Friday, December 2, 2022

Hobby Lobby and Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (including the one in Mississippi)

By Tom Freeland, Blogger

Hobby Lobby / Photo courtesy of
Hobby Lobby / Photo courtesy of

I have read most of Justice Ginsburg’s dissent in the Hobby Lobby case and some of the majority opinion, and the upshot seem to be this:  When Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, it made clear its intent to overturn a couple of United States Supreme Court cases.  But, Justice Ginsburg argues, what the majority is doing here goes far beyond restoration and creates a right that will allow someone like Hobby Lobby to use assertions of religious freedom even when it violates rights of third parties who do not share those beliefs.

While this point seems obvious on a moments reflection, it bears repeating:  What the Court holds is that women who wish to have contraceptives can be denied that right because the owners of the business were they work don’t want them to have it.    The majority suggests the possibility that the government can pay for the contraceptives although refuses to opine whether that’s even legal under the act.   I’m sure if the Obama administration does this by regulation it will add to the screaming emanating from the House of Representatives about his lawlessness.

It is obvious that these notions are going to be argued in cases under the state act.

I may try to write more later, although this is another busy week.  I’d like to see comments.

Read more blog posts by Tom Freeland at his NMissCommentor blog page.