Attorney General announces Alabama support of lawsuit defending religious liberty from federal assault

religfreeAttorney General Luther Strange announced that Alabama has joined 19 other states in filing a friend of the court brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the right of religious nonprofit organizations to follow their religious beliefs.

“Americans’ ability to exercise their religious beliefs – a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution – is unfortunately under assault from a federal government determined to sacrifice our rights to further its political goals,” said Attorney General Strange.

“By compelling religious nonprofit groups to provide contraceptive coverage, the president’s Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, forces them to institute practices that are at odds with their deeply-held religious beliefs. These groups, which perform vital public services, have a constitutional right to exercise their religious beliefs just as surely as any individual citizen.”

As the brief notes, “Religious nonprofits serve their communities in a variety of ways, from caring for the youngest members of society, to serving the elderly with compassion, to providing educations that allow individuals to pursue their own contributions.” “Erecting impediments to their adherence to their religious beliefs can threaten such religious nonprofits’ continued work, which is driven and shaped by those beliefs.”

On January 11, 2016, the states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin filed the amicus brief in the case of Zubik v. Burwell.

The State of Alabama has previously joined amicus briefs supporting religious nonprofits from Obamacare’s contraception coverage mandates in the cases of Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Burwell; East Texas Baptist University v. Burwell; and the Eternal Word Television Network v. Burwell. The Eternal Word Television Network, (EWTN), is an Alabama-based Catholic nonprofit. In June 2014, after a federal court ruled against EWTN, Alabama supported EWTN’s appeal to the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. EWTN was granted a stay from federal fines for failing to provide contraceptive coverage while its case is under review.

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