Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

BULLETIN
Supplement to
March 29, 2016

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Supreme Court Seeks New Way to Decide Birth-Control Cases
"In the two-page order ... lawyers were told to file one new brief on each side of the controversy, and then single replies, and to submit all filings by April 20.... From the specific wording of the new requirement, the Court appeared to have accepted -- at least tentatively and maybe only as the basis for further exploration -- the view of the non-profit hospitals, schools, and charities that any step they take would involve them in a violation of their religious objections to some or all contraceptive methods, but also to have accepted -- again, perhaps only tentatively and for further analysis -- the government's view that it had to work through those institutions' existing health plans in order to assure cost-free contraceptive coverage to their women workers and students of child-bearing age....

"The new order thus seemed aimed at cutting the non-profit institutions free from any notice requirement -- to anyone. But it also seemed to be based on the premise that a way might be worked out for the providers of existing health plans for the non-profits to set up something new, so that access would not be forthcoming through the institutions' existing health plan."

[Zubik v. Burwell, Nos. 14-1418 et al. (3d Cir. Feb. 11, 2015; cert. pet. granted Nov. 6, 2015; argued Mar. 23, 2016)] (SCOTUSblog)  

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