress to impose a tax on not obtaining health insurance, any tax must still comply with other requirements in the Constitution.” The second, from Justice Ruth Ginsberg, said “A mandate to purchase a particular product would be unconstitutional if, for example, the edict impermissibly abridged the freedom of speech, interfered with the free exercise of religion, or infringed on a liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause.” Click here to read the full article