By Staff, Alliance Defending Freedom
WASHINGTON – A broad array of groups and states – including more than 200 members of Congress and 20 states – filed briefs this week with the U.S. Supreme Court in opposition to the Obama administration’s abortion-pill mandate and its religious non-profit compliance mechanism, which forces the groups to violate their faith. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent a Christian college and four Christian universities in Geneva College v. Burwell and Southern Nazarene University v. Burwell, two of seven cases that the Supreme Court agreed in November of last year to take up.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception through their health plans under threat of heavy penalties. Geneva College in Pennsylvania and the four universities in Oklahoma – Southern Nazarene University, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Oklahoma Baptist University, and Mid-America Christian University – specifically object to providing abortifacients.
“The administration continues to impose the same unacceptable choice: obey and abandon your freedom, or resist and be punished,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “The Obama administration has offered no option to religious non-profits that allows them to act consistent with their faith. As the briefs filed today urge, the Supreme Court should rule in accord with its Hobby Lobby/Conestoga decision and ensure that people of faith are not punished for making choices consistent with that faith.”
“The administration is forcing the schools to choose between following their faith and following the government’s rule,” added ADF Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor. “That is utterly inconsistent with legal protections for religious liberty, just as the briefs filed today rightly argue.”
ADF attorneys and allied attorneys represented Conestoga Wood Specialties and its owners in their victory against the abortion-pill mandate at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2014. While that case addressed the mandate as it applies to for-profit family-run businesses, these cases pertain to the mandate as applied to non-profit organizations. Although the administration argues that executing and submitting a so-called “accommodation” form insulates religious nonprofits from providing abortifacients, ADF attorneys and the briefs filed today explain that is not the case because the form still directly involves the Christian colleges in providing abortifacients in multiple ways.
Among the parties submitting briefs in support of the Christian colleges and other non-profits are more than 200 members of Congress, 20 states, numerous legal experts and theologians, and a broad spectrum of religious groups and denominations.
ADF attorneys and allied attorneys are also litigating numerous other lawsuits against the mandate.
Friend-of-the-court briefs filed with U.S. Supreme Court
207 members of Congress
50 Catholic theologians and ethicists
20 states: Texas, Ohio, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin
13 law professors
ACNA Jurisdiction of the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy and Ave Maria University
American Center for Law and Justice
Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Christian Medical Association, Catholic Medical Association, Physicians for Life, National Association of Pro Life Nurses, National Association of Catholic Nurses-U.S.A., and The National Catholic Bioethics Center
Breast Cancer Prevention Institute
Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles; Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan; and School Sisters of Christ the King of Lincoln, Nebraska
The Catholic Benefits Association and The Catholic Insurance Company
Cato Institute and Independent Women’s Forum
Christian and Missionary Alliance Foundation, Inc.
Christian Legal Society, Association of Christian Schools International, and American Association of Christian Schools
Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc.; International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc.; Islamic Center of Murfreesboro; and Pastor Robert Soto and other members of the Lipan Apache Tribe
CNS International Ministries, Inc. and Heartland Christian College
Concerned Women for America
Constitutional law scholars
Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist; Sisters of Life; and The Judicial Education Project
Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund, Inc.
Eternal Word Television Network
Ethics and Public Policy Center
Former Justice Department officials
Foundation for Moral Law
International Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers
Justice and Freedom Fund
The Knights of Columbus
National Association of Evangelicals, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, The Assemblies of God, The Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, and Colorado Christian University
National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs (“COLPA”)
Michael J. New, Ph.D., associate scholar, Charlotte Lozier Institute
Residents and families of residents at homes of The Little Sisters of the Poor
The School of the Ozarks, Inc. D/B/A College of the Ozarks
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the International Mission Board, and Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
Bart Stupak and the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence
Thomas More Law Center
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance; World Vision, Inc.; Catholic Relief Services; Family Research Council; Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities; Thomas More Society; and The Cardinal Newman Society
U.S. Justice Foundation, Eberle Communications Group, Public Advocate of the U.S., Citizens United, Citizens United Foundation, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, Institute on the Constitution, Policy Analysis Center, Southwest Prophecy Ministries, Daniel Chapter One, and Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall
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