WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings today in two cases: California v. Texas, in which the court ruled 7-2 that Republican-led states and two individuals do not have standing to bring a constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act, and Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, in which the court ruled 9-0 that Philadelphia violated a Catholic organization’s religious rights under the First Amendment when the city excluded the organization from a foster care program due to its refusal to certify same-sex couples as foster parents.
“Today’s rulings are a true mixed bag. We can breathe a sigh of relief at the Texas ruling, which means the 31 million people who would have been denied healthcare coverage if the Affordable Care Act had been overturned will continue to have protections so they will not be one injury or illness away from bankruptcy. That’s a huge win and a confirmation that healthcare in this country should remain a right, not a privilege. But the Philadelphia ruling reminds us just how tenuous hard-won rights can be, and that we must continue to fight for laws that protect all Americans from all types of discrimination and injustice, particularly those based on race, religion and sexual orientation.”