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*Image: Courtesy of the Little Sisters of the Poor

By Hadley Arkes, The Catholic Thing, July 14, 2020

Hadley Arkes is the Ney Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus at Amherst College and the Founder/Director of the James Wilson Institute on Natural Rights & the American Founding. His most recent book is Constitutional Illusions & Anchoring Truths: The Touchstone of the Natural Law. Volume II of his audio lectures from The Modern Scholar, First Principles and Natural Law is now available for download.


Hadley ArkesLast week the Supreme Court broke away from its recent run of decisions and sought, for the moment, to do something decent.  The Court went again to the rescue of the Little Sisters of the Poor. . .or kind of.

With Justice Thomas writing, the Court held that the Trump Administration had not committed any foot-faults, or violations of administrative procedures, as it sought to exempt certain religious entities from the obligation to offer contraception and abortion to their employees.

The previous Administration considered that coverage to be an obligation that arose from the logic of Obamacare.  But to give them minor credit, they did seek to work out some minimal accommodations with “non-profit” groups affecting to be “religious.” The Little Sisters could get an exemption if they certified their sincere religious objections to contraception, and the trick was this:  Their insurer would pay for contraceptives in a fund separated from the health plan.  ….