Supreme Court Justice Halts Obamacare Birth Control Mandate for Catholic Group

Not to be too much of a conspiracy theorist, but why was this decision made just a few hours before midnight on New Year's Eve? Oh, right, because the Affordable Care Act goes into full effect at midnight. The Associated Press is reporting Tuesday night that a Supreme Court Justice has halted the Obamacare birth control mandate for Catholic groups. The groups had petitioned SCOTUS to be absolved of the responsibility to provide birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act on Jan. 1. As the Raw Story reports, the emergency stay comes at the last minute before Obamacare's implementation.

The organizations asked the Court to issue the stay until they had a chance to make their argument before the Court. The full court has already agreed to hear constitutional challenges of the birth-control mandate, which will occur at a later time.

According to SCOTUSBlog, those cases have not yet been scheduled for oral argument.These organizations claim that the ACA infringes on their freedom to practice their religion because the law requires they provide the use of contraceptives, which the Church forbids.

The portions of the ACA to which these Catholic organizations objected would have gone into effect on Wednesday, January 1, 2014.

As we reported earlier this year, the decision will have far-reaching consequences for the controversy over the so-called "conscience clause."

The Supreme Court is expected to hear Hobby Lobby's case on the constitutionality of the Obamacare contraception mandate in March:

Happy New Year America — but we won't letting this one go by unnoticed.