CUA Law Professor Mark Rienzi was quoted in a Nov. 24 Catholic News Agency article entitled "Little Sisters face new lawsuit over their HHS mandate exemption." He was also quoted in an op-ed from The Washington Examiner regarding the same topic. See below
Little Sisters face new lawsuit over their HHS mandate exemption
From: Catholic News Agency
Date: Nov. 24, 2017
The Little Sisters of the Poor are returning to court to defend their exemption from the federal contraception mandate, after two states filed lawsuits challenging the exemption.
"No one needs nuns in order to get contraceptives, and no one needs these guys reigniting the last administration's divisive and unnecessary culture war," said Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at Becket Law and lead attorney for the Little Sisters.
The Little Sisters of Poor are religious sisters dedicated to living with and caring for the elderly poor. In recent years, they have been embroiled in a lawsuit challenging the federal contraception mandate, which requires them to offer an employee health plan covering contraception, sterilizations and some drugs that can cause early abortions. Catholic teaching holds contraception and abortion to be gravely immoral.
Last month, the Trump administration announced changes to the mandate, including a broad religious exemption that offered protection from its demands to the Little Sisters and other objecting religious non-profits.
"The new rule should mean that their lawsuit against the federal government will soon end," said Becket, the religious liberty law firm representing the sisters. However, the states of California and Pennsylvania are now suing, challenging the Little Sisters' religious exemption.
The HHS contraceptive mandate, issued under the Affordable Care Act, required that cost-free coverage for contraceptives, sterilizations, and some drugs that can cause abortions be included in employer health plans.
The original mandate had only a narrow exemption for houses of worship and their integrated auxiliaries. Following a wave of lawsuits on the grounds of religious liberty, the Obama administration released a "religious freedom accommodation" for faith-based non-profits that were not directly affiliated with a house of worship.
Under the accommodation, these groups could send a form to the government outlining their objection to the mandate, which would trigger a government directive to an insurer or third party administrator to provide the cost-free contraceptive coverage in employee health plans.
. . .
Click here to read the full article.