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Friday round-up

Yesterday both the federal government and a Pennsylvania woodworking company asked the Court to weigh in on whether the government can require for-profit corporations to provide their employees with insurance that includes access to contraceptives even when the owners of those corporations object to birth control on religious grounds.  The federal government filed a petition for certiorari seeking review of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which struck down the mandate as applied to Hobby Lobby and Mardel, chains of arts-and-crafts stores and Christian bookstores owned by a family that opposes the use of some contraceptives. The other petition was filed by Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation, which is asking the Court to review the Third Circuit’s decision rejecting its challenge to the mandate.  Lyle covered the story for this blog; other coverage comes from Elise Viebeck of The Hill, the Associated Press (via ABC News), Laura Bassett of The Huffington Post, and Louise Radnofsky of The Wall Street Journal.  And at the Constitutional Accountability Center’s Text and History Blog, David H. Gans applauds Tuesday’s decision by the Sixth Circuit rejecting a challenge to the mandate, arguing that “business corporations do not exercise religion, people do.” 

In her column for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse discusses what shifting public opinion on issues like privacy and criminal sentencing may mean for the Court’s future jurisprudence.  Citing recent remarks by retired Justice John Paul Stevens, who has suggested that “longevity on the bench makes justices ‘more civilized,’” Greenhouse contends that, although it “may be a distant hope” that Stevens’s prediction will “apply not only to individual members of the court, but also to the court as a whole,” it is “one worth clinging to.”

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 20, 2013, 9:35 AM),