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Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores & Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Burwell

Court Type: U.S. Supreme Court
Status: Closed (Judgment)
Last Update: October 22, 2014

What's at Stake

Whether for-profit business corporations are entitled to an exemption under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act from the general requirement that employer health plans include coverage for contraceptive care.

The Affordable Care Act requires that employer health plans include coverage for preventive services and the federal government has issued regulations defining contraceptive care as one of the services that must be covered. The plaintiffs in these consolidated cases are two for-profit business corporations that seek an exemption from that general rule under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The ACLU agrees with the government that the corporate plaintiffs are not entitled to an exemption. The amicus brief we submitted in the case focuses on the history of race and sex discrimination to demonstrate that our social and legal norms have evolved from the point where religion was once used to justify discrimination but now, as a general proposition, religion is no longer seen as a basis for exemption from anti-discrimination laws that regulate the commercial marketplace. Building on that history, we urge the Court to adopt the same approach here.

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