The Supreme Court on Tuesday handed a setback to a business owner who had filed a challenge to the government’s requirement that companies offer health insurance coverage for their employees and their dependents.
The justices ruled 5-4 in favor of Hobby Lobby’s owner, David Green, who sued to overturn the government mandate that most businesses offer coverage for contraceptives, sterilization and abortion services, including abortion.
The decision effectively means the company can continue its plans to keep the company’s workers and their families covered.
“As a result, Hobby Lobby will continue to provide health coverage to its approximately 2,000 full-time employees,” the court ruled.
“Hobby Lobby will also continue to offer coverage to any of its dependents under the ACA who wish to obtain coverage.”
The ruling came two weeks after the Supreme.
President Trump was forced to reverse course on his previous position that he would allow some businesses to opt out of the mandate by providing workers with tax credits.
In the Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme justices ruled that the owners had a “sincere and compelling” religious objection to covering contraception and abortion.
The ruling, however, did not go far enough for Green, whose company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, had said it would continue to cover all of its employees under the Affordable Care Act.
Hobby and Blue Cross appealed the ruling to the Supreme, but the justices declined to hear the case.
“The court cannot resolve this question on the merits, and thus does not address the constitutionality of the statute or the constitutionally protected exercise of religious beliefs,” the justices wrote.
“We decline to resolve this case on the theory that the statute violates the Establishment Clause.”
The Hobby Lobby ruling comes on the heels of the Trump administration’s push to eliminate the requirement that most employers provide coverage for contraception and sterilization services, as well as abortions.
Trump has repeatedly called for the government to cover contraception, sterilizations and abortions, and has said that women who don’t have access to these services are “sluts.”
The Trump administration is also threatening to withhold $500 million in federal funding from Planned Parenthood.
The administration is planning to ask the Supreme to intervene in Hobby Lobby to keep coverage for the company, according to the Washington Post.