A historic order of nuns who minister to the elderly poor gained a reprieve from the Supreme Court Wednesday. The Little Sisters of the Poor have been called the world's most tenacious nuns for battling with the past eight years in court to reject government coercion.
Wanting to protect their freedom of conscience, they fought till victory they earned for themselves as well as on the behalf of all other religious non-profits.
A majority of justices upheld a Trump administration rule exempting employers with religious and moral objections from providing contraception in group healthcare plans.
Knowing the importance of the decisions and statements, The Little Sisters controversy dates back to the 2010 passage of the Affordable Health Care Act, (Obamacare), which delegated to the Department of Health and Human Services the task of designing a list of "preventive care" measures that would be required in many employer-provided health plans.
In a 7-2 decision, the majority held that in 2017, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created the exemption in a way that squared with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the exemption was not procedurally defective.
"For over 150 years, the Little Sisters have engaged in faithful service and sacrifice, motivated by a religious calling to surrender all for the sake of their brother," wrote Justice Clarence Thomas. "We hold today that the Departments had the statutory authority to craft that exemption."
The refusal by HHS to address numerous religious objections by sufficiently modifying the mandate prompted dozens of lawsuits involving hundreds of individuals and organizations as plaintiffs, among them Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters.
Yet when the Trump Administration promised a revamped and expanded religious exemption and provided one in 2018, several blue states objected and sued to block the new rule, leading the Little Sisters to join the fray once again to protect the hard-fought victory they earned for themselves as well as on behalf of all other religious non-profits.