Hutterites Ask High Court to Take Insurance Case

By Beacon Staff

HELENA — A Hutterite colony is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up their challenge of a Montana workers’ compensation law that targets the religious group.

The Big Sky Colony in northwestern Montana filed a petition with the high court on Tuesday. Attorneys for the colony say the justices will decide this fall whether to hear the case.

The Montana Supreme Court in a 4-3 decision upheld a 2009 law requiring religious organizations to carry workers’ compensation insurance. State legislators passed the law after businesses complained they could not outbid the Hutterites.

The Hutterites say the law unconstitutionally infringes on their religion, which is based on communal living. Hutterites have no personal property and make no wages.

The court ruled the law simply regulates their commercial activities like any other business.

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