The latest Republican Supreme Court assault on Obamacare could be destined for defeat, thanks to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to obstruct President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.
Conservative groups have challenged the Obama administration’s religious accommodation on the issue of providing coverage for birth control.
The Hill reported on the argument before the eight justices currently seated on the Supreme Court:
The conservative justices argued that the government is in effect “hijacking” the nonprofits’ insurance plans in order to provide contraceptive coverage, meaning the nonprofits are still complicit in providing contraceptive coverage.
But the four liberal justices warned against the precedent of opening up the floodgates to new religious objections to laws. “How will we ever have a government that functions?” asked Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
They also indicated the accommodation struck the right balance between religious liberty and allowing employees to have important access to contraception.
A 4-4 split would let stand lower court rulings, eight of which have favored the Obama administration. But in the states governed by the Eighth Circuit, the accommodation would be struck down.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to obstruct President Obama Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, is already harming the country. Critical questions of law may not be resolved because McConnell has decided to make up his own rules as he goes along in order to justify partisan political obstruction.
McConnell’s obstruction could mean that in the case of Zubik v. Burwell, no legal precedent may be set. Instead of a national decision, Republicans could create chaos with differing lower court rulings establishing contradictory rulings in different parts of the country.
By obstructing Merrick Garland, Senate Republicans have imposed the same gridlock that has made Congress dysfunctional to the Supreme Court. The main Republican talking point that deadlocked court wouldn’t be damaging to the nation’s legal system has already been disproven.
McConnell’s big strategy is backfiring. The latest Obamacare case was the conservative movement’s last gasp attack on Obamacare, but thanks to Mitch McConnell’s obstruction, conservatives may be destined for a deadlocked defeat.