The Obama administration will make a remarkable argument in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, shattering concepts of  ‘separation of church and state’ and the free exercise of religion, by making the case that the government has the power to make theological judgments about the Catholic faith of nuns who serve the elderly poor. The Affordable Care Act threatens the Little Sisters of the Poor with $70 million in annual fines, unless the nuns agree to facilitate distribution of abortifacients, contraceptives and surgical sterilization.  It is absurd to argue that this approach meets the “least restrictive means” test, when the government has already exempted one-third of all Americans, including big corporations like Exxon and Pepsi.

Maureen Ferguson
Senior Policy Advisor with The Catholic Association


Will the Obama administration let the Little Sisters of the Poor serve the poor? That is the question before the Supreme Court on Wednesday. The Little Sisters are asking for the right to continue serving the destitute and dying elderly without being forced to provide their employees with services that violate their core mission, and more importantly, their consciences. In the administration’s own brief, the government readily admits these goods and services are easily available to all Americans through other government options. Furthermore, the government has already exempted major corporations like Chevron and Visa from the very same regulation. The Little Sisters are just asking for the same treatment in their mission to help those on the margins of society.

Ashley McGuire
Senior Fellow with The Catholic Association