Press Release

More Supreme Court briefs filed in the Little Sisters of the Poor case Press call at 4:00 p.m. EST at 888-670-9385, pin 54523

Media Contact

Melinda Skea 202-349-7224 media@becketlaw.org

Additional Information

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Little Sisters of the Poor and the government responded further to the Supreme Court’s question of whether there are alternatives to the mandate for religious non-profit ministries. Last week, the ministries responded loud and clear: “Yes.” Today at 4:00 p.m. Becket will hold a press call to discuss the implications of the briefs filed to the U.S. Supreme Court today.

“”Thank goodness for the Supreme Court,”” said Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at Becket, which represents the Little Sisters of the Poor. “If the Court had not asked for additional briefs, we would not know that the government actually agrees that there are solutions for providing contraceptives that are more respectful of religious beliefs. If only the government had thought about that five years ago, this litigation would not have been necessary.”

 

Less than a week after the Supreme Court heard the case of the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Court made an almost unprecedented move asking both sides to provide additional arguments about whether the government could find ways to distribute contraceptives without the involvement of religious non-profits and their health plans.Last week, the religious non-profits responded the Supreme Court: “The answer to that question is clear and simple: Yes.”“We are so grateful that the Court asked to hear more about our case,”” said Sister Loraine Marie Maguire, mother provincial for the Little Sisters of the Poor. “We just want to focus on our mission of serving the elderly poor as we have for the last 175 years while being faithful to the teachings of our Church.”

Currently the government exempts 1 in 3 Americans from this regulation. It also exempts large corporations such as Exxon, Visa and even the government’s own Military family plan. A total of 100 million Americans are exempt.

“This case is about the freedom of all Americans to follow their faith,” said Dr. Blair Blackburn, President of East Texas Baptist University. “We simply ask the Court to recognize that ETBU is a conscientious objector, and that the federal government is insisting that we act as a conscientious collaborator.”

“At HBU, our faith animates everything we do, including our emphasis on academic excellence,” said Dr. Robert Sloan, president of Houston Baptist University. “We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will let us continue to serve our students and others.”

For more information, join Becket attorneys on a press call today at 4:00 p.m. EST at 888-670-9385, pin number: 54523. Email questions in advance to: media@becketlaw.org. Last week’s press call audio is available here.

Paul D. Clement of Bancroft, PLLC presented the oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court for the Little Sisters. Noel J. Francisco of Jones Day LLP also presented arguments on behalf of several ministries. The Little Sisters of the Poor are represented by Becket, Locke Lord LLP, and Professor Kevin Walsh of the University of Richmond Law School. Robert Muise of American Freedom Law Center represents plaintiff Priests for Life. David Cortman of Alliance Defending Freedom represents several different religious ministries.

A decision from the Supreme Court can be expected in June.                                                

For more information or to arrange a follow-up interview with a Becket attorney, please contact Melinda Skea at media@becketlaw.org or 202-349-7224. Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish

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Becket is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions and has a 100% win-rate before the United States Supreme Court. For over 20 years, it has successfully defended clients of all faiths, including Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Native Americans, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians (read more).