Supreme Court justices appear divided on ACA contraception mandate

By Kyle Johnson,

The Supreme Court justices appear to be divided on the issue of religious rights versus providing employees contraceptives as part of the Affordable Care Act.

As demonstrators crowded outside the court on Tuesday, both the liberal and conservative justices took turns grilling the other side over the ACA mandate, reports Reuters.

The three more liberal justices who appear to back the ACA mandate questioned the plaintiff's lawyer, Paul Clement, while the conservative side poked and prodded the Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.

Justice Elena Kagan wondered aloud if providing a religious exception could lead to lawsuits over other governmental measures, such as Social Security. "You would see religious objectors coming out of the woodwork."

The other part of the issue that the two sides seem to be investigating, is whether a corporation should be allowed to exercise religious freedom. With Justice Sonia Sotomayor leaning towards keeping the mandate and Justice Samuel Alito leaning the other way.

The issue revolves around a lawsuit filed by the Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby, who doesn't want to provide contraception to women, claiming religious freedom.

The ACA, or Obamacare, requires employers to provide preventive services for women, such contraception and other, which some corporations claim they are opposed to.

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