The first reactions from other news sources overread Hobby Lobby significantly. The Court makes clear that the government can provide coverage to the female employees. And it strongly suggests it would reject broad religious claims to, for example, discriminate against gay employees. [SCOTUSBLOG]
SCOTUS has delivered a narrow decision in favor of Hobby Lobby, 5-4, with Justice Alito writing the majority opinion.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg calls it a “decision of startling breadth.” Her dissent is 19 pages, which she is reading now.
“It bears note in this regard that the cost of an IUD is nearly equivalent to a month’s full-time pay for workers earning the minimum wage.” – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
NBC’s Pete Williams analyzes it as a “very narrow ruling” that is a victory for the com says that a “closely held company like Hobby Lobby or Conestoga Wood or Mardel, a chain of religious bookstores, can be exempt from contraceptive coverage of Obamacare.” Pete Williams, a rough transcript of his reporting:
“The Court isn’t saying that all companies can refuse to abide by certain laws, because it would violate the corporations religious beliefs. The Court says that for “closely held for profit companies like those, they can be exempt from the requirements of Obamacare.”
SCOTUSBLOG concurs, writing: On that question, the Court limits its holding to closely held corporations, leaving for another day whether larger, publicly traded corporations have religious beliefs.
In the majority opinion the Court also seems to be saying that the current contraceptive mandate is not “the least restrictive way” to get coverage to people, according to Williams.
The decision seems to back up the what I wrote about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act earlier this morning. That the RFRA requires the government to give closely-held corporations this type of exemption.
This is all developing with analysis to certainly broaden as everyone digests the ruling and the dissent.
The majority decision sidesteps the question of whether the Govt has a compelling interest in providing women FDA-approved contraception at no cost — it assumes the Govt has this interest, but holds that the narrow tailoring requirement of RFRA is nonetheless not satisfied. [SCOTUSBLOG]