Supreme Court orders NY court to reconsider ruling forcing Catholic diocese to cover abortions
Supreme Court hears challenges to Texas abortion law
The Supreme Court on Monday ordered New York’s top court to reconsider its ruling against a coalition of charities that challenged the state’s mandate that employers cover abortions in their employee health insurance plans.
The Supreme Court declined to take the case of the Diocese of Albany v. Emami in light of a major ruling it handed down earlier this year siding with a Catholic charity in Philadelphia that declined to screen same-sex couples as foster parents.
The high court ruled in that case, Fulton v. Philadelphia, that the city’s refusal to contract with the charity due to the agency’s same-sex couple policy violated the free exercise clause of the First Amendment.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
In the New York case, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany argues that the state’s abortion insurance mandate for employers, approved in 2017, violates its First Amendment rights.
The Supreme Court on Monday vacated a state court ruling upholding the rule and ordered a rehearing of the case for further consideration.
“We are gratified and grateful that the Supreme Court has recognized the serious constitutional concerns over New York State’s heavy-handed abortion mandate on religious employers,” Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger said in a statement.
“We are confident that now that the Court has ordered the case remanded for reconsideration in light of last year’s Fulton v. Philadelphia decision, the unconstitutional regulatory action taken by New York State will ultimately be completely overturned as incompatible with our country’s First Amendment guarantee of religious liberty,” Scharfenberger added.
“We’re grateful that the Supreme Court has taken action in our case and hopeful that, this time around, the New York Court of Appeals will preserve our ability to serve and encourage our neighbors,” Mother Miriam of the Sisterhood of Saint Mary said in a statement.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch said they would have taken up the case for argument.
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