Supreme Court hears religious rights case

Mar 30, 2014 by

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A Mennonite-owned cabinet-making business in Pennsylvania was part of a challenge to the Affordable Care Act on March 25 at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Conestoga Wood Specialties President and CEO Anthony Hahn reads a statement March 25 on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., after oral arguments concerning the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. — Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era

Conestoga Wood Specialties President and CEO Anthony Hahn reads a statement March 25 on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., after oral arguments concerning the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. — Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era

The justices heard arguments that the ACA violates the religious rights of company owners who object to providing insurance coverage for certain kinds of birth control.

Combining questions of religious rights, corporate rights, Obamacare and abortion, the case is, for many people, the most important the Supreme Court will decide this year.

The court heard a case brought by two companies: Hobby Lobby, a chain of 500 stores with more than 13,000 employees owned by the Green family, who are evangelical Christians; and Conestoga Wood, a Lancaster County, Pa.-based company with 950 employees owned by the Hahn family, members of Weaverland Mennonite Conference, an Old Order group.

The business owners are seeking a religious exemption from the requirement that large employers provide insurance that covers a full range of contraceptives, including four that the owners believe can cause abortion. Government lawyers insist that for-profit corporations are not entitled to exercise religious rights. A decision is expected by late June.

See also “Do Companies Have Religious Rights? Supreme Court to Rule.”


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