WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) has filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn several lower court rulings that would force Little Sisters of the Poor and other faith-based groups to either violate their religious beliefs or pay penalties to the government for failing to obey the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) abortion pill mandate.
In representing nearly 80,000 Americans, the ACLJ brief argues that these groups should receive a religious exemption and not be forced to either violate their beliefs or pay stiff fines for failing to comply with the mandate which would require ministries to sign a document that authorizes the provision of abortion-inducing drugs to their employees.
"The Obama Administration continues to wage its war against faith-based organizations putting religious liberty at great risk," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. "As we argue in our brief, the high court must correct the errors made by the lower courts and overturn these decisions. Failure to do so would have devastating ramifications on groups like Little Sisters of the Poor and others. If these groups are unable to kowtow to the mandate and therefore shut down their operations, in order to remain true to their religious beliefs, the poor and needy will suffer a tangible loss."
In the case of Little Sisters of the Poor, that group would be forced to pay out millions of dollars a year in fines to the government – money that could be better used by the Sisters in caring for the elderly poor.
"This is not just an abstract, intellectual debate," the brief contends. "If this Court rules against Petitioners in this case it will leave gaps in our already burdened social welfare system and cripple a vital schoolhouse of civic virtue in our society."
The ACLJ's amicus brief is posted here.
In the case of Zubik v. Burwell, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the spring and a decision is expected by the end of June.
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law & Justice focuses on constitutional law, religious liberty, and pro-life issues and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and online at aclj.org.
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SOURCE American Center for Law and Justice