The individual mandate in “Obamacare” survived constitutional challenge by virtue of Chief Justice roberts' ruling that its “penalty” was a tax and thus permitted under the first clause of Article I Section 8: “To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.” But further challenges are hitting the courts now. The Catholic Church has long believed that birth control was immoral, and the fact that Catholic institutions (except for those defined by such a narrow criterion as to exclude most of them) must, under Obamacare, provide free contraception, to them constites a violation of the freedom of religion clause of the First Amendment. And at least one judge agrees. According to the Daily Caller:
A coalition of civil rights groups has persuaded a Denver, Colo. judge that Obamacare’s preventive care coverage provides a “substantial burden” on a Colorado company’s free exercise of religion.The judge said, among other things, that the Obamacare mandate “could easily be served by the government providing contraceptive themselves … if there was the political will.” And this is clearly correct. Making observant Catholics pay for something they find morally repugnant is so clearly a First Amendment violation that I cannot see how anyone could think otherwise.
Judge John Kane, who was appointed by President Jimmy Carter, granted a “preliminary injunction” barring enforcement of the law against the family-owned company, pending a full trial.