The Little Sisters of the Poor filed a petition with the Supreme Court Oct. 1 asking the court to once again protect them from the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act.
This has a familiar ring because in 2016 the Supreme Court granted the sisters a religious exemption from the government’s mandate requiring them to include coverage of contraceptives in their employee health plans or pay hefty fines.
Then, one year later, they were given further protection by an executive order issued by President Donald Trump requiring the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to write a comprehensive exemption to benefit the Little Sisters and other religious ministries from the contraceptive mandate. HHS provided this exemption in 2018 but several states challenged it, including California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, saying HHS didn’t have the power to give this exemption.
The states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey were able to obtain a nationwide injunction against the rules protecting religious objectors from the contraceptive mandate and that injunction was then upheld by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Philadelphia. The Little Sisters are appealing the 3rd Circuit’s ruling to the Supreme Court.
“It is time for the Supreme Court to finally put this issue to rest,” said Mark Rienzi, president of Becket, a nonprofit religious liberty law firm that represents the sisters.
In a statement, he also called the case he hopes the court will take up “a nonsensical political battle that has dragged on six years too long.”
Read more at Crux