BREAKING NEWS: SCOTUS TAKES HHS MANDATE CASES
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear two of the many cases challenging the HHS Mandate, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (10th Circuit Court of Appeals) and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius (3rd Circuit Court of Appeals). The two circuit courts reached different conclusions on the question of whether for-profit secular corporations possess free exercise rights. The family owning and running Hobby Lobby are devout Evangelical Christians while the family behind Conestoga Wood Specialties are Mennonites. Both object to the potential abortifacient effects of “emergency contraception.” The Court will hear arguments in the Spring.
In the words of the Becket Fund litigator on the Hobby Lobby suit, these cases are essentially about “who gets to practice religion.” The companies’ owners hold that Americans should not be commanded to leave their beliefs at home when they go to work. But the Obama administration is pressing hard the argument that for-profit corporations have no constitutionally recognized conscience rights.
The Supreme Court did not announce whether it would take up any of the additional HHS Mandate cases also seeking certiorari (a hearing before the Court).