Press Release May 16, 2016

Russell Moore comments on Little Sisters ruling, says ‘Much work yet to be done’ in religious liberty protections

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, commented today on the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision to remand the lower-court judgments for further proceedings in the Little Sisters of the Poor case.

“The Court handed down a unanimous ruling today that demands that an accommodation be pursued over against the cavalier disregard for conscience protections mandated by the government,” said Moore.

“We should be grateful that the Court recognizes the problem and the right of these organizations not to be subject to a heavy-handed administrative state that tramples the most basic American freedoms. On this day, we should be encouraged by this unanimous ruling which forbids the government to bully these organizations out of existence through crippling fines and penalties. On the other hand, the fact that these basic rights are in question shows that there is much work yet to be done, work in which we will engage, to ensure that organizations like Guidestone and the Little Sisters of the Poor are not abandoned in legal purgatory.”

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments March 23 in Zubik v. Burwell, the consolidated case involving the Little Sisters of the Poor and several Southern Baptist groups that raised objections to a federal regulation that requires employers to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives, sterilization and abortifacients.