The accommodation allows religious non-profits to opt out of paying for contraception by telling the government that doing so would violate their religious beliefs. But many such non-profits say the procedure–filling out a form so their insurers or third-party administrators take on the responsibility of paying for the birth control–violates their religious beliefs because it forces them to participate in a system to subsidize and distribute the contraception.
The majority opinion in Hobby Lobby, written by Justice Samuel A. Alito, pointed to the accommodation as an acceptable way to get contraception to women without stepping on the religious beliefs of the for-profit companies. The administration said the outcome strongly suggested that the court would come out in its favor if and when it takes on the nonprofits’ challenge.
"The decision in Hobby Lobby rested on the premise that these accommodations ‘achieve all of the government’s aims’ underlying the preventive-health services coverage requirement ‘while providing greater respect for religious liberty,’" the Justice Department said, quoting from Alito’s opinion.
Most groups that have challenged the accommodation have won temporary reprieves from having to complete the form that government requires.
On Monday, just hours after the Hobby Lobby decision, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta granted such a request from the Eternal Word Television Network. Judge William H. Pryor Jr. said in a separate opinion in that case that the administration "turns a blind eye to the undisputed evidence that delivering [the required form] would violate the Network’s religious beliefs."