This afternoon the Supreme Court granted cert in seven challenges to the Affordable Care Act HHS Contraceptive Mandate Accommodation. The grant was complete in some cases and limited in others; all are consolidated.
14-1418 ZUBIK V. BURWELL (Question 1 only)
14-1453 PRIESTS FOR LIFE V. DEPT. OF H&HS
14-1505 ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP V. BURWELL
15-35 E. TX BAPTIST UNIV. V. BURWELL
15-105 LITTLE SISTERS V. BURWELL, (Questions 1 & 2 only)
15-119 SOUTHERN NAZARENE UNIV., ET AL. V. BURWELL
15-191 GENEVA COLLEGE V. BURWELL
The questions presented in the Little Sisters (which is likely the best-known case) are as follows:
(1) Whether the availability of a regulatory method for nonprofit religious employers to comply with the Department of Health and Human Services’ contraceptive mandate eliminates either the substantial burden on religious exercise or the violation of RFRA that this Court recognized in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.; and (2) whether HHS satisfies RFRA’s demanding test for overriding sincerely held religious objections in circumstances where HHS itself insists that overriding the religious objection will not fulfill HHS’s regulatory objective—namely, the provision of no-cost contraceptives to the objector’s employees.
Here's a short video summary of the Little Sisters case:
The Court also granted cert in 3 additional cases:
- Simmons v. Himmelreich: Whether a final judgment in an action brought under Section 1346(b) dismissing the claim on the ground that relief is precluded by one of the Federal Tort Claims Act’s exceptions to liability, 28 U.S.C. 2680, bars a subsequent action by the claimant against the federal employees whose acts gave rise to the FTCA claim.
- Husky Electronics v. Ritz: Whether the “actual fraud” bar to discharge under Section 523(a)(2)(A) of the Bankruptcy Code applies only when the debtor has made a false representation, or whether the bar also applies when the debtor has deliberately obtained money through a fraudulent-transfer scheme that was actually intended to cheat a creditor.
- Nichols v. United States: (1) Whether 42 U.S.C. § 16913(a) requires a sex offender who resides in a foreign country to update his registration in the jurisdiction where he formerly resided, a question that divides the courts of appeals.