The case was about religious freedom but The press tries its best to downplay a serious defeat for the Obama administration.
Anyone still naïve enough to rely on the legacy media for unvarnished news will have gone to bed Monday evening believing that the Supreme Court evaded its duty regarding Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell. Countless headlines had declared that the Court decided to “punt,” “skirt,” or otherwise dodge any meaningful action concerning the challenge to the HHS contraception mandate. In reality, SCOTUS handed the Little Sisters and the other petitioners with whom the Court consolidated their case a major victory in their protracted battle to defend religious liberties against the depredations of the Obama administration’s bureaucrats and lawyers.
In a unanimous opinion, the justices vacated all lower court rulings against the Little Sisters and the other petitioners. The term “vacated,” in this context, means that the Court has rendered those adverse decisions legally void. And the justices didn’t stop there. In order to protect the petitioners from further financial harm, they informed the Obama administration that it “may not impose taxes or penalties on petitioners” pursuant to their continued refusal to abide by the contraception mandate or the so-called accommodation. Finally, the Court remanded the cases back to the relevant lower courts “for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”
All the Court had to do, then, was remand the cases to the lower courts with the following admonition, “Both parties agree that there is enough flexibility in the law and the regulation to find a compromise, so fix it!” And that’s what the Court did on Monday. Despite the dishonest reporting of the “news” media, the Court hasn’t punted, skirted, dodged, or passed on anything. The Obama administration was forced to admit that it has wasted the Supreme Court’s time on something that could have been resolved at the district court level. But the government doesn’t want resolution. It wants obedience. And it certainly gets that from the media.
This is on top of media interviews with guffaws about how the Administration used lies to sell its position on Obamacare and Iran Nuclear Programs, lies that the Democrats are opposing investigating in a solid block much as they have been blocking investigations into the Benghazi lies and deceit. Propaganda is one thing. Partisan political support for it as we are seeing now does not bode well.