The Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will decide whether for-profit businesses can be treated like religious entities in a politically and constitutionally freighted test of the Obama administration’s mandate that employers include free contraception coverage as part of their health plans.
The decision, which is expected by June, will not deal with lawsuits over the mandate that have been filed by non-profit faith-based groups.
The cases accepted by the high court today are Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius.
“My family and I are encouraged that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide our case,” said Steve Green, Hobby Lobby’s founder and CEO. “This legal challenge has always remained about one thing and one thing only: the right of our family businesses to live out our sincere and deeply held religious convictions as guaranteed by the law and the Constitution. Business owners should not have to choose between violating their faith and violating the law.
There are 84 court cases against Obamacare’s birth control mandate.
Editor’s note: This story will be updated shortly. Reactions from social media include:
BREAKING: Supreme Court to decide whether semicolon in First Amendment is dispositive of corporations’ free exercise rights.
— Sarah Posner (@sarahposner) November 26, 2013
— Susan B Anthony List (@SBAList) November 26, 2013
Notable in SCOTUS BC case: Neither one comes from a Catholic-owned company. One is Mennonite, other is evangelical. http://t.co/9tlmJmLKuA
— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) November 26, 2013
Catholic Church first objected to HHS mandate, but Supreme Court will hear cases from Mennonite & evangelical business owners.
— Laurie Goodstein (@lauriegnyt) November 26, 2013
SCOTUS to take up Hobby Lobby. This is the most important religious liberty question in years.
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) November 26, 2013
— ACLU National (@ACLU) November 26, 2013
— The Becket Fund (@TheBecketFund) November 26, 2013
— NARAL (@NARAL) November 26, 2013
— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) November 26, 2013