Supreme Court Announces Oral Argument Date in ‘Hobby Lobby’ Case

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Supreme Court Announces Oral Argument Date in ‘Hobby Lobby’ Case

Jessica Mason Pieklo

In late March, the Roberts Court will consider whether corporations are people under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and whether the First Amendment recognizes corporate religious rights.

Read more of our coverage on the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases here.

The Supreme Court has announced the date for oral arguments in the secular, for-profit corporate challenges to the birth control benefit in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

On March 25 at 10:00 a.m., the Roberts Court will hear arguments in two cases, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius. Both cases challenge the ACA’s requirement that certain employer-provided health-care plans offer contraceptive coverage at no additional costs to their employees.

While both cases challenge the contraceptive mandate, they raise slightly different issues. In Hobby Lobby, the Roberts Court will look at whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act‘s provision that the government “shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” applies to secular, for-profit corporations. In Conestoga Wood, however, the Court will consider a much broader question of whether business owners have corporate First Amendment free exercise rights.

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The two cases have been consolidated, or combined, for argument. The Court has scheduled an hour for argument in both cases.