Hobby Lobby and the 2013 term of the Supreme Court (Repeat)

NYTimes' terse summary of the major cases decided this term.


In this repeat, I would invite interests in other major cases and decisions of the 2013 Supreme Court term as well as the reactions, legal or lay, towards the Hobby Lobby decision. 

Some other interesting cases of the 2013 term of the Supreme Court:

NLRB v. Noel Canning (Separation of Powers) 

Riley v. California (Search and Seizure, Privacy) 

McCutcheon v. Federal Election Comm’n (Campaign Contribution) 

American Broadcasting Cos. v. Aereo, Inc. (Streaming Video of Broadcast TV)


Please feel free to nominate one decision you are very interested in discussing in the comment section. I will select one with the most interest to prioritize.

Since the decision, there had been many commentaries about the implication of the jurisprudence of the majority. Not surprisingly, Justice Ginsburg, aka the Notorious R.B.G., is among the most forceful critics of the majority opinion. Taken in a isolation, it may be possible to argue that there had not been a retrogression of women's right but rather a mere exercise of least intrusive test of the Court's previous jurisprudence regarding RFRA. However, with a longer historical perspective, it is hard to argue against the assertion that there had been a steady retraction if not wholesale retreat of women's right. This is in stark contrast to the fortune that gay right movements had seen in less than two decades. 

Another controversial aspect, not so much among the legal community but certainly among the legal laity, is the personhood of corporations.Mother Jones had an interesting article on this also imbued with historical perspective.  


First session description:

The core question of the Hobby Lobby case is whether Hobby Lobby, a privately held for-profit corporation, can refuse to cover certain but not all types of contraceptives mandated by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ACA or colloquolly Obamacare) on the ground of religious objection. Charged with implementing PPACA, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in its regulations, had afforded such exemptions and accommodations to religious institutions but not to for-profit corporations. Other than a claim on the First Amendment's Free Exercise clause, Hobby Lobby had also raised a claim on a 1993 federal statue - Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The federal government has maintained that affording the same exemptions and accommodations to for-profit corporations on their religious claims would render PPACA into piece meals and inoperable. 

Official Documents:

Decision: Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

Supreme Court Oral Argument Audio

Supreme Court Oral Argument Transcript

Merit and Amicus Briefs at ABA 

Note: This event is a repeat of the same topic on 13 July 2014.

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  • David

    Exactly what I was looking for...a pleasant exchange of ideas with bright people.

    August 16

    • L. Y.

      I have to concede that you have an apt pseudonym even without the outfit. XD

      2 · August 16

  • Katie

    Sorry I'm canceling last minute. I've got some people coming to take some furniture this morning for my move. I apologize. I know this will be an awesome discussion.

    August 16

  • Bruce C.

    Sorry, I hoped to meet you guys, but too much happening in my world to do the 75-min commute. See you at the next event! Have fun!

    August 16

  • Jill M.

    I'm concerned about the erosion of religious freedom- I need not be part of the religion to be concerned that their right to practice it is being prohibited-- and even when upheld, the resulting venom spewed is-- scary. The collision of so called "rights" is fascinating, but muddles the issues.

    August 11

  • frank g.

    I am concerned about the steady erosion of civil rights, either thru supreme court fiats or the influence of reactionary elements fueled by ignorance, fear and spiritual impoverishment.

    August 11

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