The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a nonprofit law firm dedicated to preserving religious liberty for people of all faiths, filed a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, asking it to hear the case of the Little Sisters of the Poor.
The Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns who provide shelter and health care for the elderly poor, have filed a class action lawsuit against the Obama administration in order to be exempt from an Obamacare provision that requires employers to pay for abortifacient drugs, sterilizations, and contraceptives in their employee health plans.
The teachings of the Catholic Church forbid the use of abortifacients and artificial birth control, and the nuns have argued that paying for such drugs would be a violation of their conscience.
The government filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to refuse to hear the Little Sisters’ case and to choose a different case regarding the Health and Human Services Mandate.
The provision does allow for some religious institutions to be exempt from providing the drugs, but the government has argued that the Little Sisters do not qualify.
In an interview with The Daily Signal, Daniel Blomberg, legal counsel for The Becket Fund, said the government is making the “odd” and “dangerous” argument that the Little Sisters “aren’t religious enough” to qualify for the exemption.
“It’s hard to be more religious than the Little Sisters,” Blomberg said. “The federal government has drawn a discriminatory line between the Little Sisters and the church they serve.”
The Little Sisters have argued that the order to provide abortifacient drugs violates both the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment.
Blomberg said the Little Sisters “will never stop being faithful to the Church.”
“They are not planning on letting an overreaching federal government prevent them from caring for the elderly poor,” Blomberg said.