Hobby Lobby challenge to Obamacare contraceptive mandate before Supreme Court today | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hobby Lobby challenge to Obamacare contraceptive mandate before Supreme Court today

Posted By on Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Today seems to be Obamacare Legal Challenge Day. We noted earlier that arguments in Halbig v. Sebelius are before the D.C. Circuit. Meanwhile the Supreme Court will hear arguments today in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, which involves whether for-profit corporations can cite religious beliefs to keep from providing contraception coverage to their employees. The Affordable Care Act requires large employers to provide contraception coverage in health insurance plans they offer. The Obama administration exempted religious non-profits, but not for-profit companies like Hobby Lobby. 

The owners of the arts-and-crafts chain are evangelical Christians who object to contraceptive methods, such as IUDs, which the ACA requires to be covered. They cite the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, arguing that the contraceptive mandate imposes a substantial burden on their free exercise of religion. Note that this assumes corporations have the same protections as individuals. Given the Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court may well agree. (It also assume that corporations have religious beliefs; as one federal judge who heard the case put it, for-profit companies "do not pray, worship, observe sacraments or take other religiously motivated actions separate and apart from the intention and direction of their individual actors.")

Unlike Halbig, this case won't make or break Obamacare, but obviously the stakes are high for women's access to contraception. If the Court rules for Hobby Lobby, corporations would suddenly have a giant loophole to potentially avoid the legal requirement to cover birth control for employees. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli argued it "would transform RFRA from a shield for individuals and religious institutions into a sword used to deny employees of for-profit commercial enterprises the benefits and protections of generally applicable laws.”

NPR's Nina Totenberg has more. Check in with the always excellent SCOTUSblog for updates







Tags: , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

  • Abuse again at Arkansas juvenile lockup

    A guard was fired after choking a child at the Alexander Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center. It’s the latest in a long history of mistreatment at the facility.
    • May 26, 2017
  • Health care policy FAQ

    What proposed state and federal changes mean for the future of health care policy in Arkansas.
    • May 25, 2017
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.
    • May 25, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Jason Rapert vs. Wikipedia

    Sen. Jason Rapert against the world: Wikipedia edition.
    • Jan 23, 2016
  • Tom Cotton's influence on Trump's new security chief

    U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is getting credit for pushing President Donald Trump to select Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, Politico reports.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.
  • Lynchings hidden in the history of the Hot Springs Confederate monument

    Hot Springs twice erupted into the kind of violence that has its roots in the issues left unresolved by the Civil War, and both times, it happened right where that monument to Confederate soldiers stands today.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation