Published January 11, 2016
In an amicus brief filed today, the Ethics and Public Policy Center argues that the Supreme Court should deliver a victory to the Little Sisters of the Poor and the other religious nonprofits who are challenging the legality of the Obama administration’s so-called “accommodation” on its HHS contraceptive mandate.
EPPC’s amicus brief shows specifically that the Obama administration’s rules fail to satisfy the strict-scrutiny test imposed by the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The Obama administration can’t show that requiring the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees furthers a “compelling governmental interest”—especially not when it excludes from its mandate some 34 million private-sector employees and beneficiaries. Nor can it show that the accommodation is the means of advancing its interests that is least restrictive of religious liberty.
EPPC’s brief warns that the “dilution of settled strict-scrutiny standards that the Government advocates … would establish a dangerous precedent that, applied in other contexts, would gravely threaten fundamental constitutional rights.”
“I offer my deep thanks to the great team of lawyers at Munger, Tolles & Olson, led by Daniel Collins, for their exceptional brief,” said EPPC President Ed Whelan.
(EPPC also filed an amicus brief two years ago in the Hobby Lobby case, in the first round of litigation over the HHS mandate.)