National Catholic Reporter

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Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Nuns ask Supreme Court for protection from complying with HHS mandate, fines

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In a filing Thursday with the U.S. Supreme Court, the Little Sisters of the Poor have asked the court for relief from being forced to comply with the federal contraceptive mandate or face heavy fines.

The sisters are being asked to choose between adhering to their Catholic faith -- which prohibits them from providing contraceptives -- and continuing to pursue their religious mission of serving the elderly poor, said Sr. Loraine Marie Maguire, mother provincial of the order.

Court orders review of Notre Dame's case on contraceptive mandate

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its previous ruling and review -- in light of the June Hobby Lobby decision -- whether the University of Notre Dame must pay for coverage of contraceptives in employee and student health insurance plans.

The Supreme Court on June 30 said Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts and crafts stores, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, which also sued, need not comply with a federal mandate to include a full range of contraceptives in employee health insurance.

Judge grants Ave Maria University temporary injunction on HHS mandate

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A federal judge in Florida has granted Ave Maria University's motion for a preliminary injunction to keep the Catholic university from being forced to follow the latest procedures that nonexempt religious employers must use to opt out of the contraceptive mandate.

The ruling Tuesday from Judge James S. Moody of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida came as Ave Maria was days away from having to pay fines to the government for noncompliance.

HHS tries new modifications to contraceptive coverage rules

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Late last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a new round of modifications to a federal mandate requiring employers to provide contraceptive care to employees under the Affordable Care Act.

In keeping with modifications past (this is the eighth), the new rules have triggered yet another dustup in the ongoing fight between religious liberty advocates and the Obama administration, even as their effects remain unclear.

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