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Little Sisters of the Poor Case: The Administrationís Position Goes from the Absurd to the Surreal
National Review ^ | 1/6/14 | Matt Bowman

Posted on 01/06/2014 5:37:09 PM PST by rhema

[. . . ]

The government actually misrepresents the facts before the Supreme Court. It asserts that all the Little Sisters have to do is file a form saying “they are non-profit organizations that hold themselves out as religious and have religious objections to providing coverage for contraceptive services.”

That's untrue. The government deliberately added more language to the Little Sisters’ form. Because their plan is “self-insured,” in addition to stating their religious objection, the government requires their form to also specifically tell their insurance administrator that he has “obligations” to provide the abortifacient and contraceptive coverage himself.

The government added this language on purpose because it wanted to force self-insured entities to create a binding contractual duty for someone else to provide abortion pills – through the religious group’s own health plan – when the religious group doesn’t want to do that itself. Thus the government’s “compromise” for self-insured groups is akin to telling them: Don’t worry, you don’t have to assassinate that guy, you just have to contract a hit man to do it.

At this point the administration’s position went from the absurd to the surreal. The government now says that the Little Sisters must still submit their form. The form still requires the Sisters to explicitly tell someone else they have “obligations” to provide abortion pills and contraception. But the government says it overlooked the fact that the Little Sisters’ plan fits into a legal loophole where, if that third party abortion-pill guy doesn’t follow his “obligations,” there’s no penalty on him.

In other words, the Obama administration refuses to grant an injunction that would protect the Sisters from hiring someone else to do offensive things, and its refusal is based on the theory that the government’s coerced speech probably won’t work anyway. The government admits that its offensive coerced speech might not actually achieve the government’s goals, but the Little Sisters must speak it anyway.

The Obama administration has fought all the way to the Supreme Court to force the Little Sisters to do something that the government insists is pointless. If it’s pointless, the federal government shouldn’t be forcing people to do it against their will in the first place. But that lesson applies to all of Obamacare, and it seems that the administration just can’t resist the temptation to coerce.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: abortion; catholic; contraceptiomandate; deathpanels; hhs; littlesisters; littlesistersofpoor; lsotp; lsp; obamacare; prolife; zerocare

1 posted on 01/06/2014 5:37:09 PM PST by rhema
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To: rhema

Deliberate deception before SCOTUS can result in some most interesting sanctions.

2 posted on 01/06/2014 5:42:35 PM PST by GladesGuru (Islam Delenda Est - Because of what Islam is and because of what Muslims do.)
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To: rhema

On this issue alone Obama should be removed from Office.
I am aware of the work the little Sisters do for humanity,for the past 70 years, Obama has done nothing

3 posted on 01/06/2014 5:43:59 PM PST by chatham
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To: GladesGuru

Deliberate deception before SCOTUS can result in some most interesting sanctions.

Who does the sanctions? I don’t trust the court to do it.

4 posted on 01/06/2014 5:44:35 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: rhema

Someone needs to tell Obama that this kind of cram down on the people, never ends well for the leader. He will live in shame here and in the next life, and his pogeny will be scorned.

5 posted on 01/06/2014 5:45:25 PM PST by LALALAW (one of the asses who's sick of our "ruling" classes)
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To: GladesGuru

ah but good old Johnny Boy won’t let that happen. He will make sure that the nuns are slapped and slapped hard. How are all the Roberts fans liking him now??? (latest travesty is his response on suit about origin of bill)

6 posted on 01/06/2014 5:46:40 PM PST by Nifster
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To: rhema

The fact that the Little Sisters have to go through this Kafka nightmare while Muslims were instantly granted waivers is a thermonuclear strike on the idea of “equal protection”, and the court should treat it as such.

7 posted on 01/06/2014 5:46:47 PM PST by denydenydeny (Admiration of absolute government is proportionate to the contempt one has for others.-Tocqueville)
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To: rhema

My Great Aunt was a Little Sister of the Poor, a nursing teacher, nun. What a wonderful woman.

Good Luck Sisters!

8 posted on 01/06/2014 5:48:20 PM PST by alice_in_bubbaland (When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes mandatory ... Thomas Jefferson)
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To: GladesGuru

from the Absurd to the Surreal — is pitching right to SOCTUS’ wheelhouse.

9 posted on 01/06/2014 5:48:56 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: rhema

Obama: You are perfectly free to hire someone else to pick up your trash, but we would hate to see something terrible happen to that lovely little family of yours.

10 posted on 01/06/2014 5:50:06 PM PST by centurion316
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To: rhema
The Obama administration is now taking on the Catholic Church, via the Little Sisters of the Poor, the oldest continuous institution in human history.

We have a community of them in my home town. They do it for free and take nothing from the oldsters or the city.
These nuns take care of the old--the poorest and sickest who have NO ONE to care for them and have NO PLACE to go. ALL the money the Little Sisters get is from contributions.
I wondered about that and asked "who" the contributors were. I was told "people of the community." So I started asking said people.
The butcher in my neighborhood always gave some meat to the Sisters. He said that the Little Sisters came and begged (asked) and the butcher gave. I imagine that they are impossible to say NO to.

11 posted on 01/06/2014 5:50:11 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: rhema

The stupidest politician in the history of the world would be someone who picks a major public fight with the Little Sisters of the Poor, and, unfortunately, we have him as our president.

12 posted on 01/06/2014 5:58:57 PM PST by Bluestocking
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To: chatham

It is Sebellius, I am sure. She is a fanatical pro-choice Catholic who is determined for bend the Church to her will.

13 posted on 01/06/2014 6:09:22 PM PST by RobbyS (quotes)
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To: rhema

Being a pathological liar is a job requirement in His Arrogance’s administration .... did you expect anything less?

14 posted on 01/06/2014 6:09:27 PM PST by RetiredTexasVet (It's difficult to differentiate between a hog calling contest and a Senate rollcall.)
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To: rhema

All he had to do was sign the form.

15 posted on 01/06/2014 6:12:44 PM PST by Slyfox (We want our pre-existing HEALTH INSURANCE back!)
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To: RobbyS

Picking on a bunch of nuns. Obama might as well kick Mother Theresa in the teeth.

16 posted on 01/06/2014 6:14:08 PM PST by Slyfox (We want our pre-existing HEALTH INSURANCE back!)
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To: rhema
I think the author misses the administration's true desire.

The desire is not per se to see the Little Sisters of the Poor have to provide abortifacients, noting the loophole. They'll cover up the loophole after this prisoner thinks they've escaped. But the government does wish two things:
1) that other groups, following in the nuns' footsteps, will hear similar deception. They'll hear: "We want to be able to say, "We got this adjudicated at SCOTUS, and even the nuns had to accept this solution," and
2) they want this SCOTUS precedent, whereby all groups (and individuals) will able to be morally corrupted and/or conflicted, making them beholden to this administration, at their whim, never again to stand with integrity.

I saw a politico being interviewed on TV the other evening. He indicated how another high-ranking comrade had told him a lie, but it was understandable and he would've done the same thing, as a policy decision made right from the top indicated we would never admit 'such-and-such', which was the thing lied about.

This is out-right corruption in government! People must never be robbed of their honor to be made to tell lies or have to compromise their most fundamental integrity to function in our government! We'll just keep getting what the Leftists want to foist on us if we don't stand against such corruption!

Go, Little Sisters of the Poor!


17 posted on 01/06/2014 6:15:20 PM PST by holden
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To: rhema

he and many of his appointees hate Biblical people of faith: Christians (Catholic or Protestant, no matter) and Jews.....

any POLITICIAN would NEVER permit himself to even be associated with a lawsuit against the church, more or less against the Little Sisters of the Poor, for goodness’ sakes!

it would be considered Political Suicide, and the height of stupidity.

but if you hate Christians ENOUGH, then you throw any and all political intelligence and caution to the winds...
and go after, try to stomp out those little nuns with the full force and weight of government

blind hatred is called that because it blinds the hater to anything logical or rational or decent...

think Satan.

18 posted on 01/06/2014 6:15:29 PM PST by faithhopecharity (no)
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To: rhema

The Bastard and his policies are the symptoms. The disease is the idiot Americans who stand by and allow this bastard and his acolytes to get away with this.

19 posted on 01/06/2014 6:24:42 PM PST by ZULU (Magua is sitting in the Oval Office)
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To: Slyfox

Hilary would have done that. Remember when Mother condemned abortion right to the faces of Bill and Hilary? They were quite unhappy.

20 posted on 01/06/2014 6:45:47 PM PST by RobbyS (quotes)
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To: rhema

This sinner is reaching for his checkbook. BTT.

21 posted on 01/06/2014 6:47:52 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Yaelle

Contempt of Court is usually an interesting issue in htat often the penalty can include jail for 364 days or until the Court considers the miscreant has purged him/her/its self of the contempt.

Barring a YasSuh, the Court may review the situation and apply another 364 days.


Repeat as necessary.


22 posted on 01/06/2014 6:55:25 PM PST by GladesGuru (Islam Delenda Est - Because of what Islam is and because of what Muslims do.)
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To: Nifster

What was his response on suit about origin of bill?

23 posted on 01/06/2014 7:20:24 PM PST by tbw2
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To: rhema

... should 0bama and his treachery win out here, we can witness altruistic organizations like Little Sisters of the Poor to close up shop and go to a country worthy of their services.... how absolutely sad and yet, how incredibly egotistical and selfish of this immoral and unprincipled president to be so arrogant...

24 posted on 01/06/2014 7:26:53 PM PST by Ranger Warrior ("To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: cloudmountain

Obama despises the Catholic Church as much as he reveres Islam.

U.S. Cardinal-Designate: Obama Lied To My Face, Stabbed Me In The Back, Reneged On His Promise;

Pat Dollard
Feb 9, 2012

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan says President Barack Obama hasn’t kept his promise, when it comes to the new White House policy on contraception.

Sources told CBS 2?s Marcia Kramer that Archbishop Dolan feels betrayed after his meeting with the president on the issue late last year.

A Catholic group in Alabama filed the first lawsuit against the Obama administration’s new birth control regulations as the controversy got even more heated Thursday.

The president ducked questions about the contraception controversy that is bedeviling his administration. The reason may be the latest attack from Dolan, who, sources told CBS 2, feels he was stabbed in the back by the president after the two met to discuss the issue.

“He was worried about being at odds with the Church, especially when it came to health care and education and charitable outreach,” Dolan told Kramer.

Kramer: “He made promises to you that he apparently hasn’t kept?”

Dolan: “Well, yeah. I’m honest in saying I feel a bit let down.”

Sources close to Dolan told Kramer that the archbishop felt betrayed after a November meeting with President Obama to discuss the contraception issue. Sources said the president promised Dolan that he would “get most of what he wanted.”

Instead, the administration issued a directive forcing Catholic institutions like schools and hospitals to pay for things like birth control and the morning after pill for their employees. The nation’s 355,000 churches are exempt.

“He assured me my administration wants to work closely with you,” Dolan said.

But that experience has left Dolan leery of any compromises the Obama administration might come up with.

“You would not be surprised that I’m a little skeptical,” Dolan said.

25 posted on 01/06/2014 7:42:09 PM PST by Dqban22
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To: Ranger Warrior

“Little Sisters of the Poor” That sounds like a terrorist organization to me.

26 posted on 01/06/2014 7:58:10 PM PST by Vehmgericht
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To: cloudmountain

My father lives at a Little Sisters home in Chicago. I’m there visiting and volunteering every week. I know the nun heads up begging and if you’re a rich guy with a chain of grocery stores forget about it. You’ll be asked by a soft spoken little nun to help with God’s work and most are happy to give.

The Republicans halve to make this issue front and center. When the Little Sisters refuse to comply...what’s Obama’s end game? Asset seizures of nuns by the IRS? Throwing old people out on street? This is an astonishing over reach by Obama. He has no choice but to back down. There is no upside to beating on little nuns.

27 posted on 01/06/2014 8:10:14 PM PST by Blackirish
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To: Dqban22

Until the Obama administration went in for the kill against the Catholic Church, the Church was perhaps the largest institutional supporter of Obamacare outside of the Federal government.

28 posted on 01/06/2014 8:14:48 PM PST by Piranha (Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have - Saul Alinsky)
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To: Piranha

OBAMA BULLYING NUNS (Part 1) ^ | JANUARY 7, 2014 | Chuck Norris

PolitiFact has crowned the promoter in chief’s sound bite for Obamacare the “Lie of the Year” for 2013: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” And let me make a prediction that among his top 10 falsehood contenders for 2014 will be a reversal of what he emphatically stated back on Sept. 9, 2009: “Under our (health care reform) plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.”

Indeed, just a few months later, he reiterated to ABC News: “I laid out a very simple principle, which is this is a health care bill, not an abortion bill. And we’re not looking to change what is the principle that has been in place for a very long time, which is federal dollars are not used to subsidize abortions. And I want to make sure that the provision that emerges meets that test — that we are not in some way sneaking in funding for abortions.”

“Sneaking in funding for abortions,” this administration?
Of course, we didn’t have to wait a year before we discovered that federal funds were in fact being funneled to provide for abortive services in Pennsylvania and New Mexico.

Then the House and Senate, in secret Sunday sessions, passed an omnibus bill and its provision that overturned the 1988 Dornan amendment, which prevented taxpayer dollars from funding abortions in Washington, D.C. (Tragically, that omnibus bill also appropriated $648.5 million for international family planning funding — an increase of $103 million over 2009 funding — and contained funding for Planned Parenthood and for the United Nations Population Fund, both of which have pro-abortion agendas.)

Of course, there have been many other underhanded pro-abortion moves by Barack Obama’s administration since then, right down to the present. In fact, last week, ran a piece by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., explaining abortion’s rapid growth and funding in and through Obamacare:

“Rollout of the Obamacare exchanges reveals that many health insurance plans will subsidize abortion-on-demand. For example, the preliminary data suggests that every insurance plan on the Connecticut health care exchanges will pay for abortion-on-demand. In the most recent example, we learned that 103 of the 112 insurance plans for Members of Congress and congressional staff include elective abortion coverage. Only nine plans offered exclude elective abortion.”

(You can go to to view the flier about the nine plans.)

It is clear that there are numerous Obamacare plans that include elective abortion and that billions of taxpayer dollars will be handed out as credits to buy abortion-covering health insurance — a clear violation of the Hyde amendment’s fundamental principle of restricting funds to abortion-subsidizing health insurance plans.

If Obamacare is to encompass the full measure of abortions, Obama knows that he and his cronies must first remove all the stops that prohibit federal funding for the termination of life in the womb. Legislatively, the Dornan amendment was their start. And they will continue to chip away at the Hyde amendment, which prohibits the same through the Labor and Health and Human Services departments — for example, with Medicaid.

Obama knows that if his pro-abortion agenda is to win the war on the womb, his administration must also oppose anti-abortion advocates, and chief among those warriors is the Roman Catholic Church. You know the White House isn’t dumb enough to confront papal power overtly — yet that doesn’t stop it from chipping away at the anti-abortion wall by putting nuns and Catholic contraception views and values in its cross hairs.

On New Year’s Eve, just one day before Obamacare’s mandate forced nonprofit companies and religion-affiliated institutions across the country to provide contraception and drugs that possibly induce abortions in their employee health care plans, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor blocked the requirement for a care facility for the elderly, run by Catholic nuns who appealed to the high court for help.

As NPR explained, “churches and other houses of worship are exempt from the birth control requirement, but affiliated institutions that serve the general public are not. That includes charitable organizations, universities and hospitals.”

In response to the nuns’ appeal, the Department of Justice placed the Little Sisters of the Poor in an ethical dilemma in which group members must violate their faith or pay fines. The DOJ argued in legal papers filed last Friday that the nuns don’t have a leg to stand on.

The Obama administration tried to explain that they don’t have to offer contraception and abortion-inducing drugs, as long as they sign a government form that delegates the action to a third party. Without signing that “self-certification” form, the nuns would incur steep government fines.

But Mark Rienzi, who is senior counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, responded on behalf of the nuns to the DOJ’s argument by retorting that government officials “are simply blind to the religious exercise at issue: the Little Sisters and other Applicants cannot execute the form because they cannot deputize a third party to sin on their behalf.”

And where is President Obama — the so-called constitutional lawyer living in our White House — during the whole debate? Coming out to protect the Bill of Rights for the nuns as he has for a number of progressive minorities? No. He’s hiding behind the curtains in the Oval Office, manipulating his minions to follow his pro-abortion biddings.

It is not known when Justice Sotomayor will rule on these ludicrous government actions and violations of the nuns’ personal religious liberty and practice. But one thing we do know is that the Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves right now regarding the government’s obliteration of our First Amendment religious rights: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

What an utter constitutional and leadership travesty it is that Obamacare’s promoter in chief repeatedly is breaking this promise: “Under our (health care reform) plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.”

Seeing as our president won’t honor life in the womb, please write or call your representatives to let them know where you stand. Read and hand out my friend Randy Alcorn’s book “Why Pro-Life?” ( And then ensure your local community of faith is honoring Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on Jan. 20. The day commemorates the Jan. 22, 1973, Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision, which legalized abortion in our country. Since then, more than 55 million abortions have taken place in the U.S.

I will follow up next week on Sotomayor’s next action and where this case goes.

29 posted on 01/07/2014 6:28:52 AM PST by Dqban22
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To: tbw2

he denied vert

30 posted on 01/07/2014 8:12:35 AM PST by Nifster
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To: tbw2

he denied cert

31 posted on 01/07/2014 8:13:15 AM PST by Nifster
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To: Nifster
he denied cert

Because of standing?

32 posted on 01/07/2014 9:56:46 AM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: OneWingedShark

nope with no comment

33 posted on 01/07/2014 10:03:03 AM PST by Nifster
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To: OneWingedShark

and since the docs were suing because this ‘tax’ law originated in the SENATE instead of the House, Roberts had the opportunity to cleanse himself but refused

34 posted on 01/07/2014 10:04:03 AM PST by Nifster
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To: Slyfox

Who is that, Columbus? I can’t identify the source URL; I’m on an iPhone.

35 posted on 01/07/2014 10:12:40 AM PST by FourtySeven (47)
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To: FourtySeven
That is St. Thomas More.

"All he had to do was agree" with the king and he would have kept his head.

36 posted on 01/07/2014 10:24:52 AM PST by Slyfox (We want our pre-existing HEALTH INSURANCE back!)
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To: Nifster; All

Could someone explain what the DoJ’s response is here? It seems to me they are just saying, “Sign the form because we tell you to, not because it will actually do anything”.

Which is crazy on its face (if true)! What kind of retort is that?! I get that the Little Sisters are saying they can’t hire a third person to distribute abortifacients for them. But again, it seems the govt response to that argument is “Sign the paper because we tell you to, not that we even expect you to hire a third person”

Is that really their “argument” now? If so, what kind of sense does that make, in any world? How could any court, even one corrupted by Roberts, accept such an “argument”? It’s meaningless! (If true)

37 posted on 01/07/2014 10:25:15 AM PST by FourtySeven (47)
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To: Slyfox

Oh wow, thanks. I should have known that haha.

38 posted on 01/07/2014 10:26:01 AM PST by FourtySeven (47)
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To: FourtySeven

Yup. DOJ is saying sign the paper ASKING for an exemption… What DOJ FAILS to say is that they will then deny it so the Little Sisters of the Poor will either have to shut down their mission OR pay for that which is sinful.

I believe this is part of the larger commie O scheme. They are attacking charitable hospitals and entities hitting them with taxes related to Ocare. They want to shut down ALL charitable efforts so that people will have to go to the government to get help. It is EVIL on its face

39 posted on 01/07/2014 11:03:19 AM PST by Nifster
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To: Nifster

OH, ok so the DoJ is saying that the form isn’t itself authorizing a third party to purchase and distribute abortifacients, so “therefore” it should be ok for the Sisters to sign it. But like you say, they have every intent of denying the “request”, so the Sisters aren’t really getting an exemption.

Sick, just sick. How can these people sleep at night? Talk about a seared conscience.

40 posted on 01/07/2014 11:11:52 AM PST by FourtySeven (47)
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To: FourtySeven

the commies always sleep well at night. they dream only of the day when they control everything

41 posted on 01/07/2014 12:06:52 PM PST by Nifster
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To: RobbyS

This whole administration appears to be anti Catholic/Christian.
But taking on the Little Sisters of the Poor, for Obama and his Minions has reached a new LOW.

God Help Us !!

42 posted on 01/08/2014 8:00:41 AM PST by chatham
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To: Slyfox

Excellent picture, excellent comparison.

43 posted on 01/09/2014 12:44:38 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops." - St. John Chrysostom, Bishop)
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