January 28, 2014
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.)