Supreme Court Rules Corporations Have Religious Rights

NARROWRULING COULD HAVE SWEEPING EFFECT

In a 5–4 deci­sion, the US Supreme Court ruled on Mon­day that requir­ing family-owned cor­po­ra­tions to pay for insur­ance cov­er­age for con­tra­cep­tion vio­lated a 1993 fed­eral law pro­tect­ing reli­gious freedom.

The rul­ing in Bur­well v. Hobby Lobby Stores, No. 13–354, and Con­estoga Wood Spe­cial­ties v. Bur­well, No. 13–356, deals with the law­ful­ness of a part of the Afford­able Care Act that requires many employ­ers to pro­vide insur­ance cov­er­age for contraception.

The deci­sion, while nar­rowly apply­ing only to closely-held cor­po­ra­tions, tra­di­tion­ally the type held by fam­i­lies, will likely have sweep­ing effect because most employ­ees in the United States work for small businesses.

This is the first time that the Supreme Court has decided that cor­po­ra­tions enjoy the right of reli­gious freedom.

The text of the deci­sion can be found here.

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