Commentators continue to parse last week’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, in which a divided Court held that closely held companies with strong religious objections are not required to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s birth-control mandate.  At the Nonprofit Law Prof Blog, Lloyd Mayer contends that “the Hobby Lobby decision does not clearly resolve the cases involving religious nopnrofits that are not flatly exempt from the contraceptives services coverage requirement but instead accommodated,” while at Forbes Daniel Fisher suggests that the decision “pushes the law a bit farther than many legal scholars are comfortable with” because it “allow[s] the plaintiff also to determine what  constitutes a ‘substantial burden’ upon it.”  In an op-ed for the National Law Journal (registration required), Ira Lupu examines what effect the decision might have on benefits for same-sex spouses, while at The Hill’s Congress Blog Ciara Torres-Spelliscy likens the Court to “the modern day Dr. Frankenstein,” which has “breathed legal life into the corporate form and then slowly lost control.”  At ACSblog, Charlotte Garden draws comparisons between Hobby Lobby and the Court’s decision the same day in Harris v. Quinn, holding that Illinois home-health care workers are not full-fledged “public employees” and therefore cannot be required to pay agency fees to a union:  she suggests that both “decisions share an important characteristic: they allow some to shift the costs of their ideological or religious commitments onto workers who may disagree.”  At Dorf on Law, Michael Dorf continues his series on the decision with a post that focuses on “what may strike many as a peculiar aspect of the Hobby Lobby case: the idea that religious claimants are entitled to rely on empirically false propositions to ground their legal claims to exceptions.”  At Hamilton and Griffin on Rights, Marci Hamilton provides a “Hobby-Lobby-To-English Translation Dictionary,” while at his Election Law Blog, Rick Hasen criticizes comments by a federal judge/blogger who had in turn criticized the Hobby Lobby decision.


  • In a wrap-up of environmental cases at Greenwire, Jeremy P. Jacobs observes that, although “the Supreme Court dealt President Obama some heavy blows this term, the administration largely got what it wanted on environmental policy.”
  • At the National Law Journal (registration required), Tony Mauro reports on the “unusually large number of first- and second-time advocates [who] argued before the high court between last October and this April.”

Disclosure:  Kevin Russell of Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, was among the counsel on an amicus brief in support of the respondent in Harris.

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Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 8, 2014, 7:26 AM),