(Washington, DC) – The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) said today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to send several cases involving the enforcement of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) abortion pill mandate back to lower courts is a significant victory for religious freedom.
In today’s decision, the high court did not rule on the merits but did vacate the previous rulings which would have forced Little Sisters of the Poor and other faith-based groups to either violate their religious beliefs or pay massive penalties to the government for failing to obey the HHS abortion mandate.
Now, the issue goes back to the appellate courts with the Supreme Court ordering that a compromise be worked out between both parties.
“From the very beginning, we have been adamant that the Obama Administration’s war against faith-based organizations squarely put religious liberty at great risk,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ who represented some 80,000 Americans in an amicus brief at the Supreme Court on this issue. “It would have been ideal for the high court to step in today and rule on the merits of the case. But its decision to instead vacate the troubling decisions in place by sending the cases back to lower courts for resolution amounts to a significant victory for religious freedom. We’re confident that, with the guidance offered by the high court, a solution will be found to protect the religious freedom of these organizations. The high court also made clear that because the government was aware of the objections made by the religious organizations from the outset of the litigation, no taxes or penalties may be applied against the organizations.”
In the ACLJ amicus brief filed at the Supreme Court, we asked the high court to overturn several lower court rulings that would force Little Sisters of the Poor and other faith-based groups to either violate their religious beliefs or pay penalties to the government for failing to obey the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) abortion pill mandate.
In representing nearly 80,000 Americans, the ACLJ brief argues that these groups should receive a religious exemption and not be forced to either violate their beliefs or pay stiff fines for failing to comply with the mandate which would require ministries to sign a document that authorizes the provision of abortion-inducing drugs to their employees.
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law & Justice focuses on constitutional law, religious liberty, and pro-life issues and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and online at aclj.org.
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