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Little Sisters back at the Supreme Court

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 5/05/20, 11:40 am

The nuns of the Little Sisters of the Poor will have another day in court over the telephone on Wednesday amid a legal battle that has dragged on for more than six years. The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can require the Roman Catholic institute to provide contraceptives and abortifacients in its healthcare plans as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

Why are the nuns back in court? The justices largely sidestepped the main issues in a similar case, Zubik v. Burwell, in 2016. The court then sent related cases, including the Little Sisters’ one, back to lower courts and ordered the federal government to negotiate an exemption to the Obamacare mandate. HHS issued a rule that protected religious nonprofit organizations like Little Sisters of the Poor. But states sued to invalidate the new rule, and federal courts in California and Pennsylvania blocked it. The nuns are asking the high court to overturn those rulings and let the new exemption stand.

Dig deeper: Read Emily Belz’s report about the expense of taking religious liberty cases all the way to the Supreme Court.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Wed, 05/06/2020 02:48 pm

    It really seems to me that the states, refusing to back down in requiring someone to buy insurance for something that person or group will never need, are abusing their powers. In addition, I can't help but suspect there is an element of religious persecution involved in this particular case. 

    I think the individual state attorneys general or insurance regulators should have to be personally liable for the costs of having to continually return to the courts over this.