In an after-hours order (following an order putting on hold Texas’s abortion law), the Supreme Court ordered HHS to halt the enforcement of the contraceptive mandate against the Erie Diocese. Only Justice Sotomayor would have denied it.
The application for an order recalling and staying the issuance of the mandate of the Court of Appeals pending the filing and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari, having been submitted to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court, the application as presented is denied. The Court furthermore orders: If the applicants ensure that the Secretary of Health and Human Services is in possession of all information necessary to verify applicants’ eligibility under 26 CFR §54.9815-2713A(a) or 29 CFR §2590.715-2713A(a) or 45 CFR §147.131(b) (as applicable), the respondents are enjoined from enforcing against the applicants the challenged provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and related regulations pending final disposition of their petition for certiorari.
Nothing in this interim order affects the ability of the applicants’ or their organizations’ employees to obtain, without cost, the full range of FDA approved contraceptives. Nor does this order preclude the Government from relying on the information provided by the applicants, to the extent it considers it necessary, to facilitate the provision of full contraceptive coverage under the Act. See Wheaton College v. Burwell, 573 U. S. ___ (2014).
This order should not be construed as an expression of the Court’s views on the merits. Ibid. Justice Sotomayor would deny the application.
In other words, the Court denied the request by the Diocese to put on hold the issuance of the mandate from the Third Circuit. Justice Sotomayor agreed that the request should be denied.
However, the Court continued that HHS is “enjoined from enforcing against the applicants the challenged provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and related regulations” so long as HHS already has all of the necessary information to ensure the employees receive the contraception. Justice Sotomayor did not join this part of the order.