Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to take up Liberty University’s appeal to overturn key provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The justices did not give comment on their decision that left a federal appeals court’s dismissal of Lynchburg, Va.-based LU’s refiled lawsuit. The 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously concluded in 2011 that the suit should be blocked on jurisdictional grounds.
In the latest lawsuit, the Christian evangelical college sought exemption from the ACA’s requirement for employer to purchase insurance for their employees or pay a fine arguing that Congress’ power to impose such mandate is questionable. LU also argued that the ACA violates its religious rights by forcing It to buy insurance that covers abortion and gives access to contraceptives.
“Just as the attempt to force individuals to purchase a particular product exceeded the limits of the Commerce Clause, so too does Congress’ attempt to force employers to purchase the same unwanted product,” Mathew Staver wrote in his brief on behalf of Liberty University, according to Christian Science Monitor.
U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli countered that Congress is authorized to regulate workers’ pay as part of its power to regulate interstate commerce. Verrilli also argued that LU can choose and pay a health insurance plan that does not cover abortion so ACA does not impede its exercise of religion.