National Catholic Reporter

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Washington

CHA brief urges US Supreme Court to maintain health care subsidies

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If the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down federal subsidies that have helped millions of people get health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, it will be "an incredible cruelty," said the president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association.

"[If] you are in any state of the union and you are talking to people who work for a living, who wait on us, cut our hair, drive our taxis, they will tell you this has been life-changing for them," Sr. Carol Keehan said about the federal health care law.

Bishops welcome court's review of using lethal injection in executions

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The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to review the use of lethal injections in carrying out executions is a welcome move, said the chairmen of two U.S. bishops' committees.

The court said Jan. 23 it will review the drug protocols of lethal-injection executions in the state of Oklahoma and consider whether such procedures violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

"I welcome the court's decision to review this cruel practice," said Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

State of the Union speech hits on numerous social justice themes

In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama hit on numerous themes that resonated with Catholic advocates for social justice issues.

Among the items included in Obama's policy agenda in the president's annual speech before a joint session of Congress were what Fr. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, called the "bold ideas" of proposals to enable students to have two years of community college education without paying tuition; to expand paid leave to working parents and to make home ownership more accessible.

Supreme Court upholds religious rights of prisoners

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A Supreme Court that has extended the reach of religion into public life in recent years ruled Tuesday that spirituality can overcome even prison security concerns.

The court came down decisively on the side of a Muslim prisoner whose beard had been deemed potentially dangerous by Arkansas prison officials. Growing a beard, the justices said, was a Muslim man's religious right.

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May 22-June 4, 2015

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