Just posted: a web exclusive from Vincent Phillip Muñoz, on the possible path to compromise on the contraception mandate as suggested by Justice Anthony Kennedy in his concurrence on Hobby Lobby:
[Justice Kennedy indicated] not definitively, but unmistakably—that his vote for Hobby Lobby should not be interpreted as a sure vote for Notre Dame and the other nonprofit litigants.
The reasoning: These religious nonprofit litigants have been offered an accommodation by the Obama administration that would push off the cost and responsibility of contraceptive coverage to the nonprofits’ insurance companies and (for the self-insured) third-party administrators. The litigants do not see that accommodation as sufficient, of course, but its existence was enough for Justice Kennedy to write, “There is an existing, recognized, workable, and already-implemented framework to provide [the disputed contraception] coverage.” That accommodation, he said, furthers the government’s interests “but does not impinge on the plaintiff’s religious beliefs.” It does not take a mind-reader to see that he may say the same to Notre Dame and the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Also, from the Commonweal archives: select stories from the 1960s, as we continue to feature pieces from our past in marking our ninetieth anniversary. Among the highlights: Bernard Häring’s 1968 essay, “The Encyclical Crisis,” which begins: “No papal teaching document has ever caused such an earthquake in the Church as the encyclical Humanae Vitae.” See our 1960s page here, and our complete Commonweal at 90 page here.