Center Director Carter Snead (University of Notre Dame Law School), Remick Senior Visiting Fellow Michael Moreland (Villanova Law School), and eleven other law professors filed a brief amici curiae on January 11 in the Zubik v. Burwell case before the Supreme Court regarding the contraceptive mandate of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The brief argues that the mandate burdens the religious exercise of the Little Sisters of the Poor, one of the petitioners in the case, who object to having their employee health care plans used as a vehicle to distribute abortifacients and contraceptives:
Although the government insists that revised regulations of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) relieve the nuns of the obligation to pay for these drugs, HHS still commandeers health care plans created and controlled by the nuns and uses them to distribute abortifacients and contraceptives. State and federal law treat these health care plans as the property of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Thus, the Little Sisters make the unremarkable claim that HHS substantially burdens their religious exercise when it uses their property in a way that offends their faith’s teachings.
Read the full brief here. More than 40 other organizations filed similar briefs, according to The Becket Fund. The Center for Ethics and Culture will award the 2016 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal to Sr. Loraine Marie Maguire and the Little Sisters of the Poor on April 9 for their commitment to building a Culture of Life.