Judge Reed O'Connor, a conservative Texas federal judge, earlier suggested this ruling was coming. Contraceptive care requirements remain. Update: DOJ is appealing.
How is it that conservatives get away, time and again, with forum-shopping so that they always get their way? They did it with the mask mandate on planes and in airports. They did it with the Mifepristone lawsuit. They did it here. Again and again, they get to pick their forum for the most desirable outcome possible.
I hope you will untangle this opinion, which I've tried to read and can only think "what hath Holly Lobby wrought?" One part really confuses me: the folks who don't want copays or deductibles for services they don't want or need. How does a copay or deductible for a service you don't use hurt you? I have NEVER had to face a copay for a prostate exam.
Basically, the whole thing hinges on whether objecting to something covered by a law makes you "complicit" in supporting that thing. (except for the non-religious plaintiffs who simply objected to paying for something they don't use like maternity care). How does treating an STD "encourage" people who get them? Would they rather people be untreated and spread the STD further? Possibly to the objector's own relatives.
I also have trouble how exactly use of the PSFT violates the appointments clause. Even if you assume that the members are "officers" of the United States, the Clause specifically says that "Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments. Is it that the ACA while approving the use of the PSFT didn't specifically vest one of those three with the power to appoint? Isn't the judge basically saying that Congress can't look to outside experts in deciding what laws to pass? So that to the extent that banning insider trading, for example, relied on the opinions of economists that showed its bad effects, that law violates the Appointments Clause?
PLEASE give us a reasoned analysis of this decision. Does it nullifiy ANY preventative care requirements the PSFT recommended? So that coverage aimed at preventing diabetes could also be left out of policies even if nobody has a religious objection to it?
Can this be appealed? Horrifying.
Well, maybe those who will not be covered and won't get the screenings will self-select out of the MAGAT pool. They've chosen the people who promote the judges. Their choices should haunt them.