|Supreme Court hears Hobby Lobby contraception case|
|Written by Christine D. Johnson|
|Tuesday, 25 March 2014 05:25 PM America/New_York|
Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments Tuesday in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores. The historic Obamacare case addresses the rights of business owners to operate their family companies without violating their religious convictions.
The court combined the hearing of two similar cases of family-owned companies, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, who both challenged the Health & Human Services (HHS) Mandate that would force them to pay for abortion pills or face substantial daily fines.
Former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement argued on behalf of the two companies, stating that they are protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The principal lawyers in the case, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli for the Obama administration and Clement argued against each other in another Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) case in 2012. In that case, the justices upheld by a 5-4 vote the constitutionality of the aspect of the law that requires people to purchase health insurance.
Hobby Lobby's David and Barbara Green do not object to providing 16 of the 20 contraceptives under the HHS mandate and will continue to provide contraceptives at no additional cost to their employees.
Click here to see a video with the Greens as well as one about Conestoga with Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, on the steps of the Supreme Court. The Pennsylvania-based company is owned by the Norman and Elizabeth Hahn family, who are Mennonite.
Click here to see C-SPAN video of reaction to the case outside the Supreme Court, including a statement by Clement. Reporter Lyle Denniston also offers a recap of today’s arguments here in the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) blog. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty also hosts a site at hobbylobbycase.com.
The court is expected to rule on the case before the end of its term in June.