By Dave Andrusko
Just one day after the United States Supreme Court ordered the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear arguments brought by Liberty University against ObamaCare’s requirement that employers provide insurance coverage that includes contraceptives , U.S. District Judge Terrence F. McVerry dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Pittsburgh Catholic diocese against the Obama administration for requiring it to offer birth control services to employees as part of the ObamaCare mandate.
Judge McVerry’s 28-page opinion offered familiar rationales, the core of which was that the “safe harbor provisions of the regulation itself protects all of the Plaintiffs from any potential enforcement action until at least January 1, 2014.”
What then? Not to worry, according to Judge McVerry. The Obama administration has “committed to amending the preventive services coverage regulations well before January 2014 to accommodate the religious objections of organizations such as Plaintiffs.”
But, of course, many critics have no confidence that the Obama Administration has any interest in “accommodating” religious objections, let alone that it actually would. Others object to the whole notion that the government should be in the business of defining what a “religious” group is.
As Archbishop William E. Lori, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, said earlier this month at the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, “This is drawing lines in our mission where we do not draw them. A narrow exemption applies only to those religious institutions that seek to inculcate their religious values and primarily employ and serve people of their own faith. The mandate does not include a conscience clause for employers who object to such coverage on moral grounds.”