The Little Sisters of the Poor won another victory Wednesday in their years-long battle to assert their First Amendment right to religious freedom against the contraceptive mandate in Obamacare.
In a 7-2 decision, the Court upheld a Trump administration regulation protecting religious liberty, sending the Little Sisters’ case back down to the lower courts for further adjudication.
The fight goes back seven years, to the implementation of Obamacare in 2013, when the Obama administration required religious groups to provide contraceptives through health insurance policies they provided as employers.
The Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic charitable organization serving impoverished elderly people, fought back in court. In 2016, the Supreme Court remanded the case back to the lower courts.
After President Donald Trump took office in 2017, he issued an executive order requiring the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create new rules that would protect religious groups like Little Sisters of the Poor from having to comply with mandates that violated their faith.
But Democrats pushed back, suing to block the Trump administration’s new rule, and winning a nationwide injunction against it — forcing the nuns back to the Supreme Court.
In a decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas, the Court found that HHS had the authority to write the new regulations protecting religious faith, and canceled the nationwide injunction.