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Notre Dame gets a new day in court on HHS mandate, thanks to the Supreme Court

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WASHINGTON, D.C., March 9, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The U.S Supreme Court ordered a lower court Monday to reconsider whether the University of Note Dame should be forced to comply with the Obama administration’s HHS mandate forcing employers to prove contraceptives, sterilization, and abortifacients to their female employees with no co-pay or file a form that would force the insurer to provide such coverage directly for “free.”

The decision will allow Notre Dame another chance to argue it is being wrongly compelled to violate its sincerely held Catholic beliefs by that provision of ObamaCare.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, located in Chicago, ruled last February that the university had to comply with the revised mandate, meaning the Catholic university must complete a waiver exempting it from providing contraception to its employees and students as part of the buffer created by the so-called compromise associated with the health care bill.

Notre Dame is one of several religious institutions to challenge the compromise, contending the “compromise” does not adequately preserve its religious rights.

The federal appeals court decision ruling against Notre Dame came before the June 2014 Hobby Lobby decision, which ruled that closely held companies can claim a religious exemption from the mandate compelling them to offer abortion-inducing drugs in their health plans.

Today’s Supreme Court said that the lower court must now revisit its ruling in light of the Hobby Lobby ruling.

“This is a good omen but it hardly settles the matter,” said Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League. “Notre Dame is right to reject the accommodation: even though it is allowed to opt out, the effect of the accommodation is to force insurers to pay for abortifacients.”

“If the owners of a family business can assert religious liberty objections,” he continued, “it makes sense that Catholic non-profits should at least have the same rights.”

Catholics and others have opposed the ObamaCare contraception mandate since the outset, continuing through the various incarnations of the compromise.

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The Notre Dame case is University of Notre Dame v. Burwell, 14-392.

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