Case: Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania & Trump v. Pennsylvania
Time: 10:00 a.m. ET.
Participants: Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco; Paul D. Clement (arguing for the Little Sisters); Pennsylvania Chief Deputy Attorney General Michael J. Fischer
Significance: The Supreme Court will take up the Trump administration’s attempt to weaken the so called contraceptive mandate, the Affordable Care Act’s long controversial requirement that employer-provided health insurance plans cover birth control as a preventive service.
The Trump administration moved in 2017 to allow exemptions for more employers. So far, courts have blocked that expansion nationwide.
Obamacare requires many group health plans and health insurers that offer health coverage to provide coverage for contraceptives, without cost sharing. Churches and houses of worship are exempted and other entities (such as religious universities, hospitals or charities) with religious objections get an accommodation. The accommodation means that plan participants will still receive the coverage, but indirectly through the employer’s health insurance company.
Case: Barr v. American Assn. of Political Consultants
Time: Immediately after the first case; approximately 11:00 a.m. ET.
Participants: Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm L. Stewart and Roman Martinez.
Significance: A political consulting group and various political organizations are challenging the Telephone Consumer Protection Act — a law meant to prohibit intrusive “robocalls” on cell phones. The law does not ban all calls, however.
In 2015, Congress said calls related to debt collection for money owed to the government are allowed. A lower court said the 2015 provision violated the First Amendment, but allowed the rest of the law to stand.