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Tuesday, Nov 28, 2023

Getting Religion

Was the Hobby Lobby ruling a victory for religious freedom or an intrusion of religion into law?



Beverly Hills Drink Co.

When I signed up to incorporate my company, it didn’t mention anything about signing away my religious freedoms. The court’s ruling was just because it prevented the rights of one group, female employees with women’s rights concerns, from diminishing the rights of another, business owners with religious freedom concerns.



UCLA School of Law

In Hobby Lobby, the court concluded that the government could both accommodate religious objectors who didn’t want to buy insurance that covered what they believe to be a form of abortion and still provide cost-free contraceptives to those objectors’ employees. Given this factual conclusion, the religious exemption seems like just the thing that Congress in 1993 commanded.



USC Gould School of Law

While the majority went out of its ways to suggest that its decision was limited only to the contraceptive requirement in the Affordable Care Act, it is unclear if its reasoning can be limited to this one fact pattern. It is easy to imagine claims that laws that prohibit various types of discrimination run afoul of sincerely held religious beliefs.


Interim Senior Director

Loyola Marymount University Extension

The ruling produced a significant change in that it allows for-profit corporations to claim religious exemptions – previously only religious institutions and non-profits could claim a religious exemption. The ruling is insignificant in terms of the larger issues of religious freedom. I do not anticipate many claims of exemption to established law on religious grounds will be successfully argued on the basis of the Hobby Lobby ruling.



Kanowsky & Associates

It opens the debate as to how far a business owner’s religious convictions can impact business operations. Can a born-again business owner fire his female manager who is single and has gotten pregnant out of wedlock?

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