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What the Hobby Lobby ruling means to people of faith

Editorial in the Los Angeles Times

by Jonathan Imbody, Vice President for Government Relations

The Times wrongly asserts that the Supreme Court's decision on the Obamacare contraceptives mandate "could embolden employers to assert a 'religious' right to deny other health benefits to their employees — from immunization to blood transfusions to psychotherapy — or to discriminate in other ways."

In fact, the opinion specifies that it "should not be understood to hold that all insurance coverage mandates, e.g., for vaccinations or blood transfusions, must necessarily fall if they conflict with an employer's religious beliefs. Nor does it provide a shield for employers who might cloak illegal discrimination as a religious practice."

Blind to the irony of its own assertion, The Times opines that the court "absurdly" held that "Hobby Lobby and the other companies qualified as 'persons,'" thus protected by 1st Amendment religious exercise rights. If the 1st Amendment did not apply to companies, The Times would have no right to free speech.