After a lull in adding new cases to the term, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to heararguments in seven challenges, including a trio of cases fromreligious-affiliated, nonprofit health care systems that areseeking exemptions from federal law for their pension plans.

The health care systems, represented by Arnold & Porter'sLisa Blatt, contend they qualify as "church plans" that are exempt from theinsurance premiums, requirements and protections of the federalEmployee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA.

Three federal appeals courts—the Sixth, Seventh and Ninthcircuits—agreed with class action challenges brought by two lawfirms, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll and Seattle's KellerRohrback.

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Marcia Coyle

Marcia Coyle, based in Washington, covers the U.S. Supreme Court. Contact her at [email protected]. On Twitter: @MarciaCoyle