Media for Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores
- Opinion Announcement - June 30, 2014 (Part 1)
- Opinion Announcement - June 30, 2014 (Part 2)
- Oral Argument - March 25, 2014
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 25, 2014 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 30, 2014 (Part 1) in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores
And we find that the HHS mandate cannot meet the least restrictive means test.
As mentioned earlier, HHS has already devised and implemented a system that seeks to respect the religious liberty of religious non-profit corporations while ensuring that the employees of these entities have precisely the same access to all FDA approved contraceptives as do employees of companies whose owners have no religious objections.
And according to HHS, this system imposes no net economic burden on the insurance companies that are required to provide the coverage.
Although HHS has made this system available to religious non-profits, HHS has provided no reason why the same system cannot be made available when the owners of for-profit corporations have similar religious objections.
And we therefore conclude that this system constitutes an alternative that achieves all of the Government's aims while providing greater respect for religious liberty and under RFRA, that conclusion means that the enforcement of the HHS contraceptive mandate against closely held corporations is unlawful.
As this description of our reasoning shows our holding is very specific, but in later, some of the charges made by the dissenters, it is appropriate to add a few words about what we do not hold.We do not hold the corporations can opt-out a generally applicable law simply by claiming a religious exemption.
We do not hold the corporations who raise religious objections have free reign to impose disadvantages on others or to require the general public to pick up the tab.
Neither of those things will occur as a result of our decision.
The effect of the HHS created accommodation on the women employed by the companies involved in these cases will be precisely zero.
We do not hold that claims involving coverage for other medical procedures or drugs, for example, vaccines would succeed.Cases involving other procedures or drugs are likely to implicate different considerations such as preventing the spread of disease.We do not hold that RFRA protects invidious discrimination that is said to be based on a religious belief.
Preventing invidious discrimination is the compelling interest that cannot be served without outlawing the practice.
Our decision will not lead to battles amongst shareholders of publicly traded companies.
It is limited to closely held corporations.
And our decision will not produce novel fights among owners of closely held corporations, disagreements among family members or others who own closely held corporations are nothing new.
State corporate law provides ways of resolving such dispute.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act provides very broad protection for religious liberty and under RFRA, the HHS mandate is unlawful as applied to closely held corporations whose owners have sincere religious objections to the mandated coverage.
The judgment of the Tenth Circuit in number 13-354 is affirmed.
The judgment of the Third Circuit in number 13-356 is reversed and that case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
Justice Ginsburg has filed a dissenting opinion in which Justice Sotomayor joins and in which Justices Breyer and Kagan join as to all but Part III-C-1.
Justices Breyer and Kagan have filed a dissenting opinion.