June 30th, 2014
11:13 AM ET
2 months ago

Supreme Court rules against Obama in contraception case

Washington (CNN) - The Supreme Court ruled Monday that closely held companies cannot be required to pay to cover some types of contraceptives for their employees, ending its term with a narrow legal and political setback for a controversial part of President Barack Obama's health care reform law.

In a 5-4 decision, the high court's conservatives essentially ruled that some for-profit corporations have religious rights.

FULL STORY


Filed under: Obamacare • Supreme Court
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. rs

    This one seems to be a stretch. Corporations per se have no religious beliefs ("I was in church last Sunday sitting next to Hobby Lobby waiting for the service..."). Whenever in American history has anyone been able to impose their religious rights on others of different beliefs? Since when can an employer impose their beliefs upon those they pay? Does separation of church and state mean anything anymore? What is next? Will the Court realign the U.S. with the Church of England (not likely, they are far too Liberal), or with the Church in Rome? Will the court allow bosses to tell their employees how to vote? What food to eat? What cars to buy?

    June 30, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Not good. This sets an ugly precedent, which also means that the court is legislating from the bench. Where do you draw the line? Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe in blood transfusions, so does that mean they might no longer have to pay for procedures that involve blood transfusions? What about a group that believes in faith healing? Does that mean that that group does not have to provide any medical insurance?

    The ACA applies to companies that are of a certain size, or larger. In other words, once you have so much power over a large group of people, their are limits to your power, and responsible obligations to those people.

    June 30, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. drake mallard

    Corporations are People too my friend but They Have More Rights than You

    “pro-life” is more about controlling female sexuality than it is about godly behavior

    shouldn’t Hobby Lobby also be attempting to restrict its coverage of Viagra to married men only?) it’s perfectly okay for men to use drugs that allow them to have sex,
    but perfectly not okay for women to use drugs that allow them to remain
    unimpregnanted.

    Hobby Lobby nor any other employer has the right to
    do is in any way interfere with the medical treatment, medical
    decisions, or reproductive rights of their employees.

    birth control leads to dramatically lower rates of abortion

    June 30, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. Sniffit

    Another extremely limited holding you could tell the righties wished they could push further, but it still raises serious questions. You really gotta love the trite little analysis that basically equates to "they gave exemptions to others but not these guys so it's not the least restrictive means" which failed utterly to address any of the issues with respect to corporate form, what the existence of a corporate alter ego actually means, corporate veil, etc. It's a joke. Corporations are a separate entity, regardless of this feigned obeisance the conservatives want to pay towards "closely held" corporations. Companies like Spaulding & Slye fall under this "close corporation" nonsense, despite having 170,000 employees world-wide. Suddenly, "closely held" corporations are to be understood as a means to asserting your religious beliefs upon large swaths of the public just because they're your employees? Bull. And Kennedy is yet again a freekin failure. I'm not sure who's worse at this point, him or Scalia. At least with Scalia you know up front that he's just going to make it up as he goes along in order to arrive at a pre-determined conclusion. Kennedy appears to be just an idiot who goes along with the conservatives whenever he can't make up his own mind for himself. All in all it's yet another decision from the Roberts court that alters precedent while pretending not to. This was a law of neutral applicability, and they were never subject to religious exemption before...and the Roberts court knows that...which is why instead of giving an exemption outright, they pretended not to do so by deciding it on the grounds that the mandate wasn't the "least restrictive means"...which will now become the favorite exemption argument for these religious groups and organizations. They'll claim all sorts of things are not the "least restrictive means" now.

    June 30, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    Uh-oh. Looks the the Supreme Court of the United States of America just unlocked Pandora's for-profit corporate ownership box.

    Not good. Not good at all.

    June 30, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. Le

    You have a choice to work wherever you want so if you don't like it hit the road. Good for Hobby Lobby. Hopefully this will open the door for a lot of us that have S corporations or LLC's.

    June 30, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. jinx9to88

    Any one that couldn't see this ruling coming is just blind or ignorant!! When the Supreme Court ruled that "Corporation are People" pretty much told us their thoughts. With that said there are still 10 plus birth control that are still covered under Obamacare that Hobby Lobby has to honor.

    June 30, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. Fair is Fair

    Looks like there's going to be some Hobby Lobby employees who are going to have to pony up $4 a month for their birth control pills.

    June 30, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    "You have a choice to work wherever you want so if you don't like it hit the road."

    So, what religious denomination are you willing to accept when required to support as a clause of future employment with corporation (A), (B), (C)?

    June 30, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. Tony

    A corporation is a legal entity distinct from the people to own them. A corporation is created for business reasons. Giving corporations the right to free exercise of religion is just silly.

    June 30, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  11. smith

    This isn`t anything new here. Chick-fil-a isn`t open on Sundays for religous purposes. Should we force them to be open? If you don`t like a business because of their direction or veiws don`t shop or work there. Personally, I think birth control should be free and issued by the goverment.

    June 30, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    The court basically just ruled that any time there's an exemption for something it has to be applied for everyone in that group that wants it. "Well, the ACA has exemptions for religious non-profits etc., so this wasn't the least restrictive means for a religious for-profit." Yeah, well, since the IRS regulations allow religious non-profits to obtain 501(c)(3) status to become tax-exempt, then clearly taxing religious for-profits is not the "least restrictive means" for generating gov't revenue. What a farce. The reasoning in this decision skips over all the nuance, all the issues about what corporate form and corporate alter ego actually means and just papers over it all with a grade-school analysis that amounts to "well, some people got exemptions for religion so everyone should get exemptions for religion, no matter what."

    June 30, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Donna

    This has nothing to do with peoples' healthcare and receiving services. It has to do with FORCING OTHERS to violate their religious beliefs TO PAY for services and/or products FOR OTHERS. If the far left extremist Democrats and Obama could have gotten away with this then there would be absolutely NOTHING to say they could also force people and companies to pay for abortions because the far left extremists have somehow turned baby killing into "healthcare" with their deceitful misuse and rewriting of our language.

    This is a great day for America and religious freedom and a bad day for the far left extremist Democrat Party that wants to jam their far left secular agenda down our throats, and then expect us to pay for the honor.

    June 30, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. Take Your Hands Off of My Body

    This Supreme Court has been bought and paid for by the Republican Party. It is no longer a place where the average citizen will find justice.. The majority on this court (little "c" intended)are simply the minions of the Republican Party.

    This Supreme Court ruling also gives the nation perfect insight into the Republican male's mind, attitude, and spirit. Women are nothing more than something that is owned by them, and the women who have sex with them, marry them, align themselves politically, socially, and morally with them are bought and paid for.

    Speaking of "bought and paid for", never again will I purchase anything from Hobby Lobby.

    June 30, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "Looks like there's going to be some Hobby Lobby employees who are going to have to pony up $4 a month for their birth control pills.

    Nope. You didn't read the decision. What will likely happen now is that the federal gov't will step in to cover the difference. You just got what the Kochs paid for.

    June 30, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. just saying

    Lynda/Minnesota
    --
    "You have a choice to work wherever you want so if you don't like it hit the road."
    --
    So, what religious denomination are you willing to accept when required to support as a clause of future employment with corporation (A), (B), (C)?
    --

    what are you talking about? people can decide to work wherever they want. it is a free country. if you don't like the benefit packages offer by one company then go get a job someplace else. you do not have a right to demand that your prospective employer pay for options in their healthcare coverage. and now neither does the federal government when it tramples on religious freedom and expression. the far left democrat party and its rabid followers (cult followers!) just hate it when they can't pry our mouths open and force us to swallow their garbage.

    June 30, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. Wes

    obamacare is a disaster.

    June 30, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "It has to do with FORCING OTHERS to violate their religious beliefs TO PAY for services and/or products FOR OTHERS. "

    Not really. This isn't a sweeping "you can't do this ever" decision...and it couldn't be because of the precedent regarding laws of neutral applicability. The conservative court knew that so they used the "least restrictive means" argument as their escape hatch to arrive at the result they wanted.

    June 30, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. Gunderson

    Well Holy Spend your own money!,
    So what is holding you back from spending your own money on your vices? Old Gunderson would like to get his groceries free. Old Gunderson like to get gas free at gas station. And moreover, why you want be paid at your job. You now work for free? Let me know when that happens. I be there in a flash.

    June 30, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. Tommy G

    rs
    This one seems to be a stretch. Corporations per se have no religious beliefs ("I was in church last Sunday sitting next to Hobby Lobby waiting for the service..."). Whenever in American history has anyone been able to impose their religious rights on others of different beliefs? Since when can an employer impose their beliefs upon those they pay? Does separation of church and state mean anything anymore? What is next? Will the Court realign the U.S. with the Church of England (not likely, they are far too Liberal), or with the Church in Rome? Will the court allow bosses to tell their employees how to vote? What food to eat? What cars to buy?
    -–

    Quite amusing. But you have absolutely no problem whatsoever with allowing the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT to do these very same things as long as it suits your far left agenda! Your statement that companies are forcing their religious beliefs on others is pure lies. It is the companies and their owners that are being forced to do things here, not the employees. These companies do NOT tell their employees have to live their lives. If they want to take abortion pills, then they have that right. The court has now ruled they do NOT have the right to force OTHERS to pay for those pills.

    As usual, your post is full of lies and deceit, much like an Obama speech that states we will all be able to keep our doctors, hospitals and healthcare plans.

    June 30, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair

    Looks like there's going to be some Hobby Lobby employees who are going to have to pony up $4 a month for their birth control pills.
    ---------------------–
    Actually, it looks more like birth control pills were not a problem for Hobby Lobby until the ACA was passed. I don't think the resistance is against birth control, at all, because Hobby Lobby pays for some types of birth control with no objection at all. I think birth control is just an altruistic argument to distract you away from their having to provide decent medical coverage, as specified under the ACA, instead of sub-standard plans. I have no doubt that Hobby Lobby is fighting to have the ACA overturned. They're just chipping away at it, in an attempt to declare the whole thing unconstitutional.

    June 30, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  22. just asking

    Take Your Hands Off of My Body
    This Supreme Court has been bought and paid for by the Republican Party. It is no longer a place where the average citizen will find justice.. The majority on this court (little "c" intended)are simply the minions of the Republican Party.
    --

    and did you say this when they ruled for obamacare and inflicted this nightmare on the country? didn't think so. then they were great and wise right?

    June 30, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    " and now neither does the federal government when it tramples on religious freedom and expression."

    That wasn't the basis of the decision either. Roberts hinted at this all during oral argument...that they would sneak this through by relying on Hobby Lobby being "closely held." It's a nonsense toe-hold for bad reasoning, but it still means that all sorts of corporations owned by religious people will still have to provide contraception coverage. No, they won't get to avoid it by having the stockholders or board all vote against it on religious grounds, etc. And your blabber about "you can choose not to work there" is a double edged sword: we can also choose not to shop there, and there WILL be boycott lists for people to reference. Moreover, your argument rings extremely hollow for small (particularly rural) communities that are centered around one or two employers, where the people do NOT have a practical choice about their employment and can't afford to just move out.

    June 30, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. sonny chapman

    Attention Christians: Can we now Move On from the Sin of Contraception &, in the Words of Pope Francis, start looking at the Sins of Poverty & Greed ?

    June 30, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. Tony

    Sorry, I meant "A corporation is a legal entity distinct from people who own it."

    June 30, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
1 2