WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered further review in a case involving Ohio business owners who challenged the birth control mandate under the new federal health care law, following its ruling that businesses can now lodge religious objections to the coverage.
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The case involves two brothers, Francis and Philip M. Gilardi, who own Freshway Foods and Freshway Logistics of Sidney, Ohio, and challenged the mandate on religious grounds. Last November, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of the brothers based on their individual right to object to the coverage for their 400 employees if it goes against their Catholic faith, not on a company's right.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court refused to consider the federal government's appeal of that lower court ruling, but also sent the case back to the appeals court to rule in accordance with the justices' most recent decision. On Monday, the high court ruled for the first time that businesses can hold religious views under federal law.
The justices also ordered lower courts that ruled in favor of the Obama administration in separate cases to reconsider those decisions in light of Monday's 5-4 decision.
Two Michigan-based companies, Autocam Corp. and Eden Foods Inc., both lost their cases in the lower courts. The justices ordered the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati to reconsider its decisions against the companies.