Pension & Benefits News April arguments postponed, ACA religious and conscience exemption question to be rescheduled
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Thursday, April 16, 2020

April arguments postponed, ACA religious and conscience exemption question to be rescheduled

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

The Supreme Court on April 3 announced that oral arguments currently scheduled for the April session (April 20-22 and April 27-29) will be postponed. The move is in keeping with public health guidance in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Court said.

The news follows the Court’s similar postponement of March oral arguments. The High Court will consider rescheduling some cases from the March and April sessions before the end of its Term, "if circumstances permit in light of public health and safety guidance at that time," and it will consider "a range of scheduling options and other alternatives if arguments cannot be held in the Courtroom before the end of the Term."

ACA religious conscience exemption. The postponement means that Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania (19-431) and Trump v. Pennsylvania (19-454), consolidated cases allotted one hour for oral argument on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraception coverage exemption rules, will be rescheduled. In those cases, the Court will determine whether the federal government lawfully exempted conscience and religious objectors from the requirement to provide health plans that include contraceptive coverage.

Case resolutions continue. The Court will continue to proceed with the resolution of all cases argued earlier this term, and is continuing to hold its regularly scheduled conferences and issuing Order Lists.

Building open for business. The Court Building remains open for official business, but most Court personnel are teleworking. The Court will be closed to the public until further notice.

The rescheduled cases are Nos. 19-431 and 19-454.

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