‘This is a nonsensical political battle that has dragged on six years too long…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) A Supreme Court ruling and executive policy change in their favor haven’t stopped a group of Catholic nuns from being hounded by left-wing lawyers in blue states that seek to force them to fund abortions against their beliefs.
According to Becket, the religious-liberties nonprofit that is representing the Little Sisters of the Poor, the nuns were back in court to again seek protection from a contraception mandate with a writ of certiorari.
“It has been six long years since we began our legal battle against government mandates that threaten our ministry,” said Mother Loraine Marie Maguire in a press statement.
“We hope we have finally reached the end of this arduous process, that the Supreme Court will reaffirm their previous decision, and that we will soon be able to keep our focus on the elderly poor,” she said.
In a May 2016 SCOTUS ruling, the Pittsburgh-based religious order was exempted from the Health and Human Services mandate—part of the controversial Obamacare package—after the high court overturned lower decisions that would have forced it to pay millions of dollars in penalties, Becket said
The following year, the Trump administration put in place a new policy, which offered blanket exemptions for religious-based nonprofits like the Little Sisters.
However, radical leftist attorneys general in blue-leaning states—including their own Pennsylvania—sued to challenge the policy change and seek an injunction on it. That lawsuit threatened to take away the nuns’ hard-fought earlier legal victory.
“That nationwide injunction has stagnated other cases, and it conflicts with the judgments of many courts that have issued final orders affirmatively requiring comparable exemptions,” said the Little Sisters’s latest legal filing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Trump case.
Becket noted that in a separate lawsuit, in which California sued the nuns to attempt to take away their exemption, the state admitted that there were other ways of supplying contraception to those who needed it without forcing the sisters to go against their religious beliefs.
Moreover, adding to the evidence that the state was targeting the nuns specifically for religious persecution, it ignored many larger exemptions for large corporations that were established under the Obama law—including Exxon, Pepsi, Visa, the City of New York and the U.S. military.
“This is a nonsensical political battle that has dragged on six years too long,” said Becket President Mark Rienzi.
“These states have not been able to identify a single person who would lose contraceptive coverage under the new HHS rule, but they won’t rest until Catholic nuns are forced to pay for contraceptives,” he said. “It is time for the Supreme Court to finally put this issue to rest.”