The New York Times reports that the Supreme Court
will hear two cases on whether corporation owners can cite religious beliefs to keep from providing contraception coverage to their employees.
The Affordable Care Act
corporations to provide contraception coverage in the health insurance plans they offer. The Obama administration has exempted certain Catholic and other religious groups from the rule.
The case joins challenges by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialities Corp, a business owned by Pennsylvania Mennonites.
At issue is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act
, which keeps the government from imposing on a person's
exercise of religion. In ruling for Hobby Lobby, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said that corporations fit the definition of a "person" under the law. Based on the Citizens United decision, the odds of the Supreme Court agreeing seem high.
In court papers, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said
such a decision "would transform RFRA from a shield for individuals and religious institutions into a sword used to deny employees of for-profit commercial enterprises the benefits and protections of generally applicable laws.”