Supreme Court Rules For Hobby Lobby
The US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 today in favor of Hobby Lobby and their objections to the birth control mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act.
The opinion appears to be narrowly drawn with applies to “closely held” companies. In other words in the case of Hobby Lobby the company is family owned and thus there is a small group with a clear religious point of view.
The ruling is based on the RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act)
I haven’t been able to read the ruling yet but a couple quotes from the wonderful coverage at Scotusblog.com
The Court says that the government has failed to show that the mandate is the least restrictive means of advancing its interest in guaranteeing cost-free access to birth control
This decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to mean that all insurance mandates, that is for blood transfusions or vaccinations, necessarily fail if they conflict with an employer’s religious beliefs.
I don’t think either side should read too much into this ruling (or the union ruling). Both decisions were fairly narrowly drawn and do not have sweeping applications.
In fact there was language in the Hobby Lobby ruling suggesting that non profit corporations could not make the same claim as a closely held family type business. It also suggests that it would reject decisions to deny coverage to same sex couples on religious grounds.
And again the decision does not say that other corporations (with lots of stockholders) have the right to deny this coverage.
UPDATE: For more analysis GO HERE.