D.C. Court Backhands ObamaCare

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals -- the second most powerful court in the country behind the Supreme Court -- today released a decision that may well act as the killing blow against ObamaCare.

Two Ohio businessmen, Francis and Phillip Gilardi, the owners of Freshway Foods and Freshway Logistics, sued the Department of Health and Human Services after the passage of the ACA on the grounds that its provisions requiring contraceptive coverage for their employees forced them to act against the tenets of their Catholic faith.

The D.C. court found in the Gilardi's favor, concluding that, "the contraceptive mandate imposed by the Act trammels the right of free exercise -- a right that lies at the core of our constitutional liberties -- as protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act."

Three similar cases have been decided, and adding the D.C. decision gives an even 2 -- 2 split. This virtually guarantees that the question will go before the Supreme Court.

With the Supreme Court as it exists today, this tends to reduce matters to a crapshoot (particularly if Chief Justice John Roberts is worried about his "legacy"). But the majority of the Court is Catholic, making it unlikely that the justices would vote in favor of illegitimate restrictions against their own Church.

If the ultimate decision favors the Catholic Church, this effectively means the end of ObamaCare. Roughly a third of the American hospital system is operated by the Catholic Church, and a refusal of the Church to submit to ObamaCare would mean nullification of the statute, even if problems with the website, internal contradictions with the law, growing public resistance, and the Obama administration's difficulty with tying its shoes each morning are somehow overcome.

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