Federal Judges Block Religious Exemption From Contraceptive Mandate

This week, judges in California and Pennsylvania issued injunctions against a Trump administration regulation that allowed the Little Sisters of the Poor and similar groups to claim a religious exemption from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contraceptive mandate. 
Judge Haywood Gilliam of the U.S. District Court for Northern California issued a preliminary injunction on January 13. This injunction affects 13 states and the District of Columbia. The next day, U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone issued a nationwide injunction of the regulation. 
These decisions mean that the Little Sisters of the Poor must return to court to fight the HHS contraceptive mandate. "Now the nuns are forced to keep fighting this unnecessary lawsuit to protect their ability to focus on caring for the poor," said Mark Rienzi, president of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the group that is representing the Little Sisters of the Poor. 
The Justice Department has not revealed how it intends to respond to the injunctions. For more, read this story from Crux.

January 18, 2019 - 1:57pm

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