Six months into President Trump’s administration, Department of Justice attorneys are still battling Christian organizations in court over Obamacare’s contraception mandate.
DOJ lawyers have continued to keep alive a slew of cases appealing a 2014 district court ruling that granted an injunction from the mandate to several Catholic organizations. The Supreme Court vacated an appeals court ruling against The Little Sisters of the Poor and similar organizations in 2016, sending the cases back to the lower courts. Many religious freedom advocates expected that the Trump administration, which has vowed to protect The Little Sisters and other organizations burdened by the contraceptive mandate, would drop the legal campaign against the religious organizations. But more than six months into the Trump era, the legal fights are still alive.
President Trump signed an executive order in early May, directing the Secretaries of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury to “consider issuing amended regulations, consistent with applicable law, to address conscience-based objections to the preventive-care mandate” in Obamacare. HHS Secretary Tom Price said the executive order would allow the HHS to “safeguard the deeply held religious beliefs of Americans who provide health insurance to their employees.”
Later that month, a draft Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rule was leaked to the media. Religious liberty advocates praised the draft rule, which — if implemented — would carve out religious liberty protections for the Little Sisters and other organizations. Under the draft rule, the government would still make sure women’s birth control is covered by insurance — as required by Obamacare — but without compelling religious objectors to take part in the process. (Read more from “DOJ Lawyers Still Battling Christians Over Obamacare Contraception Mandate” HERE)