Published December 21, 2015
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a challenge to ObamaCare brought by a Virginia-based Christian university, ending for now one of the biggest remaining legal fights against the health care law.
The justices, in turning away the lawsuit from Liberty University and leaving in place a federal appeals court ruling dismissing it, did not comment on their decision. The decision comes less than a week after the high court agreed to hear a separate challenge from Hobby Lobby and one other company to the law's so-called contraception mandate -- the requirement on most employers to provide access to contraceptive coverage.
But Liberty University's case was more expansive. The university had mounted a major challenge to the law, going after the contraception mandate but also the requirement on employers to provide coverage.
Liberty made several arguments in challenging the portion of the health care law that requires most employers to provide health insurance to their workers or pay a fine. The 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Richmond, Va., rejected those claims.
With the high court's decision, that ruling remains in place.
The Supreme Court's decision comes more than a year after it had ordered the federal appeals court to reconsider Liberty University's claims that the law violates the school's religious freedoms.
The courts are continuing to wade through numerous challenges to the Affordable Care Act, despite the major ruling in June 2012 that upheld the bulk of the law by ruling the individual mandate -- the requirement on individuals to buy health insurance -- valid.
But the issue of the contraception mandate will come before the Supreme Court, perhaps as early as March. The court last week said it would hear the challenge from Hobby Lobby and Pennsylvania company Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp.
The court is set to weigh in on the dispute over whether businesses can use religious objections to avoid a requirement in the law to cover birth control for employees.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.