We have an update to our story yesterday about ADF‘s petition asking the Supreme Court to review Obamacare’s HHS Mandate on abortion/birth-control coverage. Now the Obama-Holder Justice Department has filed its own Supreme Court petition for certiorari, asking the Court to take up the same issue regarding Hobby Lobby.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is representing the household-retailer giant which is owned by the Green family, who are Evangelical Christians. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that the HHS Mandate–issued by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)–violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). (These cases also argue the mandate violates the First Amendment, but courts do not reach constitutional questions if they can resolve the case on statutory grounds, as they did here.)
Yesterday, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli filed a cert petition at the Supreme Court, asking the justices to review the Tenth Circuit’s decision. With the federal appellate courts split on this issue, and with ADF petitioning the Court on one side with Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius and now the Obama administration asking for the same issue to be reviewed in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, it is essentially guaranteed that the Supreme Court will take at least one of these cases.
The Court could grant either of these petitions or could review both cases and argue them back-to-back on the same day. Depending on how Becket Fund responds to this petition, the justices will vote either in October or November to take the case, which would place it on the Court’s calendar for argument in February or March with a final decision in May or June 2014.
It is therefore essentially a foregone conclusion that within a year Americans will have a second Supreme Court decision regarding the legality of part of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Ken Klukowski is senior legal analyst for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.