In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court announced on May 16 that it would not rule in Zubik v. Burwell, a combined religious freedom case that includes Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell. This action sends the case back down to the lower courts to work out a compromise. In the meantime the government is prevented from imposing crippling fines on the plaintiffs.
The National Association of Evangelicals, co-amici on a brief defending the Little Sisters of the Poor, welcomes the court’s decision that encourages lower courts, government and religious groups to work together to find solutions that uphold the conscience and integrity of religious groups that are dedicated to education, health care and social services.
Galen Carey, NAE vice president of government relations, said, “The Supreme Court’s action is a strong win for the plaintiffs, and for all who care about religious freedom. The lower courts should respect the rights that are provided under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and find a solution that truly accommodates the Little Sisters’ religious convictions.”
The NAE hopes the administration will rethink its strategy and develop policies that respect the integrity of religious organizations that do not wish to participate in any way in covering drugs that some believe lead to abortion.