Health care reform, unsettling to many people, remains unsettled itself after the U.S. Supreme Court accepted another legal challenge Monday.The challenge is based on religious freedom and will be heard in a federal appeals court, a step below the Supreme Court. A Christian school, Liberty University, is challenging the individual and employer mandates of the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.
Obamacare was passed in 2010 by a Democratic-controlled Congress and is still in the process of taking full effect.
Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell in the early 1970s, argues that Congress lacked authority to pass the reforms. The lawsuit insists that constitutional protections for freedom of religion should exempt employers from requirements to provide access to abortions or drugs that induce abortion/miscarriage.
Liberty University filed the challenge in 2010 but the suit was set aside while the Supreme Court reviewed the primary challenge. The high court eventually ruled 5-4 that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional despite its individual mandate that people must buy health insurance.
The Supreme Court agreed Monday that Liberty's claim should be heard by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
These issues will ultimately wend their way through the courts back up to the Supreme Court for its consideration, according to the conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation.
"Our fight against Obamacare is far from over," said Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, which is pushing the lawsuit. Staver is also the dean of Liberty University's School of Law.
“Congress exceeded its power by forcing every employer to provide federally mandated insurance," Staver said. "But even more shocking is the abortion mandate, which collides with religious freedom and the rights of conscience.”
Liberty University is in Lynchberg, Va. It is the largest Christian college in the country, according to its website. It was founded in 1971 by the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr.