Key ObamaCare Contraception Ruling Due Today
Justices may be leaning toward Hobby Lobby
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 30, 2014 7:39 AM CDT
Updated Jun 30, 2014 7:45 AM CDT
Proterters, press, and passersby wait for decisions in the final days of the Supreme Court's term, in Washington, Wednesday, June 25, 2014.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Following deliberations that pointed to a divided Supreme Court, justices will hand down a decision on ObamaCare's contraception mandate today around 10am, Politico reports. Americans appear to favor the government in the matter: Just 35% agree with the idea that employers' religious beliefs should play a role in determining contraceptive coverage, a Reuters poll finds. Some 53% disagree. Of course, what really matters is what the court thinks—and according to Newsweek, experts believe it's leaning toward favoring Hobby Lobby, the company leading the charge against the mandate.

Still, the court could label the mandate a tax, hearkening back to its earlier ruling on the individual mandate. As for the justices themselves, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor appear to be on the administration's side, while Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia seem to favor Hobby Lobby, Politico reports. As for the other justices:

  • In earlier arguments, Anthony Kennedy seemed to see both sides of the story. But Politico believes his swing vote is more likely to back the company and its allies.
  • Stephen Breyer repeatedly said during arguments that his questions came from "no point of view at all," but he wondered if there might be a "less restrictive way" to fund contraception via the government. Hard to say how he'll vote, Politico notes.
  • Finally, Chief Justice John Roberts looks likely to write the majority opinion, and he seems to back Hobby Lobby, too. He may, however, restrict his decision to protecting the religious beliefs of "closely held" companies whose bosses' views are bound up in the business.