President Obama’s signature health care law once again is coming before the Supreme Court, this time in a case involving nuns who say the law’s contraception mandate violates their religious freedom rights.
The Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic nonprofit that cares for the elderly in need, will make their case before the Supreme Court -– and an equally divided bench -– on Wednesday during a 90-minute public session.
Falling in the middle of the election year, the session Wednesday will mark the fourth major high court review of the controversial Affordable Care Act.
At the heart of the case, the eight justices will decide whether religious-affiliated institutions like LSP deserve the same First Amendment protection that some for-profit corporations enjoy. Churches and other houses of worship also already are exempt from ObamaCare’s requirement to offer contraceptive coverage to employees.
But religious-affiliated groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor, while not required to directly provide contraceptive coverage, must instead sign a form authorizing a third-party administrator to provide contraceptives without the employers’ direct involvement.
Catholic groups like the LSP say signing the form amounts to tacit approval for such coverage and would force them “to choose between onerous penalties or becoming complicit in a grave moral wrong.”
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