James Freeman’s June 4 WSJ Best of the Web column is “Democrats vs. Nuns.” In the column he alerts us to this news: “More than two years after Barack Obama left the White House, there’s still no cease-fire in a legal war on women of faith. The non-profit law firm Becket said [on Tuesday] that a group of nuns will once again have to defend their beliefs in a San Francisco federal courthouse [on Thursday, June 6].”
The Little Sisters of the Poor will be in court Thursday to ask for protection from a lawsuit by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra threatening their religious ministry. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hear arguments in California v. Little Sisters of the Poor and decide if California and… other states can force Catholic nuns to provide services such as the week-after pill in their health care plan in violation of their faith. In 2017, following an Executive Order, a five-year legal battle resulting in a Supreme Court victory, and a new HHS rule protecting religious non-profits, the Little Sisters finally received a religious exemption that applies to non-profits nationwide. Yet California immediately sued the federal government to take that exemption away. Joined now by 12 other states and the District of Columbia, Attorney General Becerra is forcing the Little Sisters back to court to defend their hard-earned religious protection.
Becket provides the procedural history of the case here. The Becket summaries are full of useful links with additional information.
There is of course a disgraceful local angle to this story. Thanks to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, the state of Minnesota is a party to the lawsuit opposing the Little Sisters of the Poor. For some reason or other, the Star Tribune doesn’t let readers know what a big day this is for Ellison and for Minnesota taxpayers.