September 4, 2015 • Daily Email Recap

Regarding birth control, judge issues the weirdest anti-Obamacare ruling yet
It was clear from the inception that the Supreme Court’s 2014 Hobby Lobby ruling wouldn’t end efforts to undermine the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in her dissent to the decision allowing non-religious businesses to opt out of the mandate by asserting a religious objection, warned that the court “has ventured into a minefield.”
Another mine has just detonated. In a remarkably incoherent and injudicious opinion favoring the anti-abortion organization March for Life, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon of Washington, D.C., ruled Monday that the religious rights of employees of a secular anti-abortion organization are infringed because they’re required to buy health insurance that covers contraception, even though nothing forces them to actually acquire contraceptives if they don’t wish.
Because the contraception mandate applies to secular employers but not religious groups, he found that it “violates the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment” and is therefore “unconstitutional.” (Leon is typically sloppy here. The Equal Protection Clause is found in the Fourteenth Amendment, not the Fifth; it’s applied to the federal government by the Fifth, but via that amendment’s Due Process Clause. Shouldn’t a federal judge know this?)

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