FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 17, 2016
Contact: Leslie Palma
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fr. Frank Pavone, a petitioner in the case of Priests for Life vs. HHS, one of the cases that has been challenging the HHS mandate in the U.S. Supreme Court, commented today on the fact that, thanks to yesterday’s action by the high court, the Priests for Life case now returns to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The Chief Judge of that Circuit Court is Merrick Garland, President Obama’s choice to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled against Priests for Life (and the Archdiocese of Washington, whose case the court consolidated with that of Priests for Life) in November 2014, nearly three years after Priests for Life became the fourth group in the nation to challenge the HHS mandate.
Priests for Life asked for a rehearing in the Court of Appeals by the entire body of judges, but that request was denied in May 2015. The appeal was then made to the Supreme Court, which granted cert last November.
“Judge Garland did not side with us on this case; now, however, that we are back in his court, we come with even stronger arguments,” Fr. Pavone said, referring to the additional briefings that the Supreme Court requested of the petitioners and the government. The briefings show that both sides agree there is a way forward by which the government can pursue its objectives of contraceptive coverage and that the petitioners can be free of any involvement in the process.
“It’s not that the arguments necessarily sway the judges,” Fr. Pavone added. “It’s that the strength of our arguments reveals the extremism of the government and of the judges who side with them. The progress of the Priests for Life vs. HHS case in Judge Garland’s court will again shed light on the kind of people that a Democratic President will nominate for the Supreme Court and other federal courts, and will vividly remind the voters what is at stake in this election.”
Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.