Texas Tech University Expert Available on Effects of Supreme Court Decision on Hobby
Lobby’s Challenge to Affordable Care Act
June 30, 2014
The Supreme Court rules 5-4 for #hobbylobby case of #Religousfreedom 'Closely held
corps do not have to be forced to provide contraception'
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, one of the biggest
challenged to President Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act.
The court ruled that “closely-held” for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby can seek
exemption based on religious beliefs from complying with the ACA’s requirement that
all companies that offer health insurance to their employees must provide specific
benefits, including birth control.
Hobby Lobby’s argument is that their religious beliefs are counter to what the ACA
requires as they believe certain types of birth control terminate pregnancies rather
than prevent them. Its argument was upheld based on the Religious Freedom Restoration
Act (RFRA) and not the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Jennifer Bard, professor in the Texas Tech School of Law, director of the Texas Tech
Law Health Law Program and J.D./M.D Dual Degree Program, and adjunct associate professor
in the department of psychiatry at the Texas Tech School of Medicine, Texas Tech University,
(806) 834-1950 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- “It is likely that this decision will address … the limits of a law passed by Congress
in 1993 to overrule an earlier Supreme Court decision, Employment Division v. Smith,
holding that so long as a law passed by the federal government ‘applied to everyone,’
everyone was required to follow it even if it interfered with their sincerely held
- “What the Affordable Care Act did was set standards for insurance just like there
are standards for food and drug products. The effect is there are no ‘junk’ plans.
Every health insurance plan has to cover 10 essential benefits including vaccinations,
annual exams, contraception and pregnancy costs.”
- “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) essentially reverses Employment Division
v. Smith by stating that even if a law applies to everyone, if it substantially burdens
anyone’s sincerely held religious beliefs, the government has to show a compelling
reason for the law and has to show that the law is the least restrictive way of achieving
the law’s goals.”
- “Until now, there has never been a case where the ‘company’ had religious beliefs
Dr. Jennifer Bard, professor in the Texas Tech School of Law and adjunct associate
professor in the department of psychiatry at the Texas Tech School of Medicine, Texas
Tech University, (806) 834-1950 or email@example.com.