When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the health care law by a vote of 5-4, many Catholics might have assumed that the lawsuits that had been filed against Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate because it steps on religious freedom were nullified. However, the Supreme Court's decision dealt solely with the overarching law itself, particularly a requirement that virtually everyone must buy health insurance.
If the Supreme Court had struck down Obamacare, the mandate would have disappeared by default. Since it did not, the legal battles will move forward.
So the more than 50 lawsuits filed by nonprofits, dioceses, Catholic universities and private business owners - arguing that the mandate violates the religious liberty of individuals and organizations that object to its requirements - will move full steam ahead.
In the majority opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts, he states: "Even if the taxing power enables Congress to impose a tax on not obtaining health insurance, any tax must still comply with other requirements in the Constitution."
The opinion of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was even more explicit: "A mandate to purchase a particular product would be unconstitutional if, for example, the edict impermissibly abridged the freedom of speech, interfered with the free exercise of religion, or infringed on a liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause."
These opinions seem to show there is real hope that the lawsuits again the mandate will succeed.