Supreme Court Sends Hopeful Signal In Little Sisters Case | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

Hopeful Signal In Little Sisters Case

By Francis J. Manion1459286514960

In the most closely watched religious liberty case of its current term, the U.S. Supreme Court today dropped a major hint that it might not be content to let the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia result in a 4 – 4 deadlock that would force the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious entities to choose between violating their consciences and closing up shop. In an extraordinary Order issued today, the Court directs the parties to file supplemental briefs that specifically address how the contraceptive and abortifacient coverage mandated by the Obama Administration might still be obtained by religious objectors’ employees in a way that would not involve the objectors in any way in the process – including submitting the form that is required under the current HHS Mandate and is at the center of the current controversy.

Not only does the Court direct the parties to submit supplemental briefs no later than April 12th, the Court provides a detailed example of a procedure in which the Little Sisters’ moral dilemma would be addressed in a way that (the Court suggests) might be morally acceptable to the Sisters while, at the same time, achieving the government’s stated goal of removing barriers to contraceptive access. The Order does not present the parties with a “take it or leave it” example; instead, the Court invites the parties to come up with “other proposals along similar lines.”

This is an extraordinary and hopeful development. While most observers of last Wednesday’s oral argument on the case walked away believing that the Court was split 4-4 – a result that would have meant a loss for the Little Sisters and others who lost at the courts of appeal – today’s development appears to indicate that the Court is, instead, struggling to fashion a resolution of the case that both sides can live with. Perhaps, in hindsight, there were hints of unease among even some of the liberal members of the Court last week when they were visibly surprised by what appeared to be the government’s acknowledgment that the HHS Mandate did, in fact, impose a “substantial burden” on religious liberty. Such an acknowledgment (later denied, somewhat weakly, by the government’s lawyer) would trigger an obligation by the government to pursue its objectives by means that would be the “least restrictive” upon the Sisters’ religious liberty. What today’s Order suggests, if nothing else, is that there may be a majority of the Court that, in pondering the implications of this case, is grappling with the realization that there are, in fact, less restrictive means available to the government, one of which is outlined in today’s Order itself.

All in all, we are pleased to see that the Court is viewing the religious liberty claims at stake here with the utmost seriousness and is taking this extraordinary step of directing the parties to help it craft a resolution that will truly respect and preserve our First Freedom.

Defeat the Abortion-Pill Mandate

Religious Liberty  Signatures

LOGIN

Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.

$20
$40
$60
$120
$240
Make this a monthly tax-deductible gift.

As we file a major Supreme Court amicus brief to defeat the abortion-pill mandate, take and have your gift doubled today. Have your gift doubled through our Matching Challenge.

Email Address is required.
First Name is required.
Last Name is required.
Credit Card Number is required.
Verification Code is required.
Expiration Month is required.
Expiration Year is required.
Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.
Encourage your friends to sign and donate by sharing this petition.

Under Attack Again in Federal Court

By Geoffrey Surtees1511978140620

As explained here , the Trump administration issued Interim Final Rules last month regarding religious and moral exemptions under the HHS abortion-pill mandate. For years, we fought for the government to provide these conscience protections. The previous administration’s campaign to force religious...

read more

MRFF Attacks a Christian, The Chaplains’ Flag

By Wesley Smith1511975032084

In the latest attack by Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), the target is not only the United States military (MRFF’s venomous specialty) but is also an attack on history, in this case the history of the Korean War. At Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, there is a...

read more

Christian Realtors Face Government Discrimination

By ACLJ.org1510936124128

Government regulators are at it again. They have issued complaints against Christian realtors who run their business in accordance with their faith. Instead of protecting our constitutional rights, the government insists on silencing Christians and singling them out for discrimination. We have...

read more

ACLJ Files at Supreme Court Supporting Prayer

By Michelle Terry1510345558355

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) today filed an amicus curiae brief – friend-of-the-court brief – at the Supreme Court of the United States in support of legislative prayer. In the case Rowan County, North Carolina v. Lund , we are asking the Court to support the county’s request to...

read more