March 24, 2014

Program to examine contraceptive mandate

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill.  -- A program next week at the SIU School of Law will look at two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court involving the federal contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act and for-profit corporations. 

The presentation, “Does the Contraceptive Mandate of the Affordable Care Act violate the free exercise rights of closely-held for-profit corporations?” is from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 31, in the Hiram H. Lesar Law Building auditorium.  The event is free and open to the public. 

Students in the law school’s religion and the law senior seminar will present a brief overview of issues in the case followed by a playing of the audio recording of the oral arguments in the cases before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 25. A discussion will follow. 

The Supreme Court is hearing two separate lawsuits that are consolidated for oral argument.  The lawsuits involve the enforceability of the Contraceptive Mandate adopted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Affordable Care Act.  The lawsuits involving Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., challenge federal law requiring for-profit corporations to provide certain methods of birth control even if doing so is against the long-held personal beliefs of those who own and run the corporations. 

Reports indicate a ruling is expected by late June.