Little Sisters of the Poor push Supreme Court to take their case

A group of nuns suing for an exemption from the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate urged the Supreme Court to hear their case through a reply brief filed Tuesday.

The Little Sisters of the Poor operate 29 nursing homes across the United States. They are among the groups who sued under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act for an exemption from an ACA mandate that would require them to provide contraceptive coverage for employees. The Sisters argue that signing a waiver required to receive an exemption from the mandate violates their religious freedom.

The government and the Sisters clash over which case should be heard by the Supreme Court — the Sisters' case, or an earlier petition filed by the Catholic Archbishop of Washington.

“After impermissibly trying to pick and choose which religious groups to exempt from the contraceptive mandate, HHS should not now be allowed to pick and choose its opponent or which questions it must confront in defending its actions,” the brief states.

The Sisters made headlines last month when they received a brief, surprise visit from Pope Francis during his U.S. tour.