Supreme Court’s landmark rulings on Obamacare and religious liberty

ABC News’ Devin Dwyer and ABC News contributor Kate Shaw discuss the implications of the SCOTUS rulings on Obamacare and religious liberty in a key LGBTQ case.
7:16 | 06/18/21

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Transcript for Supreme Court’s landmark rulings on Obamacare and religious liberty
In for more now we bring in Devin Dwyer along with ABC news contributor and cargoes a law professor case should offer more analysis always a pleasure to see both of you appreciate your time but certainly Devin and the religious liberty LG BT case that you just reported on. This was on narrow ruling so in that weight can bull sides claim at least some victory here. What they're talking to parties on both sides of the case since the decision came down Trevor and I got tea both. Are very upbeat about this unanimous opinion. You don't find that very often at the Supreme Court so I I think this this court Chief Justice John Roberts found a way. To thread the needle on these two very controversial issues here. I'm Catholic social services in the religious right liberty groups here. I certainly feel vindicated they heard the court's words that the city's policy for exemptions in their anti discrimination rules. They needed to be taken into account and perhaps here an exemption was due for this religious group at the very least it does sound like Catholic social services. We'll be back in the game in Foster care in Philadelphia at the same time. LG BTQ advocates are told me that they were very heartened by what the court. Didn't say they didn't give free license to religious groups are to be able to discriminate against LG BTQ people on the bases of face. Faith nation wide that was not put in Marty here and in fact. A lot were heartened by chief Justice Roberts explicit words that gay and Lou lesbian couples I deserve respect they deserve to be treated equally. And that's an important interest for the government to pursue so both sides. Finding some positive takeaways from this made some very significant case. Of course even narrow Supreme Court rulings tend to have much larger implication stretching beyond that simple case Kate what do you think are some of the larger implications of this case going forward. So I think there's a real possibility that this case is although Japanese right it's a narrow opinion. It does confirm something that we already had a pretty clear sense of which is that this court really privileges religious liberty. And sometimes it may side with religious liberty. Even when religious liberty claims come into conflict with other kinds of constitutional claims are values sitting about the courts for decisions and some of the recent Kobe case has rights of churches. And religious. Houses of worship at challenged restrictions put in place by governors are around things like capacity at worship services. The court has sided with those houses of worship. Even you know in the face of arguments that public health requires the imposition of capacity limits so in this case to the court did side with the religious objection. Against Philadelphia's argument that it wanted to just neutrally applied to every one of these general anti discrimination. Requirements but I think DeVon is right that. The court definitely doesn't say in this case that religious claims trump other kinds of claims. And in part because the court was able to point to be exemptions that exist in this Philadelphia practice. Basically say you know these religious entities are should be eligible for the same kinds of exemptions. I'm so the court of some we just kind of hunting we're leaving to another day. I'm being statement about what happens religious liberty comes into conflict with. Things like principles of equality and nondiscrimination. Still absolutely plenty to chew on there but let's turn to the Obama care decision debt and we know that conservative opponents of the Affordable Care Act have sworn to fight this thing. To the ends of the earth and they've tried now multiple times what are the potential next steps for opponents of the health care law and may still fight it from here. And dozens of times in congress Trevor the president and president trump appointee Naimi coney Barrett some of these other justices with the expressed purpose and hope. That they would vote to get rid of the law and none of it has come to fruition. And I got to tell you that concern. Legal have the scholars I talked to today and people like Kate. Com and health policy experts were deeply the plugged into the health community. The consensus is that the ink X essential challenges to the lobbies attempts to route the whole thing out and get rid of it. Have really come to an end with this case. Obamacare is security state now that doesn't mean. And that there won't be skirmishes about parts of the law attacks on its legal battles over certain provisions that are still there this is a huge massive piece of legislation. It's been on the books for ten years. There is a federal challenge under way for example taking aim at some of that the law's mandates on insurers to provide no cost benefits like god. Annual checkups and the likes of those will continue. But the big take away from today I think is the fact that that this court has announced his exit sort of. Affirmed the law three times. In major substance. And it's likely get a stick around now. It would seem to have sums. Substantial foreshadowing at least if there were any further attempts to make it let's go back to you on that because you're so good at putting these things in a big picture focus. This case was decided on the grounds a standing the justices found those plaintiffs to eighteen states they didn't suffer a sufficient injury that allows them to sue. What does this mean for future cases. As to the Affordable Care Act I think it does mean that it's going to be difficult for individuals to get into court. To try to argue that the wise you know in its entirety unconstitutional that's either private individuals or states right standing is this court constitutional idea that. Up courts doesn't get to just decide policy right and an individual who doesn't like a law doesn't get to go to court to try to get the law thrown out. Fit individual or state house to show the court that it is uniquely injured by a provisional law. A legal requirement something like that it's here the courts and well individuals aren't being penalized for failing to carry health insurance so they are hurt. By its mandate in a way that would allow them to come to court. And get a judicial ruling on the constitutionality of the law. And the state said well they have to spend money implementing other parts of the Affordable Care Act. But the justices basically said well that's not about the mandate and a challenge years to the individual mandate and so we're not going to come to court because you have to pay each. Did you don't implement other provisions of the Affordable Care Act so. So I think of the court actually really is just kind of re affirming. Basic foundational principles about the role of courts in a democracy which is to say. That the role as a limited one. I'm and so I don't think that it breaks very new ground with respect to the idea of standing although I do think that. Not to the extent that there are individuals were continuing to try to craft novel legal arguments. About why the why is unconstitutional in its entirety. The standing ruling I think it's going to be an obstacle to getting deported topped those kinds of arguments heard although I don't know that justice Sam Alito in a footnote. Did say you know. This is a standing ruling. State its case on standing grounds could come back and filing new lawsuit with a different theory they're not barred from doing that Ibis. Opinions or at least one justice seem to be sending some signals. That the doors are closed. In some future case although I do think it's going to be of very steep uphill battle to try to. No win in a future case the court effort does have another one. Especially given that this ruling was made with that conservative majority Devin Dwyer a H always here to put things in perspective for us all things Supreme Court. Appreciate Peltier times. Thanks W.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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