Already thought to be a landmark case, the Supreme Court’s consideration of Oklahoma-based company Hobby Lobby’s contention that insuring their employees for contraception violates their freedom of religion just got more interesting.
Nineteen US Senators – including 5 women – have filed an amicus brief (“friend of the court”) supporting the Obama administration’s position that Obamacare’s birth control mandate shouldn’t apply to corporations.
Hobby Lobby’s owners, David Green and his family, are suing the federal government over the mandate, which says large employers’ insurance plans must offer birth control without co-pays or else face steep fines.
A lower court upheld the Greens’ case, ruling that the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) protects the Greens from having to adjust their insurance plans to cover contraception for their 13,000 employees. (RFRA says the government must have a compelling reason to infringe upon an individual’s religious beliefs, and that laws that do so must be narrowly tailored.)
The case is novel because religious freedom, enshrined in the First Amendment, typically has been thought to apply to individuals, churches and other religious nonprofits-not corporations. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, siding with Hobby Lobby, said the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010 , which upheld a free-speech right for corporations, conferred a right to religious expression on businesses.
The 19 senators-all of whom voted for the popular RFRA in 1993-argue that the law’s religious protections were never intended apply to a for-profit company. Hobby Lobby’s “gross misapplication” of the law perverts Congress’ intent in passing it, they write in the brief, which was obtained by Yahoo News.
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com