Monday, June 30, 2014

Supreme Court sides with Hobby Lobby


The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case today.

A quick flashback before we start:
The Hobby Lobby corporation have strong religious objections to certain types of contraceptive devices and are suing to protect those religious rights against the ACA (Affordable Care Act). Basically, Hobby Lobby wants opt out of providing contraception coverage under Obamacare.

While the ruling was narrow, I think other companies could follow suit.

Here's more from Politico:
The ruling deals directly with only a small provision of Obamacare and will not take down the entire law but it amounts to a huge black eye for Obamacare and its backers. The justices have given Obamacare opponents their most significant political victory against the health care law, reinforcing their argument that the law and President Barack Obama are encroaching on Americans’ freedoms.

“Under the standard that [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] prescribes, the HHS contraceptive mandate is unlawful,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the opinion, which was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy.

The court’s four liberal justices called it a decision of “startling breadth” and said that it allows companies to “opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

The court appeared to reject, 7-2, the Obama Administration’s argument that for-profit companies cannot assert religious rights under RFRA. Only Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined the portion of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent that argues companies do not have such rights. Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan did not join that section and did not explicitly state their views on the point.
The decision could open the door to other closely held corporations seeking to withhold coverage for other medical procedures at odds with firm religious beliefs. It marks the first time that the Supreme Court has allowed companies the ability to declare a religious belief – a decision that could reverberate far past the Affordable Care Act to other laws and issues.
Not a good way to kick off Monday morning.


2 comments:

anne marie in philly said...

and the war on women's rights goes on and on and on...

Sorbet Oxnard said...

Hobby Lobby objected to only 4 of the 20 forms of contraception covered under the ACA. That hardly qualifies as an "opt-out".