Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Little Sisters back in Court. Don't miss us on Megyn Kelly tonight.

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            A Message from the Executive Director
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Dear Friends,

Yesterday we filed our brief on behalf of Little Sisters of the Poor.

Our government has been trying to bully the Sisters--by threatening them with crushing IRS fines--into signing a form that would obligate their own insurance provider, Christian Brothers, to pay for contraceptives and life-terminating drugs for the Sisters' lay employees.

Even though it has again delayed the implementation of the Affordable Care Act itself, the government refuses to issue an exemption to the Sisters. They say the Little Sisters do not merit protection. They say the Sisters have to sign or pay fines.

When the Sisters initially objected to signing the government-issued form, the government mocked the Sisters' concerns, calling them "invisible dragons" and insisting the form was meaningless, but had to be signed. After all, these are the government rules and rules are meant to be followed regardless of conscience or religious beliefs.

In a rare and dramatic way, on New Year's Eve itself--after the Tenth Circuit had denied the Sisters any protection, and we had been forced to appeal to the Supreme Court--Justice Sotomayor issued the Sisters an emergency injunction. The government, while arguing the form was meaningless, still insisted--before the Supreme Court--that the Sisters must be forced to sign it.

The Supreme Court disagreed with the government. A few weeks ago, it issued an order, without dissent, granting the Sisters the injunction and stating they did not have to sign.

Even supporters of the Affordable Care Act and the HHS mandate, like USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers cried out to the government: Leave the Sisters Alone!

This case has profound repercussions.

Our Founding Fathers created a government meant to protect our right to live according to our deeply held convictions.

Our rights do not come from the state; therefore the state cannot take them away.

It is almost unbelievable that our government is following playground rules instead of the Constitution.

But do believe it.

The Becket Fund will continue to fight so that the government cannot bully the Sisters--or any other American--in the form of crushing IRS fines. The government insists that access to contraceptives and life-terminating drugs is a higher value than deeply held religious convictions.

If they do this to the Sisters, what are they going to do next to each one of us who refuses to comply?

Don't miss our lead attorney, Mark Rienzi, talking about the case tonight on the Megyn Kelly show.
Mark on Kelly
Kristina Arriaga
Executive Director
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P.S. In only 30 days we will be before the Supreme Court arguing on behalf of the rights of the Green family of Hobby Lobby. Last week, legal scholar Doug Laycock wrote about the case for the important SCOTUSblog. Civil rights attorney Peter Kirsanow wrote about it for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.