Reproductive Rights Prof Blog

Editor: Caitlin E. Borgmann
CUNY School of Law

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Opinion on Hobby Lobby

The Washington Post - op-ed:  Contraception as a test of equality, by Walter Dellinger:

Walter Dellinger is an attorney in Washington. He co-authored, with Dawn Johnsen of the Indiana Maurer School of Law, a brief for the Guttmacher Institute and professor Sara Rosenbaum of George Washington University supporting contraception coverage.

Forty-nine years ago this week , the nine men on the Supreme Court heard arguments that would profoundly affect women’s access to birth control. By 21st-century standards, the oral arguments in the 1965 case Griswold v. Connecticut suggest that most of the justices were either uninformed about contraceptive methods or uncomfortable discussing them. When the court returns to the subject of birth control this week, it is critical that the justices understand the complexity of contraception and its role in women’s lives. . . .

The New York Times editorial: Crying Wolf on Religious Liberty:

This week, the owners of two secular, for-profit corporations will ask the Supreme Court to take a radical turn and allow them to impose their religious views on their employees — by refusing to permit them contraceptive coverage as required under the Affordable Care Act.

The Supreme Court has consistently resisted claims for religious exemptions from laws that are neutral and apply broadly when the exemptions would significantly harm other people, as this one would. To approve it would flout the First Amendment, which forbids government from favoring one religion over another — or over nonbelievers. . . .

Balkinization: Whose Faith Does RFRA Protect?  Everyone's, No One's, or Not Mine?, by Priscilla Smith:

One outcome of tomorrow's Hobby Lobby case that this reproductive rights supporter might be able to get behind involves granting the Hobby Lobby Executives an accommodation from the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage requirements under an expansive view of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).  I’ve written about this possibility in a forthcoming article here.  Under this view, it is the RFRA claimant, not the court, who decides if something is a “substantial burden” on “religious exercise” under RFRA.  Counsel for the University of Notre Dame promoted this view of RFRA in a recent Seventh Circuit oral argument in a related case, stating “[i]t is up to the believer to draw the line.”  As Marty Lederman's excellent posts here revealing the lack of burden on Hobby Lobby Executives religious exercise should establish, in order to find for Hobby Lobby the Court needs to adopt this broad view of RFRA's protections. . . .

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/reproductive_rights/2014/03/opinion-on-hobby-lobby.html

Contraception, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Supreme Court | Permalink

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