Mark and Charlie's Blog
In Hobby Lobby Ruling, a Court So Wrong in So Many Ways
In its much-anticipated Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has ruled by the usual 5-4 margin that closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraception coverage. The ruling was narrowly tailored to apply only to the Obamacare contraception mandate and no other insurance mandates and explicitly does not shield employers who might rely on religious grounds to justify other discrimination. That said, while the ruling could have been worse, it's still dumb.
At the heart of both Hobby Lobby and its sister case Conestoga Wood is the requirement under the Affordable Care Act that employer-provided health insurance plans include coverage for basic preventative care. The law outlines what such preventative care encompasses and includes contraception. Contraception is, after all, by definition prevention. But two private for-profit corporations, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, both argued that for their insurance plans to be forced to cover contraception would violate the companies' freedom of religion. Hobby Lobby, which sells arts and crafts materials, is owned by devout Southern Baptists. Conestoga Wood, which makes wood cabinets, is owned by conservative Mennonites.