The ACA birth-control controversy, made simple

Amid widening claims that religious liberty in America is under siege, the Supreme Court over the past year and and a half has reacted eight times to one of the most intense and emotionally charged conflicts within that broader controversy.  Only once has the Justices’ reaction to that particular conflict led to a full-scale decision, and yet all of its actions, taken together, do stand for something.
This is the controversy over the contraceptive, or birth-control, mandate in the Affordable Care Act – a high-stakes legal feud that has been unfolding in scores of lawsuits across the country.  It has been running for five years, and so is further along than the just-beginning conflict over the impact on religious belief of the Court’s same-sex marriage ruling last month.
The opposite sides in the birth-control dispute for years have been talking past

Original SCOTUS article

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