Supreme Court of the United States Hears Archdiocese of Washington’s Oral Argument in Its Legal Challenge to the HHS Mandate

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Archdiocese of Washington and its co-litigants presented oral arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States challenging the Department of Health and Human Services Mandate, which requires employers to include abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization in their employee health plans, or face crippling penalties for noncompliance. A particular concern for the archdiocese – as well as many of the groups that filed supportive amicus briefs – is the government’s treatment of Catholic educational and other charitable ministries as if they are somehow less religious than houses of worship, and therefore less deserving of the right to operate in accord with the Church’s teachings.

More than 40 amicus briefs, from such parties as the National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs, the International Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers, the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute and the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, were also filed in support of the archdiocese’s legal challenge.

The archdiocese remains undaunted in defending its religious liberty and the freedom to continue to serve others in accordance with the Catholic faith, to advance the common good, and to act as a voice of conscience in society. The archdiocese and its co-plaintiffs remain hopeful that the court’s decision in this case will support religious freedom and rights of conscience.

For more information about the lawsuit brought by the archdiocese and its co-plaintiffs, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, et al. v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, et al., including the legal brief filed before the Supreme Court, please visit

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The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 95 Catholic schools, located in Washington, D.C., and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

Chieko Noguchi
[email protected]