CAP en Español
Small CAP Banner

Idea of the Day: The Risks of a Poorly Decided Hobby Lobby

    PRINT:
  • print icon
  • SHARE:
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Share on Google+
  • Email icon

idea light bulb

This term, the Supreme Court will rule on whether the religious beliefs of the owners of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., a for-profit, secular corporation, can be used as justification to deny the company’s employees the contraceptive health coverage they are entitled to under the Affordable Care Act, or ACA. The U.S. Constitution, federal laws such as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and an exemption to the ACA’s contraception rule  have historically protected faith-based entities—such as churches and religiously affiliated hospitals and universities—from taking actions at odds with their religious beliefs.

The right to the free exercise of religion, however, has never been a right that secular businesses claimed to possess,  and it has never been part of religious liberty for a business to foist its owner’s religious views on its employees or customers. The infamous Citizens Unitedcase held that corporations are entitled to First Amendment rights in the form of political donations.  This term, Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius may go even further, expanding the religious liberties traditionally enjoyed by individuals and religious entities to a secular corporation.

For more on this topic, please see:

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education, poverty)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, Legal Progress, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here