New rules for ACA birth-control mandate

Issuing a new round of rules to carry out two Supreme Court rulings on women’s access to free birth control, the Obama administration cleared the way on Tuesday for some for-profit businesses to receive an exemption if their owners object to contraceptives because of religious beliefs, but it also set the stage for government action to provide access to such services for those companies’ female employees.  The rules also reinforced the same kind of arrangements for non-profit hospitals, colleges, and charities for their staffs and students.
Since the Affordable Care Act was passed five years ago, with a birth-control mandate included, the federal government has been trying repeatedly to work out formulas to accommodate religious beliefs without denying women access to a full range of contraceptives at no cost to them or to their religious employers.  Now, guided by two

Original SCOTUS article

A plea to resist the Court on same-sex marriage

Asked by the Alabama Supreme Court for advice on what to do next on same-sex marriage, two conservative advocacy groups in the state have urged both direct and indirect resistance to the Supreme Court’s ruling mandating a constitutional right for gays and lesbians to wed.  The state court, the groups argued, has the constitutional power to refuse even to accept what the Justices have done, and has a constitutional duty to insulate state officials from legal risk if they do not obey the decision based on a religious objection.
The thirty-three-page brief was filed on Monday by the Alabama Policy Institution, a think tank, and by the Alabama Citizens Action Program, an inter-denominational church support group, which earlier had persuaded the state’s highest court to block all of the state’s sixty-eight probate judges from issuing any marriage licenses to same-sex couples,

Original SCOTUS article