The Supreme Court once again declined to hear a legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate on Monday, rejecting a petition from the Jerry Falwell-founded Liberty University. This means that a Fourth Circuit court decision to reject all of the institution's challenges to the law will stand. The case was rejected without comment from the court.
Opponents of Obamacare were hoping that the White House's decision to delay the mandate by one year would bolster arguments for the high court to hear Liberty University v. Lew. But the Supreme Court had already rejected one chance to hear a challenge to the mandate earlier, instead only agreeing to consider one for the individual mandate. The court issued a decision on that challenge in 2012, upholding the individual mandate as a tax. The Supreme Court also ruled that the law's Medicaid expansion had to be optional for states.
Liberty's challenge to the law was pretty broad, as the SCOTUS Blog explains. The school's case challenged the provision under the Commerce Clause, as well as the taxing clause. It challenged the individual mandate again on religious freedom grounds, and added in a late-breaking challenge to the law's contraception mandate. The employer mandate will require businesses with 50 or more employees to provide affordable access to health insurance for their workers by 2015.
Even though the court rejected the university's petition, it's far from done considering legal challenges to the Obama administration's signature policy achievement. Last week, the court agreed to hear two other cases challenging that last provision. And there are other challenges to the employer mandate working their way through the courts right now.