Little Sisters case could spell big trouble for us all
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case that could impact people of faith across the board.
Oral arguments before the court center on Little Sisters of the Poor, Catholic nuns who famously care for the elderly poor.
Little Sisters has also refused to abide by a controversial provision in the Affordable Care Act, which mandates free coverage of contraceptives and abortion-causing drugs.
The federal government has created what it calls an accomodation to the mandate, which requires Little Sisters and others to request an exemption that would allow a third party to provide the coverage, The Washington Times explained in a story this week.
Little Sisters and other nonprofits insist the act of signing the form makes them complicit in what they consider sin, the newspaper further explained, so the nuns will ask the high court to agree that even the accomodation is as an infringement on their religious liberty.
The view of the Catholic Church is that it’s “wrong to cooperate with evil acts, even if we are not the primary actor,” John Garvey, president of Catholic University of America, explained in an an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.
Catholic University is among other religious schools and organizations that are fighting the mandate along with Little Sisters.
Hannah Smith, senior counsel at the Becket Fund, says complying would violate the tenets of their faith while the federal government exempts many employers from complying with the mandate.
“In fact, one in three Americans don’t even have a plan that is subject to the HHS mandate,” Smith says. “But the government is fighting so hard to force it on the Little Sisters.”
In his op-ed, Garvey used the example of paying a contractor $100,000 to build a home. The builder used underage labor and illegal materials to finish the job $10,000 under budget.
“It would be wrong for me to share in the savings from those immoral activities,” Garvey wrote, “even if I didn’t make the arrangements.”
The Supreme Court should rule by June.
If the case goes against Little Sisters of the Poor, the nuns could face up to $70 million in fines.