'WOMAN IN BLACK' REVEALEDMAJOR POT CROP FOUNDGAS LEAK MISTAKESNEW WAREHOUSE ROW STORES
WTVC NewsChannel 9 :: News - Top Stories - Supreme Court: Employers Can Opt Out of Contraception Requirement
Updated:
Monday, June 30 2014, 05:51 PM EDT
Supreme Court: Employers Can Opt Out of Contraception Requirement
By Mark Sherman, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court ruled Monday that some corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.

The justices' 5-4 decision is the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law. And it means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under objecting companies' health insurance plans.

Contraception is among a range of preventive services that must be provided at no extra charge under the health care law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010 and the Supreme Court upheld two years later.

Two years ago, Chief Justice John Roberts cast the pivotal vote that saved the health care law in the midst of Obama's campaign for re-election. On Monday, dealing with a small sliver of the law, Roberts sided with the four justices who would have struck down the law in its entirety.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion. The court's four liberal justices dissented.

The court stressed that its ruling applies only to corporations, like the Hobby Lobby chain of arts-and-craft stores, that are under the control of just a few people in which there is no essential difference between the business and its owners.

Alito also said the decision is limited to contraceptives under the health care law. "Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer's religious beliefs," Alito said.

He suggested two ways the administration could ensure women get the contraception they want. It could simply pay for pregnancy prevention, he said.

Or it could provide the same kind of accommodation it has made available to religious-oriented, not-for-profit corporations. Those groups can tell the government that providing the coverage violates their religious beliefs. At that point, the groups' insurers or a third-party administrator takes on the responsibility of paying for the birth control.

The accommodation is the subject of separate legal challenges, but the court said Monday that the profit-seeking companies could not assert religious claims in such a situation.

In a dissent she read aloud from the bench, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called the decision "potentially sweeping" because it minimizes the government's interest in uniform compliance with laws affecting the workplace. "And it discounts the disadvantages religion-based opt outs impose on others, in particular, employees who do not share their employer's religious beliefs," Ginsburg said.

The administration said a victory for the companies would prevent women who work for them from making decisions about birth control based on what's best for their health, not whether they can afford it. The government's supporters pointed to research showing that nearly one-third of women would change their contraceptive if cost were not an issue; a very effective means of birth control, the intrauterine device, can cost up to $1,000.

The contraceptives at issue before the court were the emergency contraceptives Plan B and ella, and two IUDs.

Nearly 50 businesses have sued over covering contraceptives. Some, like those involved in the Supreme Court case, are willing to cover most methods of contraception, as long as they can exclude drugs or devices that the government says may work after an egg has been fertilized. Other companies object to paying for any form of birth control.

There are separate lawsuits challenging the contraception provision from religiously affiliated hospitals, colleges and charities.

A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found 85 percent of large American employers already had offered such coverage before the health care law required it.

It is unclear how many women potentially are affected by the high court ruling. Hobby Lobby is by far the largest employer of any company that has gone to court to fight the birth control provision.

Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby has more than 15,000 full-time employees in more than 600 crafts stores in 41 states. The Greens are evangelical Christians who also own Mardel, a Christian bookstore chain.

The other company is Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. of East Earl, Pa., owned by a Mennonite family and employing 950 people in making wood cabinets.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Supreme Court: Employers Can Opt Out of Contraception Requirement

Advertise with us!

Related Stories

  • TN/GA Regional News
  • National News
  • International News
  • WTVC :: Community - The Good Life

    The Good Life

    Celebrating the events, adventures and activities that represent "The Good Life" in the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
  • WTVC :: Community - Sideroads

    Sideroads

    Take a ride with Brian Smith to explore the unique people and places to be found along the Sideroads of the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
  • WTVC :: Community - Road Trippin

    Road Trippin

    Come Road Trippin' with us and see all the great sites in your area!
  • WTVC :: Community - Closings and Delays

    Closings and Delays

    These are the latest School and Business Closings reported to NewsChannel 9. If you see errors or need to add a school or business, call 423-757-7320.
  • WTVC :: Community - Educator of the Year

    Educator of the Year

    Vote now on your favorite candidate teacher for the Educator of the Year!
  • WTVC :: Community - Wednesday's Child

    Wednesday's Child



  • WTVC :: Community - Deaf & Hard of Hearing

    Deaf & Hard of Hearing

    Information provided to NewsChannel 9 by members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community.
  • WTVC :: Community - Community Calendar

    Community Calendar



  • WTVC :: Community - Photo Galleries

    Photo Galleries



  • WTVC :: Community - Sponsored Events

    Sponsored Events

    Check Back Often for NewsChannel9 Sponsored Events!

NewsChannel9 Top Stories

Proposed 44.28% Dade County Property Tax Increase Fails

Patients With Deadly Ebola Virus To Be Transferred To Georgia Hospital

Robbery at Collegedale Credit Union

UPDATE: Hundreds Of Marijuana Plants Found In Grundy County

Gas Leak Follow Up: Mistakes Made

Bulletproof Vests Approved for Chattanooga Firefighters

Summer's Last Splash: A Really Cool Treehouse

Summer's Last Splash: Hiking in Marion County

Summer's Last Splash: the Lookouts

Summer's Last Splash: School Supply Race Between Latricia & Josh

New Retail Stores & Spa Coming to Warehouse Row

Hamilton County Teachers Surveyed on Top Needed School Supplies

Bike Traffic Light on North Shore First of Its Kind in Tennessee

Collegedale Concession Stand Fire Believed Arson

Boyd Buchanan Football Squad to Use Safer Helmets

Portion of Highway 58 Dedicated To Fallen Firefighter

Four Car Accident On Highway 58

Effort Underway to Build Parks in Honor of Child Who Died in Hot Car

GMC Mid-Morning Update for Thursday

It's a Geep?!?!

Ebola Update in West Africa

Our Thursday Facebook Friend of the Day

Dump Truck Tips Over on Mowbray Mtn.

New Hospital To Aid One Of The Unhealthiest Counties in TN

Mocs First Day of Practice

All on Board For CFC National Championship Game

Chattanooga Police Chief Addresses Department Diversity Concerns

UPDATE: New Clinic Means New Hope for Veterans

Identity of Mysterious "Woman in Black" Revealed

Gas Leak Forces Business Evacuations

Candidates Vie For Hamilton County District 1 Commission Seat

Parents Petition to Preserve Popular Playground

Back to School Means It's Immunization Time

Tennessee's TCAP Scores Released

Marion County Girl Named TN's National American Miss

Woman Testifies She Saw Holly Bobo on Video

GMC Mid-Morning Update for Wednesday

Middle East Update

A Close Call as a Train Comes!

Fugitives on the Run Caught

Our Wednesday Facebook Friend of the Day

Residents Sound Off To Chattanooga City Council On Sound Ordinance

Chattanooga Man Shot in the Hip

Accuser Collapses During Preliminary Hearing for Rape Suspect

Phone Scam Targeting Seniors Spreading to Area Counties

Chattanooga City Council Holds Public Hearing on Noise Ordinance Proposal

McMinn County Sheriff's Office Gets Guns from Military Surplus

Last Airman Aboard Enola Gay Dies in Georgia

House Fire Blamed on Man Using Electric Pump to Transfer Gasoline

3rd Annual GigTank Event Showcases Inventions, Ideas and Innovation

Bipartisan Deal to Reform VA Includes New Clinic in Chattanooga

US & Europe to Impose Tough New Sanctions on Russia

Child's Body Found in Wheel Well of U.S. Military Aircraft

Immigrant Advocates Say They're Puzzled by Governor Haslam's Letter to President Obama

Georgia Mother Charged with Leaving Kids in Hot Car

Overturned Tractor Trailer in McMinn Co

GMC Mid-Morning Update for Tuesday

MUST SEE: Former UT Vol Peyton Manning Dances at Broncos Practice

Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

GMC teams celebrates Drew Bollea's Birthday

Our Tuesday Facebook Friend of the Day

Changes Coming to Bradley SPCA Animal Shelter

CFC Heading To New Jersey For Championship

Chattanooga Man Shot In The Knee

Bradley County Boy Recovering from Dog Attack

Suspect in Hidden Bathroom Cam Investigation Speaks Out

Snow Leopard Dies at Chattanooga Zoo

Peggy Carroll - A Mother to Children in Need

Chattanooga Choo Choo to Undergo an "Extreme Makeover"

1000 Gallons a Minute: Major Flooding on North Shore

First Day In Pads In Tennessee

House Deemed Total Loss After Fire

Local Business Leaders Discuss Climate Change Impact

Hardwick Clothes Celebrates 134 Years in Business in Cleveland

Health Officials Scramble to Contain Ebola Outbreak

Cell Phone Burns Up Girl's Bed

Massive Phone Outage in Cherokee County, NC

HazMat Spill Shuts Down Amnicola

Severe Weather Strikes Across the Country

Our Monday Facebook Friend of the Day

GMC Mid-Morning Update for Monday

Man Dies in Sunday Morning Stabbing

Cleveland Candlelight Vigil for 17-Month-Old Baby

"Rising Star" Contestant with Local Ties

Governor Haslam's Plea to President Obama Over Immigrant Children

Man Drowns in Polk County

Rival Bikers Involved in Shooting in Athens

Roughnecks Memorial for K9 Tanja

Motorcycle Accident in Clevelend

Singing Sensation: Slava Korsak

From Scraps to Art Bikes

More Negative Political Ads Surface In Third Congressional District Race

10-Month-Old Kansas Girl Dies After Being Left In Hot Car

The Price of Freedom: UTC's Veteran Entrepreneur Program

Chattanooga Man Charged with Aggravated Rape of A Child

Common Core Town Hall Prompts Some to Do Their Research

Police Need Help Finding Fraud Suspects

Bessie Smith Cultural Center Picks Independent Auditing Firm

SL Tennessee Adding 1,000 New Jobs

Dalton Starts "Newcomer Academy" for Young Immigrants

Advertise with us!

Newsmax Headlines

Sponsored content

Business News

US jobless aid applications rise to 302,000

WASHINGTON (AP) -- More people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, but jobless claims remain at pre-recession levels.

Consumer Info

   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
 Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
 ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
 reputation. ...

Entertainment News

PRODUCTION OF NEW SEASON OF "BIG BANG THEORY" DELAYED IN CONTRACT DISPUTE

NEW YORK (AP) -- "The Big Bang Theory" is being delayed by a fight over big bucks.

Get This

STOLEN BUDDHA

HALFWAY, Md. (AP) -- It's a heavy crime.

Science/Tech News

IN THE NEWS: BRITAIN-DRIVERLESS CARS

LONDON (AP) -- British officials says driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program to begin in January

Officials said Wednesday the tests will last up to three years.


 

Tonight on WTVC NewsChannel 9

7:00 Wheel of Fortune

7:30 Jeopardy

8:00 Black Box

9:00 Rookie Blue

10:00 NY Med

11:00 NewsChannel 9

11:35 Jimmy Kimmel Live

Complete Schedule »


Road Trippin
No Text Zone
Pay It Forward
Storm Track 9 Radar
Storm Track 9 Weather App