Opinion| Carmine Sabia| President Donald Trump and conservatives have scored two major victories in the Supreme Court with religious freedom on the line.
In a 7 – 2 decision that united some liberals with the conservatives on the court, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Little Sisters of the Poor, The Daily Mail reported
n the Obamacare case, the high court ruled 7-2 the administration acted properly when it allowed more employers who cite a religious or moral objection to opt out of covering birth control.
“We hold today that the Departments had the statutory authority to craft that exemption, as well as the contemporaneously issued moral exemption. We further hold that the rules promulgating these exemptions are free from procedural defects,” Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said in the majority decision.
As a result of the Obama-era health law most employers must cover birth control as a preventive service, at no charge to women, in their insurance plans. The Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania case tested whether the law properly provided religious exemptions is called.
The other ruling Wednesday also dealing with religious exemptions was in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru.
The court sided with two Catholic schools in a ruling that underscores that certain employees of religious schools, hospitals and social service centers can’t sue for employment discrimination.
#new #SCOTUS sides w/ Trump administration 7-2 making it easier for some for-profit companies, religious affiliated groups including universities, hospitals, charities- to opt out of providing contraception health insurance to their workers, under the Affordable Care Act #ACA
— Kevin Corke (@kevincorke) July 8, 2020
#SCOTUS comes through with big decisions for religious freedom: 1. Exempts religious schools from forced conformity with discrimination laws 2. Permits exemption for Sisters of the Poor so they won’t be forced to violate their conscience and provide contraception. Two wins for us
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) July 8, 2020
— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) July 8, 2020
BREAKING: #SCOTUS upholds Trump-Pence rule, dismantling no-cost birth control coverage. TL;DR once again, this is about control — they are seeking to control ALL aspects of our lives. From birth control coverage to abortion access to LGBTQ+ rights, all freedoms are at risk. /1
— ilyseh (@ilyseh) July 8, 2020
No more opinions today. The court just announced that tomorrow will be the last day of opinions for this term. That means we will have an answer on Trump financial records tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) July 8, 2020
“The religious education and formation of students is the very reason for the existence of most private religious schools, and therefore the selection and supervision of the teachers upon whom the schools rely to do this work lie at the core of their mission,” Justice Samuel Alito said in the decision.
“Judicial review of the way in which religious schools discharge those responsibilities would undermine the independence of religious institutions in a way that the First Amendment does not tolerate,” he said, CNBC reported.
Alito’s opinion was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented.
The schools argued that the ministerial exception prevented them from facing those lawsuits, but the teachers countered that they should not qualify as ministers under the 2012 Supreme Court precedent that established the rule.
In that case, Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. EEOC, the Supreme Court outlined four factors for lower courts to consider when weighing whether an employee.