Court Approves Stay For Little Sisters

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on Aug. 21 said that while the Little Sisters of the Poor and fellow plaintiffs appeal its July ruling against them, they need not comply with the mandate to provide contraceptive coverage or follow procedures to hand off that responsibility to others. The court ruled in July that the Little Sisters are not substantially burdened by the process set out by the Department of Health and Human Services by which they can avoid requirements to provide contraceptive coverage to employees as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. All of the circuit court decisions have come since the Supreme Court’s June 2014 ruling that the owners of the Hobby Lobby craft store chain and similarly situated, closely held, for-profit companies are entitled to be exempt from the contraceptive requirement. The 100-word order of the circuit court granted the stay requested by the Little Sisters, Southern Nazarene University and Reaching Souls International, pending the Supreme Court’s consideration of their petitions for appeal.

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