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Ramesh Ponnuru

The Culture War Obama Didn't Have to Wage

The Supreme Court gives the Little Sisters of the Poor a break on birth-control rule.
It came to this?

It came to this?

Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Surely the Obama administration could find a way to provide contraception to women without involving a group of Catholic nuns. This has been the refrain of the administration's critics since 2012, when it announced that most employers would have to offer health coverage that included contraceptives. The Supreme Court has just unanimously made the same point as the critics, if in softer language.

It vacated a lower-court ruling that would have forced the Little Sisters of the Poor, which runs nursing homes for low-income elderly, to comply with a version of the administration’s contraceptive mandate. The court instructed lower courts to hear further arguments from the parties on how to provide contraception to women while respecting the employers' religious freedom.