SCOTUS Orders Lower Court to Reconsider Notre Dame Birth Control Case


University of Notre Dame really, really doesn’t want to cover birth control pills for its employees and students, and it doesn’t have to. But it also doesn’t want to be forced to fill out a two-page form opting out of birth control coverage, because that too is somehow an infringement of the school’s religious liberty. And now, thanks to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, they may get their way.

A year ago, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Notre Dame to just fill out the damn form if they don’t want to provide birth control coverage, allowing its insurers, Aetna and Meritain, to provide it directly and allow Notre Dame to keep their hands clean of any scandalous whore pill associations. (The three-judge ruling was actually quite cranky. Notable quote: “The form is two pages long—737 words, most of it boring boilerplate; the passages we quoted earlier, the only ones of consequence, consist of only 95 words. Signing the form and mailing it to Meritain and Aetna could have taken no more than five minutes. The university claims that there are other paperwork requirements; there aren’t.”)

But then Hobby Lobby happened, the Supreme Court ruling allowing religious employers and non-profits to opt out of birth control coverage. Now, an unsigned order from the Supremes has ordered the Seventh Circuit to take another look at Notre Dame’s case. As MSNBC points out, that’s all they’re being ordered to do: take another look. The Seventh could reach the same conclusion — sign the goddamn form, step away, stop whining, good God Almighty, how hard is this — and then Notre Dame would almost surely appeal to the Supreme Court again. This thing could ping-pong back and forth forever, and what fun that would be.

Notre Dame Stadium’s “Touchdown Jesus.” Image via Getty

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