The Supreme Court is ridding itself of a knotty dispute between faith-based groups and the Obama administration over birth control, reports the AP. The court on Monday asked lower courts to take another look at the issue in a search of a compromise. The justices issued an unsigned opinion in a case over the arrangement devised by the administration to spare faith-based groups from having to pay for birth control for women covered under their health plans. As NPR explains, the law allows such groups to skip providing contraceptive coverage provided they write a letter to the feds explaining their objections. Their insurance provider would then provide the coverage. The faith groups, however, say the workaround makes them "complicit in sin."
Monday's ruling means that a major confrontation over an element of President Obama's health care law is ending with a whimper and with no resolution of the issue the court undertook to decide. The case almost certainly would not return to the Supreme Court until after the 2016 presidential election. The outcome suggests the court lacked a majority for a significant ruling and is perhaps another example of how the court has been affected by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. (Read more US Supreme Court stories.)