RELEASE:

MISS. SENATORS SIGN BIPARTISAN AMICUS BRIEF CHALLENGING OBAMACARE MANDATE ON RELIGIOUS NONPROFITS, CHARITIES

Cochran, Wicker Among 32 Senators Supporting Religious Liberty in Supreme Court Case

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) today announced that they have signed a bipartisan amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge Obamacare mandates that go against the beliefs of religious nonprofits and charities.

The brief supports the legal challenge by filed by Little Sisters of the Poor, several Christian universities and other organizations that object to the contraceptive mandates imposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in implementing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The case, Zubik vs. Burwell, is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court this spring.

“The mandates and penalties imposed as part of the Affordable Care Act confirm my concerns that fundamental religious liberties would be compromised by the health care law. I hope that this amicus brief sheds more light on the importance of protecting religious charities, nonprofits and other organizations from these intrusive federal requirements,” Cochran said.

“I am pleased that the Supreme Court is taking up this important issue,” Wicker said. “For the past six years, the implementation of Obamacare has infringed on the religious freedom of many Americans. Those working for religious charities and nonprofit organizations should not be forced to comply with government mandates that violate their conscience. I am hopeful that the Court will rule in favor of upholding these freedoms.”

The amicus brief argues that religious freedom is a fundamental guarantee of the U.S. Constitution and contends that these nonprofits are protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which “protects all sincerely held beliefs-regardless of whether individual government officials agree with them-and protects all asserting those beliefs, including churches, religious non-profits, and all other individuals and entities.” The brief asserts that HHS has consistently ignored the requirements of the RFRA.

In addition to 32 Senators, the amicus brief submitted Jan. 11 was also signed by 175 members of the House of Representatives, including Representatives Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) and Trent Kelly (R-Miss.).

1/12/16