Obama administration demands Catholic nuns comply with contraception mandate

Font Size:

The Department of Justice called on the Supreme Court to not exempt a group of Catholic nuns from Obamacare’s contraception mandate on Friday.

Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged a temporary injunction from the requirement that the nuns offer insurance that covers contraception or face hefty fines.

The Little Sisters, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, argue that compliance with the requirement would violate their religious beliefs.

However, the Obama administration, which filed its response before the 10 a.m. deadline, said that the Little Sisters do not have a “legal basis to challenge the self certification requirement or to complain that it involves them in the process of providing contraceptive coverage” as a third party administrator is the entity to decide whether to offer such coverage.

According to government’s filling the third party administer of the nuns’ “church plan” said it will not provide such coverage.

“If employer-applicants’ third-party administrator were nevertheless to decide to provide contraceptive coverage, applicants’ employees and their covered dependents would receive such coverage despite applicants’ assertion of their religious objections, not because of those objections,” the government wrote.

The Becket Fund argues, however that the nuns would still be violating their religious beliefs by being the ones to “sign a permission slip for abortion drugs and contraceptives.”

“The Sisters believe that doing that violates their faith, and that they shouldn’t be forced to divert funds from the poor elderly and dying people they’ve devoted their lives to serve,” Mark Rienzi, senior counsel for the Becket Fund and lead counsel for the Little Sisters said in a statement.

Follow Caroline on Twitter