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Justice's order temporarily halts HHS mandate

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With one of its last acts of 2013, the Supreme Court gave Catholics a preview of what could be among its most anticipated decisions in 2014.

On Dec. 31, just before the clock struck the end of 2013, Justice Sonia Sotomayor temporarily halted the implementation of part of a federal mandate requiring coverage of contraceptive services in health care plans in response to a lawsuit by a group of Catholic sisters in Colorado.

Courts give some last-minute relief from HHS contraceptive mandate

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In the midst of their New Year's Eve celebration with low-income elderly residents, the Baltimore-based Little Sisters of the Poor learned that the Supreme Court issued an injunction temporarily protecting them from the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate.

The order by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, issued within hours of the mandate taking effect at midnight Wednesday, applies to the Colorado-based Little Sisters of the Poor and their co-plaintiffs -- Christian Brothers Services and Christian Brothers Employee Benefits Trust -- in a lawsuit against the federal government.

Unfinished business awaiting action in 2014

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I want to highlight some of my hopes for the New Year in areas of government and the church. Many of these hopes represent topics which we are likely to be talking about throughout much of 2014.

In the world of government there is much unfinished business. The year ended on a positive note with the budget agreement crafted by Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray. The agreement resolves budget issues for two years and provides an opportunity to move on and address other pressing matters.

New Mexico court, federal judge in Utah recognize same-sex marriage

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A federal judge Friday struck down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage, arguing it violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process.

A day earlier the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that barring same-sex couples from marrying violates the equal protection clause of that state's constitution.

Atheist PAC makes first list of political endorsements

A political action committee that bills itself as a nontheist PAC announced its first slate of endorsements on Tuesday, backing four House candidates and two state lawmakers.

The Freethought Equality Fund said it supports politicians committed to promoting a secular government and protecting the rights of nonbelievers.

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August 1-14, 2014

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