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Supreme Court will not hear Hutterite workers comp case

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The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a religious colony’s argument that Montana is forcing it to participate in the state’s workers compensation system despite religious objections to doing so.

Big Sky Colony Inc. is a member colony of the Hutterian Brethren Church, whose participants renounce private property and hold all their possessions in common, wear the same homemade clothing and live in similar housing.

The Hutterites traditionally engaged in communal agricultural work. But after the group engaged in construction work outside their community, Montana's Supreme Court ruled late last year that it must purchase workers comp insurance for members working in commercial enterprises.

As usual, the U.S. Supreme Court justices did not provide a reason for declining to hear the case of Big Sky Colony Inc. v. Montana Department of Labor and Industry when the decision was announced Monday.