The U.S. Supreme Court went out with a bang on Monday, ending its 2013-2014 term with Justice Samuel Alito's majority opinion in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., in which the Court held that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act violated federal law by placing a substantial burden on the exercise of religion when it required two "closely held" private corporations to cover certain forms of birth control in their employee health plans.
It was a painful legal defeat for the Obama administration—and it was not the only such defeat in recent days. In fact, in the past month alone, the White House has suffered a series of embarrassing losses at the Supreme Court, where it failed to prevail on issues ranging from the scope of the Fourth Amendment to the limits of executive power. To make matters worse, the president lost all but one of those cases by a vote of 9-0. Senior Editor Damon Root surveys Obama's dismal finish this year at the Supreme Court.