Another Catholic 'swing vote': Supreme Court gets the health reform law
Published: March 16, 2012
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Although there are no specifically Catholic issues under consideration when the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments March 26-28 on various aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Catholics will play some key roles. With six of the nine current Supreme Court justices being Catholics, it is almost inevitable that a Catholic justice will be a "swing vote" determining the outcome in at least one of the cases. And Catholic groups and individuals have not been shy about filing friend-of-the-court briefs seeking to sway the justices toward their hoped-for outcome. The lawsuits before the court have nothing to do with the contraceptive mandate set by the Department of Health and Human Services -- and the First Amendment religious freedom questions raised by it -- which has been the subject of a number of other suits in lower courts. There will be four questions argued before the high court in three cases, with five-and-a-half hours of arguments scheduled over the three days. The questions include whether Congress has the power to require Americans to buy health insurance and if that individual mandate is overturned as unconstitutional, can other parts of the health care reform law remain in effect. Dozens of organizations and individuals have filed friend-of-the-court briefs in the cases, including a number of Catholics.
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