USCCB General Counsel Files Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court Case Challenging HHS Mandate

January 11, 2016 By Public Affairs Office
Supports Little Sisters of the Poor, Catholic dioceses, dozens of ministries now before Court
Brief focuses on harm to the common good if the freedom to serve is violated

WASHINGTON—The General Counsel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) filed a brief amicus curiae, January 8, in the Zubik v. Burwell case now before the U.S. Supreme Court on the question of the contraceptive mandate of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The brief argues that the government mandate that faith-based organizations facilitate payments for contraceptives and sterilization for their employees damages not only religious freedom, but society as a whole.

"If the petitioners abide by their religious beliefs, they face the loss of the ability to sponsor health coverage for their employees and millions of dollars in fines, threatening financial ruin. No one benefits from such an outcome—not the organizations, their donors, their clients, or their employees," wrote Anthony R. Picarello, Jeffrey Hunter Moon, Michael F. Moses and Hillary E. Byrnes of USCCB's Office of General Counsel.

The brief also highlights the major contribution to the public good made by Catholic and other religious charities and social services, assisting millions of people every year. The brief was filed on behalf of USCCB and seven other Catholic and non-Catholic organizations: Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities; Catholic Relief Services; Family Research Council; Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance; The Cardinal Newman Society; Thomas More Society; and World Vision, Inc.

Full text of the brief is available online:
Keywords: USCCB, General Counsel, religious freedom, SCOTUS, Zubik v. Burwell, HHS contraceptive mandate, Catholic Relief Services, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Little Sisters of the Poor