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

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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.

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

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or


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

For more from the same column, click here