High Court hears ‘landmark’ religious liberty casecomment (0)
April 3, 2014
Do business owners have the right to exercise their religious beliefs despite what a government decree requires?
The answer could have a long-lasting impact.
On March 25, Supreme Court justices heard lawyers from the Obama administration and two corporations debate the constitutionality of the federal government’s contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act, which requires employers to provide abortion-causing drugs like ella and Plan B for their employees.
Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties contend the federal regulation violates their owners’ consciences and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a 1993 law protecting religious liberty.
The justices heard arguments about the contraception mandate after more than two and a half years of protests by pro-life and religious freedom advocates.
More than 300 parties — some nonprofit organizations and some for-profit corporations — have combined to file 94 lawsuits against the Department of Health and Human Services. The consolidated case March 25 involved for-profit businesses. The nonprofit cases have yet to make it to the high court.
The Supreme Court’s decision is expected in late June or early July.
Hobby Lobby’s owners said they would not comply with the mandate if they lose in court.