(Washington Times) President Obama’s mandate that most private companies provide health insurance plans that include free contraceptives has met with considerable headwinds in the legal system, where nine of the 14 federal courts to rule so far have sided with employers who say the mandate violates their beliefs and infringes on their religious liberties.

While the broad scope of the president’s health law survived Supreme Court scrutiny last year, the challenges to the contraception mandate remain a major legal hurdle for the Obama administration, and the deep skepticism shown by a number of judges makes it likely the high court will be called upon to settle this dispute, too.

“I think the case is probably heading for the Supreme Court,” said Timothy Jost, a health care scholar at the Washington and Lee University School of Law. “We already have a split in the circuits.”

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