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Baptist universities, nuns defeat contraception mandate comment (0)

January 9, 2014

WASHINGTON — A U.S. Supreme Court justice granted an order of Roman Catholic nuns a last-minute reprieve from the Obama administration’s contraception mandate. 

The order followed a Dec. 27, 2013, victory against the mandate in a Houston federal court for two Baptist universities: East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas, and Houston Baptist University. 

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a temporary injunction Dec. 31, 2013, to the Little Sisters of the Poor in Denver, Colo., and other Catholic organizations. The injunction prevents the federal government from enforcing the controversial mandate for the time being. Sotomayor gave the Obama administration until Jan. 3 to respond to her order.

The injunction, issued the day before the mandate was to go into effect for Catholic organizations, brought the number of injunctions granted to nonprofit groups that have challenged the mandate in court to 19, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. 

Becket Fund lawyer Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel for the Becket Fund and representative for the Little Sisters and the Texas universities, said, “The government has enforced the health care reform law very unevenly, handing out exemptions to those it sees as its allies. Perhaps the worst part of the government’s approach is that it seems to have decided that religious institutions are the only ones not to get an exemption.” 

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