US Supreme Court rules family-run company can use religious exemption to refuse contraception coverage for employees' health insurance

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Article
22 July 2014

Academics argue US Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision over contraception coverage violates anti-discrimination law

Author: Alexandra Brodsky & Elizabeth Deutsch, in Bloomberg View

"How Civil-Rights Law Could Overturn Hobby Lobby", 21 Jul 2014

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, an all-male U.S. Supreme Court majority granted exemptions to "closely held corporations" that refuse to offer contraceptive coverage in employee health plans...Employers who single out contraceptives as undeserving of coverage don't only violate ethical expectations of gender equality. They also violate federal anti-discrimination law...By ignoring the discriminatory aspects of the denials, the Hobby Lobby majority was able to argue that the government's interest in protecting contraceptive access could not sustain the Religious Freedom Restoration Act challenge mounted by the objecting corporations...It's important to call the denial of contraceptive coverage what it is: illegal discrimination. The policies in question in Hobby Lobby are not merely the stuff of culture wars. They discriminate against women in violation of a civil-rights law passed half a century ago.

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Article
30 June 2014

Hobby Lobby ruling: firms can refuse to provide contraception coverage

Author: Dan Roberts & Amanda Holpuch, Guardian (UK)

…[T]he supreme court ruled that some companies should be allowed a religious exemption from rules requiring them to include all forms of contraception in employee health policies…[A] narrow majority of five justices argued that “closely held” businesses such as the family-run Hobby Lobby chain of stores, which brought the test case, enjoyed the same religious protections under law as individuals. Hobby Lobby's Christian owners and others like them will now be free to remove four controversial contraception methods from insurance plans provided to their 13,000 staff, claiming they amount to a form of abortion…[Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg]…warned of dire consequences: “…Suppose an employer’s sincerely held religious belief is offended by health coverage of vaccines, or paying the minimum wage.”…[Also refers to Conestoga Wood]

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Item
30 June 2014

[PDF] Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores - Opinion

Author: US Supreme Court

[Full text of US Supreme Court opinion]

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