The following comes from a Jan. 10 story from Catholic News Agency.
The Little Sisters of the Poor are back in court this week, as two states are challenging their religious exemption from the HHS contraception mandate.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra have each filed lawsuits saying that the sisters should not receive a religious exemption from the mandate. Other states have joined onto these lawsuits as well.
“The Little Sisters are looking forward to a final victory in this case, so they can put this whole lawsuit behind them. It’s been a long fight,” Becket Fund for Religious Liberty senior counsel Lori Windham told CNA. The Becket Fund is representing the Little Sisters in these cases.
Oral arguments were heard on Thursday in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Trump in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The judge said that she would make a decision by Monday.
On Friday, oral arguments will be heard in the case State of California v. HHS, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Windham, who was present for oral arguments, told CNA that while the judge had issued an injunction blocking the Trump Administration’s protections of the Little Sisters of the Poor, she did have tough questions for the state.
“She asked Pennsylvania why it was wrong for the Trump Administration to issue this rule protecting the Little Sisters and others, but wasn’t wrong for the Obama Administration to issue a series of rules to create the mandate in the first place,” Windham explained. She said that the state’s lawyers attempted to explain why this was different, and then tried to steer away from that particular topic.