The US Supreme Court today handed down a pair of important decisions. In the first, it ruled that non-union home healthcare workers cannot be forced to pay union dues. That was a 5-4 opinion written for the majority by Associate Justice Samuel Alito.
In the second, Hobby Lobby won a 5-4 decision against the Obamacare abortifacient mandate. Alito also wrote this opinion for the majority. Justice Kennedy wrote a concurring opinion.
Closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraception coverage.
RFRA applies to regulations that govern the activities of closely held for-profit corporations like Conestoga, HL and Mardel.
Justice Kennedy’s concurring opinion says that the government could pay for the coverage itself, so that women receive it.
Here is a further attempt at qualification: This decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to mean that all insurance mandates, that is for blood transfusions or vaccinations, necessarily fail if they conflict with an employer’s religious beliefs.
“Closely held corporations” applies to individual family-owned corporations, probably not publicly traded businesses. The ruling doesn’t toss out the mandate itself, but carves out space for business owners to apply some of their religious beliefs to the manner in which they manage their businesses.
Update: Sandra Fluke shows that a Georgetown education doesn’t account for much.
— Sandra Fluke (@SandraFluke) June 30, 2014
Doesn’t trying to make your boss pay for it make it your boss’ business?
Update: Had Hobby Lobby lost today, the Green family might well have shut the corporation down rather than violate their beliefs. That would have been 572 stores closed nationwide, and thousands of jobs lost.