WASHINGTON – Today the Supreme Court unanimously decided to send Zubik v. Burwell – a case regarding religious nonprofits and the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act – back to the lower courts. Without ruling on the merits of the case, the Supreme Court instructed the federal government and the religious nonprofits in question to find a compromise. Interfaith Alliance joined a number of religious organizations in an amicus brief in support of the Obama Administration arguing that the religious freedom rights of these nonprofits were not jeopardized by the existing workaround to contraception mandate. In response to this decision, Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, released this statement:
“We are deeply disappointed that the Supreme Court abdicated its duty and left open the potential for further encroachment on the fundamental rights of employees of religious nonprofits. The issues in this case are clear: It cannot possibly be a violation of the religious freedom of an employer to enable his or her employees to make their own decisions about faith and health care. Despite this delay, we hope that the lower courts will not cave to the demands of those with a narrow, sectarian vision of the First Amendment, and instead will protect the autonomy and religious freedom of all Americans.”
“Today’s non-decision is emblematic of the dysfunction created by the Senate’s refusal to act swiftly to fill the vacancy left by Justice Scalia’s passing. All those passionate about religious freedom must recognize that our rights deserve the protection of a full bench.”
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.