Friday, January 13, 2006

Church/State: More for Roberts' Court

Here we go!

ALBANY, N.Y. -- An appeals court on Thursday rejected a challenge by Roman Catholic groups to a state law that requires employers to offer prescription contraceptives.The law exempts churches and other religious institutions that primarily serve followers of that religion. However, groups such as Catholic Charities of Albany -- which sought to overturn the three-year-old law -- were not exempted because their missions were not deemed to be religious.

"We are very disappointed with the decision," said Dennis Poust, a spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference.

"The state is arbitrarily deciding which ministries are religious and which are secular," he said. "That's not the way the Catholic church is formulated. You can't separate the two. We don't do charity as a sideline."Poust said the plaintiffs will appeal to the state's highest court and to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

After Alito's confirmation, SCOTUS will have 5 Roman Catholics on the bench. We've noted that there will be some minor procedural changes--all arguments will be in Latin; candles will be lit prior to the entrance of the Justices; incense will be burning throughout the day, and the color of the Justices' robes will vary by the liturgical season.

Hope the NY AG studies up on Canon Law.

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