Get up-to-speed on the Hobby Lobby free exercise case and cases bundled with it

17 Feb

Very helpful and informative preview of the Hobby Lobby case. The string of cases, of which the Hobby Lobby case is one, essentially come down to this: Can federal law compel the owner or CEO of a corporation to purchase or provide health insurance which covers contraception and/or abortifacient drugs despite their religious objections? If the U.S. Supreme Court says “no” then religious organizations, like religious universities, charities, or hospitals — these being explicitly defined by their religiosity than corporations who may have personally religious owners or CEOs — have little to worry about. The Obama administration has argued that no corporations are exempted, as churches are, or will be accommodated (it has allowed not an exemption but an “accommodation” in the case of religious non-profit organizations, where employers are required to direct employees to alternate health plans which do cover disputed contraceptive/abortifacient drugs). Of interest may be whether the corporation is a publicly traded or privately owned corporation (Hobby Lobby is private owned). If the Supreme Court rules against Hobby Lobby, that says nothing conclusively about how it will handle objections raised by religious non-profits to Obamacare, like religious schools. The mandate portion of Obamacare works like this: the law states that all approved insurance plans must include coverage for “preventative care,” but the Secretary of Health and Human Services determines what items will be included under that category. She (Kathleen Sabelius) has determined that contraception and abortifacient drugs must be included. Hence the lawsuits.

Here is a link to the podcast from Research On Religion that will help get you up to speed prior to this term’s USSC ruling.

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