As 2013 drew to a close, Justice Sotomayor granted a temporary injunction to roughly 200 religiously affiliated organizations, which exempted them from complying with the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate. She gave the Obama administration until 10 a.m. on Friday to respond — and respond they did, disputing the religious challenge as unfounded and requesting that the High Court lift the stay.
Sotomayor acted on a request from an organization called the Little Sisters of the Poor. The Little Sisters were decidedly not into the administration's birth control compromise, in which non-profit organizations that oppose birth control won't have to pay for contraception coverage for their employees — instead, they can merely self-certify that they have religious objectifications to contraception, in which case the insurance company will pay for it with some help from the government. But the Little Sisters' lawyer alleges that merely signing the self-certification form violates their religious rights because it means that someone, somewhere will help women get birth control.