Justice dept. defends birth control rule

Published on January 6, 2014 at 12:07 AM · No Comments

The administration responded to a lawsuit by a group of nuns challenging how the health law exempts them from the rule. 

The New York Times: Obama Administration Urges Court To Reject Nuns' Health Law Challenge
The Obama administration urged the Supreme Court on Friday to reject a lawsuit filed by the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Roman Catholic nuns challenging requirements for many employers to provide health insurance coverage of birth control or face penalties under the new health care law. The Justice Department said the requirements did not impose a "substantial burden" on the nuns' right to practice their religion, because they could "opt out" of the obligation by certifying that they had religious objections to such coverage (Pear, 1/3).

Reuters: U.S. Asks Top Court Not To Extend Catholics' Contraception Exemption
On Tuesday night, Justice Sonia Sotomayor had granted a temporary injunction preventing the government from enforcing the so-called "contraception mandate" against the Little Sisters of the Poor and Christian Brothers Services while litigation continues. In its filing on Friday, the government said the groups have no legal basis to file the lawsuit because the insurance plan in question is a "church plan," which the government has already acknowledged it cannot force to provide contraception coverage (Hurley, 1/3).

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