Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor blocked the Obama administration from forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide free contraceptive coverage to employees. The Little Sisters of the Poor serve the elderly poor in over 30 countries around the world.
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The Obama administration was temporarily blocked by a U.S. Supreme Court justice from forcing an order of Catholic nuns to comply with a federal requirement to provide free contraceptive coverage for employees.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s two-sentence order will last at least until Jan. 3, the deadline she gave the administration to respond to a bid by the Denver and Baltimore chapters of the Little Sisters of the Poor for an exemption to the mandate. The Supreme Court released the order last night, a half hour before the mandate took effect.
The request by the nuns was one of four lodged with the court yesterday by groups claiming the administration isn’t doing enough to accommodate religious objections to the contraceptive rule. The requirement stems from the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
A federal appeals court issued a similar ruling yesterday in a separate case. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, in a 2-1 ruling, granted a request by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and the Catholic University of America among other plaintiffs for an order barring the federal government from imposing the contraceptive services requirement on them while they appeal a lower-court ruling they lost.