Irondale, Ala., Jan 25, 2014 / 10:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- News that the U.S. Supreme Court has granted an exemption from the contraception mandate to the Little Sisters of the Poor is a hopeful sign for other cases challenging the contraception mandate, EWTN says.
“This decision to intervene, reached after a full court review, provides welcome relief to the Sisters and encouragement to the other plaintiffs who continue to challenge the mandate,” CEO Michael Warsaw of Eternal Word Television Network said Jan. 25. On Jan. 24 the entire Supreme Court granted an injunction to the Little Sisters of the Poor, saying that the Department of Health and Human Services is prohibited from enforcing its mandate on the sisters while they are challenging it in court. “The fact that organizations like EWTN or the Little Sisters of the Poor are not deemed to be religious enough to qualify for a full exemption from the mandate shows how senseless the government’s rules have become,” Warsaw said. He recognized that even though the Supreme Court’s recent ruling has no immediate impact on EWTN’s lawsuit against the federal government, it is encouraging to see that the sisters have been granted relief from the mandate while their case remains in court. “While the decision of the Supreme Court in the Little Sisters’ case has no direct impact on the current legal challenge of the mandate by EWTN and the State of Alabama, it is very helpful that the Court has seen fit to intervene in the matter,” he said. Just before midnight on New Year’s Eve, the network joined the State of Alabama in filing a petition seeking a judgment on their lawsuit against the federal government from the U.S. District Court in Mobile. If the Catholic network refuses to comply with the mandate, they could face millions of dollars in fines. While the network waits for a decision in their case, they “remain hopeful that the courts will ultimately provide EWTN with relief from this unjust government mandate.” In the mean time, the network asked for continued prayers from the “EWTN Family” on the matter.