It's difficult to predict the outcome of the ruling based on the questions asked. Though the focus stayed mainly on the language of the ERISA statute, there was also much focus on why church-affiliated organizations such as hospitals were or were not entitled to be considered churches for the purposes of the statute. There were tough questions for both sides of the argument. Other than feeling hopeful, and perhaps cautiously optimistic, there seems little to do but await the court's ruling, expected by late June. In the meantime, here's news coverage of the hearing:
- An excellent Bloomberg BNA article by Jacklyn Wille, following up on last week's essential case summary. (If the link above doesn't work for you, try this one which accesses the article via Google News.)
- Writeups in the Chicago Tribune and Education Week (church schools, of course, are also affected by the decision).
- Finally, an op-ed in the editorial website NJ Spotlight, "Why U.S. Supreme Court Must Stand Up for Retired Americans," by Mary Rich. Ms. Rich led a successful 10-year fight to restore ERISA coverage for her pension fund, that of Hospital Center at Orange, and has since been a tireless advocate for pension rights. We're proud and grateful to have her support.