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: , , , , , , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
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

Readers also liked…

  • Speaking of the Clinton Foundation: Returns in maize and beans

    A reporter for Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking organization, sent a reporter to Africa to see where money given to the Clinton Foundation has been put to work. He found tangible results.
    • Sep 6, 2016
  • Baseball fans have a new place to stay

    If you missed out on Razorback baseball home games this year because you couldn’t find a great place to stay, your problem is now solved: Staybridge Suites of Fayetteville is now fully renovated and located directly across from Baum Stadium, with free parking for hotel guests.
    • May 22, 2017
  • A response to police arrests becomes a tutorial on race, class and policing in Little Rock

    John Walker, the 79-year-old civil rights lawyer, and his associate, Omavi Shukur, 29, a young lawyer devoted to criminal justice reform, talked to press this afternoon about their arrests Monday by Little Rock police for supposedly obstructing governmental operations in observing and attempting to film a routine police traffic stop. It was a tutorial on sharp views of race, class and governance in Little Rock.
    • Sep 29, 2016

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation