The Obama administration believes it is permitted under the Constitution to force religious organizations to pay for abortions, according to the newest brief filed in the long-running case brought by the nuns of the Little Sisters of the Poor. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday in the case, which consolidates cases from the Third, Fifth, 10th, and D.C. circuits. If the vote ends up 4-4, due to the absence of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the lower-court rulings, most of which favored the administration, will stand.

The new brief on behalf of the nuns and several other organizations challenges an Obamacare requirement that their employee health insurance plans cover abortion pills despite their religious beliefs. The brief says the government “fails to explain why it exempts – not ‘accommodates,’ but truly exempts – some religious employers if compliance via the regulatory mechanism imposes no substantial burden.” READ MORE