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Smith that a person may not defy neutral laws of general applicability [b] even as an expression of religious belief. United States decision, "would make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.
Strict scrutiny would require a law to be the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling government interest.
Inthe US Congress responded by passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act RFRArequiring strict scrutiny when a neutral law of general applicability "substantially burden[s] a person's [c] exercise of religion".
O Centro Espirita in Affordable Care Act[ edit ] Of those Americans who have health insurance, most are covered by employer-sponsored health insurance. HHS exempted religious employers churches and their integrated auxiliaries, associations of churches, and any religious ordernon-profit organizations that object to any required contraception,  employers providing grandfathered plans that have not had specific changes before March 23,and employers with fewer than 50 employees.
Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties[ edit ] Hobby Lobby is an arts and crafts company founded by self-made billionaire  David Green and owned by the Evangelical Christian Green family with about 21, employees.
Hobby Lobby's case was consolidated with another case by Conestoga Wood Specialtiesa furniture company owned by the Mennonite Hahn family that has about 1, employees, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom. On November 19,U. District Judge Joe L.
Heaton denied Hobby Lobby's request for a preliminary injunction. In September, the government appealed to the U. Sylvia Burwell was automatically substituted as petitioner when she was approved by the United States Senate as the Secretary of Health and Human Services after being nominated by President Barack Obama to replace Kathleen Sebelius following Sebelius' resignation on April 10, Supreme Court consideration[ edit ] Acceptance and briefs[ edit ] On November 26, the Supreme Court accepted and consolidated the case with Conestoga Wood Specialties v.
Two dozen amicus briefs support the government, and five dozen support the companies. American Freedom Law Center 's brief argues that birth control harms women because men will only want them "for the satisfaction of [their] own desires. Two briefs that do not formally take sides oppose each other on whether the right to religion applies to corporations.
It mentions the ruling in Domino's Pizza, Inc. The brief argues that if JWM Investments could not suffer discrimination through its owner, then Hobby Lobby could not suffer religious burden through its owner.
Lee saying that an employer can't deprive employees of a statutory right because of religious beliefs. Clement replied that Lee does not apply because it was a challenge against a tax rather than against a significant burden.
Sotomayor said that instead of paying the burden of the penalty, Hobby Lobby could replace its health care with the equivalent expense of higher wages and a calibrated tax, which the government would use to pay for the employees' health care.
Wilkinson requires the court to weigh the impact on third parties in every RFRA case, Justice Scalia said that the RFRA does not require the court to balance the interest of the religious objector to the interest of other individuals.
Verilli returned to Lee, saying that granting an exemption to an employer should not impose the employer's religious faith on the employees.
Four justices Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas joined him to strike down the HHS mandate, as applied to closely held corporations with religious objections, and to prevent the plaintiffs from being compelled to provide contraception under their healthcare plans.
The ruling was reached on statutory grounds, citing the RFRA, because the mandate was not the "least restrictive" method of implementing the government's interest. The court stated, "no conceivable definition of the term includes natural persons and nonprofit corporations, but not for-profit corporations.
Responding to HHS's argument that the provision of coverage does not itself result in destruction of embryos, the Court asserted that the argument dodges the substantial burden question that the Court is supposed to address.
The Court added, citing Jesuit moral manuals, that the argument is also the religious question of the morality of enabling the immoral acts of others, to which HHS had provided "a binding national answer".
The Court argued that federal courts should not answer religious questions because they would in effect be deciding whether certain beliefs are flawed. The court said that their decision "provides no such shield", and that "prohibitions on racial discrimination are precisely tailored to achieve that critical goal.
The court responded by saying, "Congress, in enacting RFRA, took the position that 'the compelling interest test as set forth in prior Federal court rulings is a workable test for striking sensible balances between religious liberty and competing prior governmental interests' The wisdom of Congress's judgment on this matter is not our concern.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote a concurring opinion, responding to the "respectful and powerful dissent", by emphasizing the limited nature of the ruling and saying that the government "makes the case that the mandate serves the Government's compelling interest in providing insurance coverage that is necessary to protect the health of female employees", but that the RFRA's least-restrictive way requirement is not met because "there is an existing, recognized, workable, and already-implemented framework to provide coverage," the one that HHS has devised for non-profit corporations with religious objections.
As the Court explains, this existing model, designed precisely for this problem, might well suffice to distinguish the instant cases from many others in which it is more difficult and expensive to accommodate a governmental program to countless religious claims based on an alleged statutory right of free exercise.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered the primary dissent, which was joined by Justice Sotomayor in full and by Justices Breyer and Kagan as to all but Part III—C—1  on "whether a corporation qualifies as a 'person' capable of exercising religion".making citations in a research paper online components of a personal narrative essay mobile call details analysis essay taking a stand essay essays in zen buddhism first series pdf philipp kohorst dissertation abstract communal harmony and world peace essays coming home poem owen sheers analysis essay hamlet madness essay zip code six .
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This article is concerned with social and political equality. In its prescriptive usage, ‘equality’ is a loaded and ‘highly contested’ concept.