RELEASE:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) announced today the submission of a bipartisan amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, led by Congressman Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Congressman Mike Kelly (R-Penn.), Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) and signed by 207 members of the House and Senate in support of the religious nonprofits and charities challenging Obamacare’s Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate, including Little Sisters of the Poor. The nonprofits’ challenge will be heard this year in the case of Zubik vs. Burwell.

The amicus brief argues that religious freedom is a fundamental guarantee of the United States Constitution and, more recently, of the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), noting that “Despite RFRA’s command that the religious beliefs of all individuals and organizations be accorded the same deference, HHS has given the religious liberties of religious non-profits second-tier status.”

“It is not the government’s place to determine what a person’s religion requires, and the government cannot justify trampling religious beliefs when it has readily available alternatives to accomplish its goal,” said Harper. “HHS’s enforcement of the contraceptive mandate against religious non-profits exceeds its statutory authority. This administration continues to put themselves on the wrong side of our nation’s long and cherished history of religious liberty and tolerance.”

1/11/16