Press Release

Little Sisters to Court: Government’s existing plans make solution possible Feds already provides contraceptive-only plans through Medicaid

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Additional Information

WASHINGTON, D.C.– In a follow-up press call regarding the briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in the Little Sisters of the Poor case (audio here), Becket questions the government for failing to acknowledge the contraceptive-only plans that already exist through Medicaid. In the briefs filed 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. The ministries have continued to respond loud and clear: “Yes.”

The following quotes from the press call can be attributed to Mark Rienzi, senior counsel of Becket:

“The federal government already works with state governments to provide contraceptive-only plans through Medicaid. It’s not that the plans can’t and don’t exist. They exist. It’s not that it’s impossible to work with states to do it. The government already works with states to do it. That was discussed in our opening brief.  It’s ignored in the government’s brief today because they don’t have a good answer to it.”

“In every other context the government will tell you the healthcare exchanges are awesome. It’s never really had an explanation why the only people who it won’t let use its exchanges are the people who work for these religious institutions. The bottom line: the government has said alternatives exist. They have to use them.”

“There is a win-win. It’s actually really easy: The government can go do what it needs to do and leave the nuns out of it. And in the end everyone wins because the truth is we are all better off if we live in a world where people like the Little Sisters of the Poor can, inspired by their faith, devote their lives to caring for the elderly poor.”

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.

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


Becket  is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditionsand 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).