If Conestoga Wins, Watch Out Civil Rights

Of the two lawsuits challenging the legality of the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that will be argued in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Hobby Lobby’s argument that the mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) has received more sustained media attention than Conestoga Wood’s claim that the mandate violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. The mandate requires employers who provide health insurance to include preventive contraceptive services in their coverage. Depending on how the Court resolves the constitutional question, however, Conestoga could provide a more important–and dangerous—precedent than Hobby Lobby.   Like Read More …

The Insatiable Demand for Extreme Religious Liberty Under the RFRAs, Part I: Why Hobby Lobby Falls Outside RFRA’s Protections (Justia.com)

This is the year of the RFRA, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The American public has been deluged with news about the federal and state RFRAs. On the federal front, there are the large for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby, demanding a right under RFRA to shape their benefit packages in opposition to the Affordable Care Act and Title VII. In the states, we have had a viral contagion of state RFRA amendments that would make it possible for businesses to defend refusals to do business with homosexuals and/or same-sex couples (and in Arizona, with women, minorities, and the disabled, among Read More …