CFI Decries Supreme Court’s “Exasperating” Non-Decision on Zubik

For Immediate Release: May 16, 2016
Contact: Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director - (207) 358-9785


The Center for Inquiry expressed dismay and frustration at today’s ruling by the Supreme Court in the case of Zubik v. Burwell, in which religious nonprofits challenged the accommodation granted to them to the Contraceptive Mandate of the Affordable Care Act, has been remanded back to the Circuit Courts.

“We are truly disappointed that rather than draw a clear delineation between an employer’s religious beliefs and an employee’s lawful rights, the Supreme Court has instead passed the buck,” said Nicholas Little, Vice-President and General Counsel for the Center for Inquiry. “How exasperating to now find ourselves back at square one, thanks to the Court’s failure to ensure the seamless provision of reproductive health care to the hundreds of thousands of women employed by religious non-profit organizations.”

“The idea that signing a piece of paper indicating an unwillingness to obey a particular law could be considered a ‘substantial burden’ on an employer’s religious beliefs is flatly ludicrous, and the Court had an opportunity to scrap this line of argument once and for all. It is a true shame the Court lacked the wherewithal to make that call.”

Little predicted that the lower courts would likely continue their record of upholding the accommodation, and reiterated CFI’s commitment to ensuring that the right to reproductive health care is not held subordinate to the religious whims of employers, and that religious privilege is held firmly in check.



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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at