Hobby Lobby case will affect six other battles over religious freedom
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/8/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
A furious week of activity in the U.S. Supreme Court is raising the question as to how far the 5-4 decision of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby goes.
The Hobby Lobby case has seen the Supreme Court lay down guidelines for several other cases revolving around the Affordable Care Act.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The decision in the Hobby Lobby case recognized that the owners of closely held corporations have the right to refuse to provide abortion inducing drugs and devices to their employees. Further, that governmental efforts to compel the owners to provide such abortion inducing drugs and devices to their employees violates the Right to Religious Freedom.
Just days latter, the Supreme Court used this decision to guide the rulings of six other cases winding through the lower courts. These decisions all favored corporations and institutions seeking religious exemptions from the HHS Mandate to the Affordable Care Act.
These decisions may signal the possibility of challenges to a greater list of government mandates. Many were not aware of this final furry of activity, as the Supreme Court issued its decisions ate on July 3, while many Americans were getting ready to enjoy the long Independence Day holiday weekend.
The court granted an injunction to Wheaton College, a private Christian liberal arts college in Illinois. This means the College will not be forced to violate its Christian commitment or face fines and penalties Act pending a full review of the case.
For Wheaton, winning this case will eliminate numerous fines for refusing to provide contraceptive care and "minimal essential coverage" as part of the Affordable Care Act.
The order granting the injunction does not have any names attached, but three justices were loud in filing a dissent. Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan.
These justices wrote that: "Those who are bound by our decisions usually believe they can take us at our word. Not so today. After expressly relying on the availability of the religious-nonprofit accommodation to hold that the contraceptive coverage requirement violates [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] as applied to closely held for-profit corporations, the Court now, as the dissent in Hobby Lobby feared it might, retreats from that position."
In Wheaton, and in some of the six other rulings on pending cases made that same week, entities that were more than just "closely held" corporations received aid. One of the six cases involved Eden Foods, whose employer claims it poses an undue burden on his religious liberty if the government requires him to buy anything for his employees, whether it is "Jack Daniel's or birth control."
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