A federal appeals court said Tuesday it will hold the Obama administration to its promises to change Obamacare’s controversial contraceptives mandate for certain religiously affiliated employers such as colleges. I guess the judges are now part of the “war on women.”
If so, they are joined by the Obama administration itself — which, as the court noted in its Tuesday order:
represented to the court that it would never enforce [the rule] in its current form against the appellants [Wheaton College and Belmont Abbey College] or those similarly situated as regards contraceptive services. … There will, the government said, be a different rule for entities like the appellants …
But promises aren’t enough. The court said it took the administration’s pledge during oral arguments to create a different rule for the colleges and similar organizations to be “a binding commitment,” and it ordered the administration to provides updates about progress made toward the creation of the new rule every 60 days.
This ruling does not necessarily mean the administration will rewrite the rule completely to the liking of the colleges or other entities that view the mandate to subsidize contraceptives for their employees, in violation of their consciences, as an infringement on their religious liberty. Nor does it mean the colleges would necessarily prevail in the courts if they were to continue their lawsuits after the new rule is introduced.
But Tuesday’s ruling is important because the Obama administration is now legally obligated to follow through with its promise to rewrite the rule to accommodate religious liberty.
– By Kyle Wingfield