Monday, May 30, 2016

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Catholic Education Daily


Supreme Court Temporarily Halts HHS Mandate for Many Catholic Organizations

The United States Supreme Court on Friday barred the Obama administration from enforcing the HHS contraceptive mandate against Christian Brothers Services—which includes The Cardinal Newman Society among its many Catholic clients—and the Little Sisters of the Poor, according to The Politico.

After considering arguments against the injunction submitted by the Obama administration, the Court issued a one-page order that frees dozens of Catholic organizations from being legally mandated to facilitate insurance coverage of abortifacients, contraceptives, and sterilization procedures while the Christian Brothers lawsuit winds through the federal courts.

“We are delighted that the Supreme Court has issued this order protecting the Little Sisters,” said Mark Rienzi, Senior Counsel for the Becket Fund, in a press release.  “The government has lots of ways to deliver contraceptives to people–it doesn’t need to force nuns to participate.”

The Supreme Court required that the plaintiffs must simply inform HHS of their religious objections.

“This order grants all the protection that the Little Sisters of the Poor and the other organizations in the case need while the courts are deciding their case,” said Kevin Walsh, a University of Richmond Law professor, who helped represent the Sisters in this case. “We are happy to satisfy the condition in the Supreme Court’s order, which is to say something that we have been saying from the beginning of the case and that the government already knows.”

Last month Justice Sotomayor temporarily issued a stay on the mandate for Christian Brothers Services and its client the Little Sisters of the Poor.

While the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case regarding the constitutionality of the mandate, that case was filed by two for-profit organizations.  The Supreme Court has not yet agreed to hear this case or any other brought by a nonprofit religious group.

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