March 30, 2016

Elise Italiano, executive director of University communications, addresses the crowd at a rally in front of the Supreme Court on March 23.

The Catholic University of America had representatives both inside and outside the Supreme Court of the United States on March 23 when the Court heard oral arguments of the co-plaintiffs in a case that involves the implementation of a controversial mandate by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).While Catholic University President John Garvey was inside the Court listening to the arguments, two members of the University's Office of Marketing and Communications were outside at the 90-minute rally that took place on the steps of the Supreme Court.

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Elise Italiano, executive director of University communications, and Meghan Duke, writer and a volunteer for the Little Sisters of the Poor, both spoke at the rally.The Little Sisters of the Poor are a co-plaintiff in Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, et al. v Sylvia Matthews Burwell, et al. , a suit that attempts to block implementation of the mandate that would require Catholic University and other religious organizations to provide health insurance coverage for surgical sterilization, prescription contraceptives, and drugs that cause early stage abortions. A decision by the Court is expected before the end of this term. A Wall Street Journal op-ed written by Garvey about the Supreme Court cases on the contraceptive mandate was referenced in a National Review story. He was quoted by The Daily Signal the day before the oral arguments and on Fox News' Kelly File the night after the arguments.