The death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia could complicate resolution of a case involving coverage of contraceptives, David S. Cohen explained in an article appearing in The Atlantic on Feb. 19.
The article notes that the vacancy on the court could create 4-4 ties in a Texas abortion case as well as Zubik v. Burwell, in which religious-affiliated schools and hospitals are fighting a mandate to inform the federal government if they refuse to cover employees’ contraceptives so that other arrangements can be made for the coverage.
Since different circuits in the U.S. Court of Appeals have ruled differently on the matter, the article notes that a tie could mean that different rules would apply in different states.
“The Supreme Court normally tries to resolve circuit splits because they don’t want federal laws interpreted differently in different parts of the country,” Cohen said.
In an article appearing in The Washington Examiner on Feb. 22, Cohen observed that Scalia’s absence on the court has the potential to improve the prospects for both abortion and contraceptive rights.