Key Case for Religious Liberty Begins at Supreme Court This Week: What’s at Stake

States where lawsuits have been filed against the contraceptive mandate. (BECKET FUND FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY)
States where lawsuits have been filed against the contraceptive mandate. (BECKET FUND FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY)

When Hobby Lobby makes its case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, conservative Christians won’t be the only ones paying attention.

After a year and a half of opposing the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate, the evangelical-owned craft store chain has become shorthand for the corporate fight for religious liberty—one that concerns not only Obamacare critics, or fellow Christians who worry that certain contraception methods are abortifacients, but now, Americans overall.

It’s expected to be the most high-profile case the Supreme Court reviews this year. CT can refresh your memory. [Infographics below.]

CNN called Hobby Lobby’s oral arguments, scheduled for March 25, a “high-stakes encore” to Obamacare. Left-leaning news site Mother Jones warned readers about the potential “revolutionary outcomes, from upending a century’s worth of settled corporate law to opening the floodgates to religious challenges to every possible federal statute to gutting the contraceptive mandate.”

Hobby Lobby’s case—to be argued along with Mennonite-owned furniture makers Conestoga Wood Specialties—represents the fate of nearly 100 other businesses and non-profits who have filed suit against the contraceptive mandate. (Churches and other houses of worship had been granted an exemption.)

Their legal challenge has generated an outpouring of amicus briefs—filings of relevant opinion and testimony from interested stakeholders who aren’t directly involved, such as congressmen, scholars, religious groups, and theologians. With 84 filings, the case represents “among the largest amicus efforts ever,” according to The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

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SOURCE: Kate Shellnutt
Christianity Today: GLEANINGS

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