Gov't: Birth control mandate should not be blocked

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 3, 2014 at 2:38 pm •  Published: January 3, 2014

Government officials "are simply blind to the religious exercise at issue: The Little Sisters and other applicants cannot execute the form because they cannot deputize a third party to sin on their behalf," said their lawyer, Mark Rienzi, who is also senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

But Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said in court papers that nothing in the law will make those nuns pay for birth control for their employees. The nuns' insurance is provided through a church plan that is not required to provide contraceptive coverage and has said it will not, he said, making their complaint baseless.

"With the stroke of their own pen, applicants can secure for themselves the relief they seek from this court — an exemption from the requirements of the contraceptive-coverage provision — and the employer-applicants' employees (and their family members) will not receive contraceptive coverage through the plan's third-party administrator either. The application should be denied," Verrilli argued.

It is not known when Sotomayor will make a decision.

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