Tenth Circuit rules against Little Sisters of the Poor in HHS case

Little Sisters of the PoorThe Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty has announced that the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against the Little Sisters of the Poor in their ongoing battle against the Obama Administration’s contraception mandate.

Despite the Supreme Court siding with the Little Sisters last year, the Tenth Circuit ruled on Tuesday that they must either comply with the mandate or accept IRS penalties, and that the contested accommodation for religious objectors sufficiently “relieves them from complicity” in providing religiously-objectionable services.

Beckett senior counsel and Little Sisters lead attorney Mark Rienzi called it “a national embarrassment” that the federal government “insists that, instead of providing contraceptives through its own existing exchanges and programs, it must crush the Little Sisters’ faith and force them to participate.”

In its earlier brief to the Tenth Circuit, the religious liberty law firm argued that the accommodation “require[s] the Little Sisters to speak in a manner and for a purpose that they cannot: ‘to trigger payments for the use of contraceptive and abortion-inducing drugs and devices.’”

Little Sisters Mother Provincial Sr. Loraine Marie Maguire appealed to “our nation’s commitment to ensuring that people from diverse faiths can freely follow God’s calling in their lives […] All we ask is to be able to continue our religious vocation free from government intrusion.”

The Beckett Fund has vowed to appeal the ruling, back up to the Supreme Court if necessary.

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