Their case rests on the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which says people can seek to opt out of laws if they substantially burden their free exercise of religion. The government is allowed to burden a person’s religious freedom if it can prove that it has a compelling reason to and that the law is narrowly tailored to achieve its goal.
So far, the 3rd and 6th Circuit Court of Appeals have ruled that RFRA does not protect for-profit companies hoping to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage to employees. “We simply cannot understand how a for-profit, secular corporation — apart from its owners — can exercise religion,” 3rd Circuit Judge Robert Cowen wrote for the majority.Ah, Citizens United, the gift that keeps on giving.
But in the Hobby Lobby case, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Greens, saying the company was protected under RFRA. The judges cited Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that found corporations cannot be restricted in how they spend their money for political reasons because it infringed on their right to free speech
Hobby Lobby, one of the firms involved, is owned by Christian Evangelicals. It was recently in the news because it refused to stock any items themed towards Jewish holidays, telling a Jewish customer, "we don't cater to you people." There was a furor over this and they conceded they might include some Jewish-themed items. After all, money is money.
But I don't understand how allowing employees to choose for themselves whether or not to have contraceptive coverage in any way impinges on the employer's free practice of his faith. He doesn't even know what coverage they are using (or shouldn't--remember what almost happened in Arizona) . Doesn't his desire to impose his values on his employees impinge on THEIR freedom of religion?
This goes back to something we keep harping on: Freedom to practice your religion is NOT freedom to impose your religion.