Supremes To Weigh In On Businesses That Pray Or Prey

So unsurprisingly, since lower courts have split, the Supreme Court has indeed decided to hear two cases involving the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate and its impact on for-profit corporations owned by people claiming a religious objection to the law.

For purposes of a potentially wide-ranging decision, it’s convenient that one case–the Hobby Lobby case where the Tenth Circuit ruled in the employer’s favor–involves a claim under the statutory Religious Freedom Restoration Act–while the other–where the Third Circuit ruled against a Mennonite owned cabinet maker–involves a “free exercise of religion” constitutional claim.

According to SCOTUSblog’s Lyle Denniston, oral arguments in these cases will probably be heard in March. That’s plenty of time for us all to wrangle over the implications of companies that deny employees benefits on religious grounds: are they praying or preying?

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.