⌛ Dartmouth College V. Woodward Case Study
Archived from the original Dartmouth College V. Woodward Case Study February 7, The court said the case On the Origins of the Alphabet: New Dartmouth College V. Woodward Case Study. Anti-Catholic cartoon, Academic level:.
Dartmouth College vs. Woodward
Donald F. Beaumont Senior University, Georgetown, Texas. Aramaic Script Derivatives in Central Eurasia. On the Origins of the Alphabet. Justinian and the International Silk Trade. Li Chen, Genevieve Y. Leung, Matthew A. Marcucci, and Kenneth Yeh; with a foreword by Victor H. The Special Status of Turfan. Traces of Buddhist Art in Sogdiana. Julie M. Groves Hong Kong Baptist University.
Language or Dialect — or Topolect? Soldierly Methods : Vade Mecum for an Iconoclastic Translation of Sun Zi bingfa , with a complete transcription and word-for-word glosses of the Manchu translation by H. Timeline of the Development of the Horse. Sogdians and Buddhism. The Outlook for Taiwanese Language Preservation. The Prospects for Chinese Writing Reform. Prior to issue no. Amber R. Woodward University of Pennsylvania. Reviews XII. Paradoxical Coexistence of Prognostication and Warfare. Manichean Gnosis and Creation.
The Dance of Qian and Kun in the Zhouyi. Uyghurs and Uyghur Identity. Kimberly S. Te Winkle University College, London. Lucas Christopoulos Beijing Sports University. Reviews XI. Land Route or Sea Route? Katheryn Linduff, ed. University of Pittsburgh. Silk Road Exchange in China. A Hypothesis on the Origin of the Yu State. Dogs and Cats: Lessons from Learning Chinese. Influences tokhariennes sur la mythologie chinoise. Two Steps Toward Digraphia in China. John L. Johannessen University of Oregon.
On the Presence of Non-Chinese at Anyang. Mayan: A Sino-Tibetan Language? A Comparative Study. On Proto-Shang. The Getes. Fredrik T. Reviews X. Applying this test, the Court held in Sherbert that an employee who was fired for refusing to work on her Sabbath could not be denied unemployment benefits. And in Yoder, the Court held that Amish children could not be required to comply with a state law demanding that they remain in school until the age of 16 even though their religion required them to focus on uniquely Amish values and beliefs during their formative adolescent years.
Smith concerned two members of the Native American Church who were fired for ingesting peyote for sacramental purposes. When they sought unemployment benefits, the State of Oregon rejected their claims on the ground that consumption of peyote was a crime, but the Oregon Supreme Court, applying the Sherbert test, held that the denial of benefits violated the Free Exercise Clause. Flores, U. As enacted in , RFRA applied to both the Federal Government and the States, but the constitutional authority invoked for regulating federal and state agencies differed. See also id. See Cutter v. Wilkinson, U. Any covered employer that does not provide such coverage must pay a substantial price.
Congress itself, however, did not specify what types of preventive care must be covered. The HRSA in turn consulted the Institute of Medicine, a nonprofit group of volunteer advisers, in determining which preventive services to require. See 77 Fed. See id. Although many of the required, FDA-approved methods of contraception work by preventing the fertilization of an egg, four of those methods those specifically at issue in these cases may have the effect of preventing an already fertilized egg from developing any further by inhibiting its attachment to the uterus. In its Guidelines,HRSA exempted these organizations from the requirement to cover contraceptive services. To qualify for this accommodation, an employer must certify that it is such an organization.
In addition to these exemptions for religious organizations, ACA exempts a great many employers from most of its coverage requirements. And employers with fewer than 50 employees are not required to provide health insurance at all. This is attributable, in large part, to grandfathered health plans: Over one-third of the million nonelderly people in America with employer-sponsored health plans were enrolled in grandfathered plans in Brief for HHS in No. Norman and Elizabeth Hahn and their three sons are devout members of the Mennonite Church, a Christian denomination. Fifty years ago, Norman Hahn started a wood-working business in his garage, and since then, this company, Conestoga Wood Specialties, has grown and now has employees.
Conestoga is organized under Pennsylvania law as a for-profit corporation. The Hahns exercise sole ownership of the closely held business; they control its board of directors and hold all of its voting shares. One of the Hahn sons serves as the president and CEO. The Hahns have accordingly excluded from the group-health-insurance plan they offer to their employees certain contraceptive methods that they consider to be abortifacients.
The District Court denied a preliminary injunction, see F. David and Barbara Green and their three children are Christians who own and operate two family businesses. Forty-five years ago, David Green started an arts-and-crafts store that has grown into a nationwide chain called Hobby Lobby. There are now Hobby Lobby stores, and the company has more than 13, employees.
Hobby Lobby is organized as a for-profit corporation under Oklahoma law. Mardel is also organized as a for-profit corporation under Oklahoma law. Though these two businesses have expanded over the years, they remain closely held, and David, Barbara, and their children retain exclusive control of both companies. See Brief for Respondents in No. In accordance with those commitments, Hobby Lobby and Mardel stores close on Sundays, even though the Greens calculate that they lose millions in sales annually by doing so. Like the Hahns, the Greens believe that life begins at conception and that it would violate their religion to facilitate access to contraceptive drugs or devices that operate after that point.
They specifically object to the same four contraceptive methods as the Hahns and, like the Hahns, they have no objection to the other 16 FDA-approved methods of birth control. Although their group-health-insurance plan predates the enactment of ACA, it is not a grandfathered plan because Hobby Lobby elected not to retain grandfathered status before the contraceptive mandate was proposed. The Tenth Circuit granted that motion and reversed in a divided opinion. The court then held that the corporations had established a likelihood of success on their RFRA claim. We granted certiorari. The first question that we must address is whether this provision applies to regulations that govern the activities of for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby, Conestoga, and Mardel.
According to HHS, the companies cannot sue because they seek to make a profit for their owners, and the owners cannotbe heard because the regulations, at least as a formal mat-ter, apply only to the companies and not to the ownersas individuals. In that case, five Orthodox Jewish merchants who ran small retail businesses in Philadelphia challenged a Pennsylvania Sunday closing law as a violation of the Free Exercise Clause.
Because of their faith, these merchants closed their shops on Saturday, and they argued that requiring them to remain shut on Sunday threatened them with financial ruin. The Court entertained their claim although it ruled against them on the merits , and if a similar claim were raised today under RFRA against a jurisdiction still subject to the Act for example, the District of Columbia, see 42 U. According to HHS, however, if these merchants chose to incorporate their businesses—with-out in any way changing the size or nature of their businesses—they would forfeit all RFRA and free-exercise rights. HHS would put these merchants to a difficult choice: either give up the right to seek judicial protection of their religious liberty or forgo the benefits, available to their competitors, of operating as corporations.
As we have seen, RFRA was designed to provide very broad protection for religious liberty. A corporation is simply a form of organization used by human beings to achieve desired ends. An established body of law specifies the rights and obligations of the people including shareholders, officers, and employees who are associated with a corporation in one way or another. When rights, whether constitutional or statu-tory, are extended to corporations, the purpose is to protect the rights of these people. For example, extending Fourth Amendment protection to corporations protects the privacy interests of employees and others associated with the company. And protecting the free-exercise rights of corporations like Hobby Lobby, Conestoga, and Mardel protects the religious liberty of the humans who own and control those companies.
They do not pray, worship, observe sacraments or take other religiously-motivated actions separate and apart from the intention and direction of their individual actors. All of this is true—but quite beside the point. EEOC, U. Hialeah, U. But no conceivable definition of the term includes natural persons and nonprofit corporations, but not for-profit corporations. Clark v. Martinez, U. Neither HHS nor the dissent, however, provides any persuasive explanation for this conclusion. Is it because of the corporate form? The corporate form alone cannot provide the explanation because, as we have pointed out, HHS concedes that nonprofit corporations can be protected by RFRA. Amos, U. If the corporate form is not enough, what about the profit-making objective? In Braunfeld, U.
Business practices that are compelled or limited by the tenets of a religious doctrine fall comfortably within that definition. Braunfeld, supra, at ; see United States v. Some lower court judges have suggested that RFRA does not protect for-profit corporations because the purpose of such corporations is simply to make money. While it is certainly true that a central objective of for-profit corporations is to make money, modern corporate law does not require for-profit corporations to pursue profit at the expense of everything else, and many do not do so. For-profit corporations, with ownership approval, support a wide variety of charitable causes, and it is not at all uncommon for such corporations to further humanitarian and other altruistic objectives. Many examples come readily to mind.
So long as its owners agree, a for-profit corporation may take costly pollution-control and energy-conservation measures that go beyond what the law requires. A for-profit corporation that operates facilities in other countries may exceed the requirements of local law regarding working conditions and benefits. If for-profit corporations may pursue such worthy objectives, there is no apparent reason why they may not further religious objectives as well. Not all corporations that decline to organize as nonprofits do so in order to maximize profit. For example, organizations with religious and charitable aims might organize as for-profit corporations because of the potential advantages of that corporate form, such as the freedom to participate in lobbying for legislation or campaigning for political candidates who promote their religious or charitable goals.
This argument has many flaws. That amendment deleted the prior reference to the First Amendment, see 42 U. Third, the one pre-Smith case involving the free-exercise rights of a for-profit corporation suggests, if anything, that for-profit corporations possess such rights. In Gallagher v. See U. The three dissenters, Justices Douglas, Brennan, and Stewart, found the law unconstitutional as applied to the corporation and the other challengers and thus implicitly recognized their right to assert a free-exercise claim.
Maryland, U. See McGowan, U. For example, we are not aware of any pre-Smith case in which this Court entertained a free-exercise claim brought by a resident noncitizen. Presumably in recognition of the weakness of this argument, both HHS and the principal dissent fall back on the broader contention that the Nation lacks a tradition of exempting for-profit corporations from generally applicable laws. In making this argument, however, HHS did not call to our attention the fact that some federal statutes do exempt categories of entities that include for-profit corporations from laws that would otherwise require these entities to engage in activities to which they object on grounds of conscience.
These cases, however, do not involve publicly traded corporations, and it seems unlikely that the sort of corporate giants to which HHS refers will often assert RFRA claims. HHS has not pointed to any example of a publicly traded corporation asserting RFRA rights, and numerous practical restraints would likely prevent that from occurring. For example, the idea that unrelated shareholders—including institutional investors with their own set of stakeholders—would agree to run a corporation under the same religious beliefs seems improbable.
The companies in the cases before us are closely held corporations, each owned and controlled by members of a single family, and no one has disputed the sincerity of their religious beliefs. On the contrary, the scope of RLUIPA shows that Congress was confident of the ability of the federal courts to weed out insincere claims. HHS and the principal dissent express concern about the possibility of disputes among the owners of corporations, but that is not a problem that arises because of RFRA or that is unique to this context.
The owners of closely held corporations may—and sometimes do—disagree about the conduct of business. And even if RFRA did not exist, the owners of a company might well have a dispute relating to religion. Code Ann. We have little trouble concluding that it does. As we have noted, the Hahns and Greens have a sincere religious belief that life begins at conception. They therefore object on religious grounds to providing health insurance that covers methods of birth control that, as HHS acknowledges, see Brief for HHS in No.
By requiring the Hahns and Greens and their companies to arrange for such coverage, the HHS mandate demands that they engage in conduct that seriously violates their religious beliefs. If the Hahns and Greens and their companies do not yield to this demand, the economic consequences will be severe. These sums are surely substantial. It is true that the plaintiffs could avoid these assessments by dropping insurance coverage altogether and thus forcing their employees to obtain health insurance on one of the exchanges established under ACA.
But if at least one of their full-time employees were to qualify for a subsidy on one of the government-run exchanges, this course would also entail substantial economic consequences. We do not generally entertain arguments that were not raised below and are not advanced in this Court by any party, see United Parcel Service, Inc. Mitchell, U. Wolfish, U. United States, U. HHS, which presumably could have compiled the relevant statistics, has never made this argument—not in its voluminous briefing or at oral argument in this Court nor, to our knowledge, in any of the numerous cases in which the issue now before us has been litigated around the country.
Even if we were to reach this argument, we would find it unpersuasive. As an initial matter, it entirely ignores the fact that the Hahns and Greens and their companies have religious reasons for providing health-insurance coverage for their employees. Before the advent of ACA, they were not legally compelled to provide insurance, but they nevertheless did so—in part, no doubt, for conventional business reasons, but also in part because their religious beliefs govern their relations with their employees. See App. Putting aside the religious dimension of the decision to provide insurance, moreover, it is far from clear that the net cost to the companies of providing insurance is more than the cost of dropping their insurance plans and paying the ACA penalty.
Health insurance is a benefit that employees value. If the companies simply eliminated that benefit and forced employees to purchase their own insurance on the exchanges, without offering additional compensation, it is predictable that the companies would face a competitive disadvantage in retaining and attracting skilled workers. The companies could attempt to make up for the elimination of a group health plan by increasing wages, but this would be costly. Group health insurance is generally less expensive than comparable individual coverage, so the amount of the salary increase needed to fully compensate for the termination of insurance coverage may well exceed the cost to the companies of providing the insurance.
In addition, any salary increase would have to take into account the fact that employees must pay income taxes on wages but not on the value of employer-provided health insurance. Given these economic incentives, it is far from clear that it would be financially advantageous for an employer to drop coverage and pay the penalty. In sum, we refuse to sustain the challenged regulations on the ground—never maintained by the Government—that dropping insurance coverage eliminates the substantial burden that the HHS mandate imposes. We doubt that the Congress that enacted RFRA—or, for that matter, ACA—would have believed it a tolerable result to put family-run businesses to the choice of violating their sincerely held religious beliefs or making all of their employees lose their existing healthcare plans.
Brief for HHS in 13—, pp. HHS and the dissent note that providing the coverage would not itself result in the destruction of an embryo; that would occur only if an employee chose to take advantage of the coverage and to use one of the four methods at issue. This argument dodges the question that RFRA presents whether the HHS mandate imposes a substantial burden on the ability of the objecting parties to conduct business in accordance with their religious beliefs and instead addresses a very different question that the federal courts have no business addressing whether the religious belief asserted in a RFRA case is reasonable. The Hahns and Greens believe that providing the coverage demanded by the HHS regulations is connected to the destruction of an embryo in a way that is sufficient to make it immoral for them to provide the coverage.
This belief implicates a difficult and important question of religion and moral philosophy, namely, the circumstances under which it is wrong for a person to perform an act that is innocent in itself but that has the effect of enabling or facilitating the commission of an immoral act by another. For good reason, we have repeatedly refused to take such a step. Commissioner, U. Moreover, in Thomas v. Because he objected on religious grounds to participating in the manufacture of weapons, he lost his job and sought unemployment compensation. Ruling against the em-ployee, the state court had difficulty with the line thatthe employee drew between work that he found to be con-sistent with his religious beliefs helping to manufacture steel that was used in making weapons and work that he found morally objectionable helping to make the weapons themselves.
Similarly, in these cases, the Hahns and Greens and their companies sincerely believe that providing the insurance coverage demanded by the HHS regulations lies on the forbidden side of the line, and it is not for us to say that their religious beliefs are mistaken or insubstantial. HHS nevertheless compares these cases to decisions in which we rejected the argument that the use of general tax revenue to subsidize the secular activities of religious institutions violated the Free Exercise Clause.
See Tilton v. Here, in contrast, the plaintiffs do assert that funding the specific contraceptive methods at issue violates their religious beliefs, and HHS does not question their sincerity. O Centro, supra, at In addition to asserting these very broadly framed interests, HHS maintains that the mandate serves a compelling interest in ensuring that all women have access to all FDA-approved contraceptives without cost sharing. Under our cases, women and men have a constitutional right to obtain contraceptives, see Griswold v. Connecticut, U. The objecting parties contend that HHS has not shown that the mandate serves a compelling government interest, and it is arguable that there are features of ACA that support that view. As we have noted, many employees—those covered by grandfathered plans and those who work for employers with fewer than 50 employees—may have no contraceptive coverage without cost sharing at all.
HHS responds that many legal requirements have exceptions and the existence of exceptions does not in itself indicate that the principal interest served by a law is not compelling. Even a compelling interest may be outweighed in some circumstances by another even weightier consideration. In these cases, however, the interest served by one of the biggest exceptions, the exception for grandfathered plans, is simply the interest of employers in avoiding the inconvenience of amending an existing plan. But the contraceptive mandate is expressly excluded from this subset. We find it unnecessary to adjudicate this issue.
We will assume that the interest in guaranteeing cost-free access to the four challenged contraceptive methods is compelling within the meaning of RFRA, and we will proceed to consider the final prong of the RFRA test, i. The least-restrictive-means standard is exceptionally demanding, see City of Boerne, U. HHS has not shown that it lacks other means of achieving its desired goal without imposing a substantial burden on the exercise of religion by the objecting parties in these cases. HHS has not provided any estimate of the average cost per employee of providing access tothese contraceptives, two of which, according to the FDA, are designed primarily for emergency use.
Nor has HHS provided any statistics regarding the number of employees who might be affected because they work for corporations like Hobby Lobby, Conestoga, and Mardel. Nor has HHS told us that it is unable to provide such statistics. It seems likely, however, that the cost of providing the forms of contraceptives at issue in these cases if not all FDA-approved contraceptives would be minor when compared with the overall cost of ACA. In the end, however, we need not rely on the option of a new, government-funded program in order to conclude that the HHS regulations fail the least-restrictive-means test.
HHS itself has demonstrated that it has at its disposal an approach that is less restrictive than requiring employers to fund contraceptive methods that violate their religious beliefs. As we explained above, HHS has already established an accommodation for nonprofit organizations with religious objections. See supra, at 9—10, and nn. Under that accommodation, the organization can self-certify that it opposes providing coverage for particular contraceptive services. We do not decide today whether an approach of this type complies with RFRA for purposes of all religious claims. The principal dissent identifies no reason why this accommodation would fail to protect the asserted needs of women as effectively as the contraceptive mandate, and there is none.
HHS and the principal dissent argue that a ruling in favor of the objecting parties in these cases will lead to a flood of religious objections regarding a wide variety of medical procedures and drugs, such as vaccinations and blood transfusions, but HHS has made no effort to substantiate this prediction. The owners of many closely held corporations could not in good conscience provide such coverage, and thus HHS would effectively exclude these people from full participation in the economic life of the Nation. RFRA was enacted to prevent such an outcome.
In any event, our decision in these cases is concerned solely with the contraceptive mandate. Other coverage requirements, such as immunizations, may be supported by different interests for example, the need to combat the spread of infectious diseases and may involve different arguments about the least restrictive means of providing them. The principal dissent raises the possibility that discrimination in hiring, for example on the basis of race, might be cloaked as religious practice to escape legal sanction.
See post, at 32— Our decision today provides no such shield. The Government has a compelling interest in providing an equal opportunity to participate in the workforce without regard to race, and prohibitions on racial discrimination are precisely tailored to achieve that critical goal. HHS also raises for the first time in this Court the argument that applying the contraceptive mandate to for-profit employers with sincere religious objections is essential to the comprehensive health-insurance scheme that ACA establishes. HHS analogizes the contraceptive mandate to the requirement to pay Social Security taxes, which we upheld in Lee despite the religious objection of an employer, but these cases are quite different.
Our holding in Lee turned primarily on the special problems associated with a national system of taxation. Lee was a free-exercise, not a RFRA, case, but if the issue in Lee were analyzed under the RFRA framework, the fundamental point would be that there simply is no less restrictive alternative to the categorical requirement to pay taxes. Because of the enormous variety of government expenditures funded by tax dollars, allowing tax-payers to withhold a portion of their tax obligations on religious grounds would lead to chaos.
Recognizingexemptions from the contraceptive mandate is very different. ACA does not create a large national pool of tax revenue for use in purchasing healthcare coverage. Rather, individual employers like the plaintiffs purchase insurance for their own employees. In its final pages, the principal dissent reveals that its fundamental objection to the claims of the plaintiffs is an objection to RFRA itself. The dissent worries about forcing the federal courts to apply RFRA to a host of claims made by litigants seeking a religious exemption from generally applicable laws, and the dissent expresses a desire to keep the courts out of this business.
In making this plea, the dissent reiterates a point made forcefully by the Court in Smith. The contraceptive mandate, as applied to closely held corporations, violates RFRA. Our decision on that statutory question makes it unnecessary to reach the First Amendment claim raised by Conestoga and the Hahns. The judgment of the Tenth Circuit in No. Because of the enormous variety of government expenditures funded by tax dollars, allowing tax- payers to withhold a portion of their tax obligations on religious grounds would lead to chaos. Recognizing exemptions from the contraceptive mandate is very different. ACA does not create a large national pool of tax revenue for use in purchasing healthcare coverage.
Rather, individual employers like the plaintiffs purchase insurance for their own employees. In its final pages, the principal dissent reveals that its fundamental objection to the claims of the plaintiffs is an objection to RFRA itself. The dissent worries about forcing the federal courts to apply RFRA to a host of claims made by litigants seeking a religious exemption from generally applicable laws, and the dissent expresses a desire to keep the courts out of this business. In making this plea, the dissent reiterates a point made forcefully by the Court in Smith. The contraceptive mandate, as applied to closely held corporations, violates RFRA. Our decision on that statutory question makes it unnecessary to reach the First Amendment claim raised by Conestoga and the Hahns.
The judgment of the Tenth Circuit in No. On this understanding of our pre- Smith cases, RFRA did more than merely restore the balancing test used in the Sherbert line of cases; it provided even broader protection for religious liberty than was available under those decisions. Lyght , F. Guerrero , F. See post , at 11, n. That argument is plainly wrong. The owners of the companies involved in these cases and others who believe that life begins at conception regard these four methods as causing abortions, but federal regulations, which define pregnancy as beginning at implantation, see, e.
The regulations establish a mechanism for these third-party administrators to be compensated for their expenses by obtaining a reduction in the fee paid by insurers to participate in the federally facilitated exchanges. See 78 Fed. See Little Sisters of the Poor v. Sebelius , U. The family provided that the trust would also be governed according to their religious principles. Four judges, however, concluded that the Greens could do so, see F. Post , at For present purposes, it is unnecessary to adjudicate this dispute.
Even if RFRA simply restored the status quo ante, there is no reason to believe, as HHS and the dissent seem to suggest, that the law was meant to be limited to situations that fall squarely within the holdings of pre- Smith cases. See infra , at 25— See Gallagher v. Sebelius , F. The first half of this statement is a tautology; for-profit corporations do indeed differ from nonprofits insofar as they seek to make a profit for their owners, but the second part is factually untrue. Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating. Blackstone, Commentaries on the Law of England — This purpose is in addition to [the purpose of engaging in any lawful business].
Section n a flatly prohibits discrimination against a covered healthcare facility for refusing to engage in certain activities related to abortion. If a covered healthcare facility challenged such discrimination under RFRA, by contrast, the discrimination would be unlawful only if a court concluded, among other things, that there was a less restrictive means of achieving any compelling government interest.
Quaintance , F. Thalacker , 90 F. White , F. State , N. But that is not the only plausible inference from the failed amendment—or even the most likely. S Mar. It is thus perfectly reasonable to believe that the amendment was voted down because it extended more broadly than the pre-existing protections of RFRA. It is not plausible to find such an explicit reference in the meager legislative history on which the dissent relies. In order to provide full compensation for employees, the companies would have to calculate the value to employees of the convenience of retaining their employer-provided coverage and thus being spared the task of attempting to find and sign up for a comparable plan on an exchange.
The connection between what these religious employers would be required to do if not exempted provide insurance coverage for particular contraceptives and the ultimate event that they find morally wrong destruction of an embryo is exactly the same. Nevertheless, as discussed, HHS and the Labor and Treasury Departments authorized the exemption from the contraceptive mandate of group health plans of certain religious employers, and later expanded the exemption to include certain nonprofit organizations with religious objections to contraceptive coverage. Nothing in the text of RFRA or its basic purposes supports giving the Government an entirely free hand to impose burdens on religious exercise so long as those burdens confer a benefit on other individuals.
But it could not reasonably be maintained that any burden on religious exercise, no matter how onerous and no matter how readily the government interest could be achieved through alternative means, is permissible under RFRA so long as the relevant legal obligation requires the religious adherent to confer a benefit on third parties. Otherwise, for example, the Government could decide that all supermarkets must sell alcohol for the convenience of customers and thereby exclude Muslims with religious objections from owning supermarkets , or it could decide that all restaurants must remain open on Saturdays to give employees an opportunity to earn tips and thereby exclude Jews with religious objections from owning restaurants.
By framing any Government regulation as benefiting a third party, the Government could turn all regulations into entitlements to which nobody could object on religious grounds, rendering RFRA meaningless. In any event, our decision in these cases need not result in any detrimental effect on any third party. The less re- strictive approach we describe accommodates the religious beliefs as- serted in these cases, and that is the only question we are permitted to address. Hobbs , No. Under RFRA, when followers of a particular religion choose to enter into commercial activity, the Government does not have a free hand in imposing obligations that substantially burden their exercise of religion. The Court and the dissent disagree on the proper interpretation of the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act of RFRA , but do agree on the purpose of that statute.
It is to ensure that interests in religious freedom are protected. Ante , at 5—6; post , at 8—9 Ginsburg , J. In our constitutional tradition, freedom means that all persons have the right to believe or strive to believe in a divine creator and a divine law. For those who choose this course, free exercise is essential in preserving their own dignity and in striving for a self-definition shaped by their religious precepts. Free exercise in this sense implicates more than just freedom of belief.
See Cantwell v. But in a complex society and an era of pervasive governmental regulation, defining the proper realm for free exercise can be difficult. In these cases the plaintiffs deem it necessary to exercise their religious beliefs within the context of their own closely held, for-profit corporations. Ante , at 39; see, e. There are many medical conditions for which pregnancy is contraindicated. Ante , at But the Government has not made the second showing required by RFRA, that the means it uses to regulate is the least restrictive way to further its interest.
That framework is one that HHS has itself devised, that the plaintiffs have not criticized with a specific objection that has been considered in detail by the courts in this litigation, and that is less restrictive than the means challenged by the plaintiffs in these cases. Ante, at 9—10, and n. The means the Government chose is the imposition of a direct mandate on the employers in these cases. Ante, at 8—9. But in other instances the Government has allowed the same contraception coverage in issue here to be provided to employees of nonprofit religious organizations, as an accommodation to the religious objections of those entities. See ante, at 9—10, and n. The accommodation works by requiring insurance companies to cover, without cost sharing, contraception coverage for female employees who wish it.
See ante, at RFRA is inconsis- tent with the insistence of an agency such as HHS on distinguishing between different religious believers—bur- dening one while accommodating the other—when it may treat both equally by offering both of them the same accommodation. The parties who were the plaintiffs in the District Courts argue that the Government could pay for the methods that are found objectionable. Brief for Respond ents in No. In discussing this alternative, the Court does not address whether the proper response to a legitimate claim for freedom in the health care arena is for the Government to create an additional program.
Ante, at 41— The Court properly does not resolve whether one freedom should be protected by creating incentives for additional government constraints. Ante, at 43— Galloway , U. Among the reasons the United States is so open, so tolerant, and so free is that no person may be restricted or demeaned by government in exercising his or her religion. Yet neither may that same exercise unduly restrict other persons, such as employees, in protecting their own interests, interests the law deems compelling.
In these cases the means to reconcile those two priorities are at hand in the existing accommodation the Government has designed, identified, and used for circumstances closely parallel to those presented here. RFRA requires the Government to use this less restrictive means. As the Court explains, this existing model, designed precisely for this problem, might well suffice to distinguish the instant cases from many others in which it is more difficult and expensive to accommodate a governmental program to countless religious claims based on an alleged statutory right of free exercise. Ante, at 45— In a decision of startling breadth, the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, can opt out of any law saving only tax laws they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.
See ante, at 16— See ante , at 41— See infra , at 6—8. Casey , U. The Affordable Care Act ACA , in its initial form, specified three categories of preventive care that health plans must cover at no added cost to the plan participant or beneficiary. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts. And increased access to contraceptive services, the sponsors comprehended, would yield important public health gains. This expanded access will reduce unintended pregnancies. The report noted the disproportionate burden women carried for comprehensive health services and the adverse health consequences of excluding contraception from preventive care available to employees without cost sharing. S Feb. In Smith , two members of the Native American Church were dis missed from their jobs and denied unemployment benefits because they ingested peyote at, and as an essential element of, a religious ceremony.
Accommodations to religious beliefs or observances, the Court has clarified, must not significantly impinge on the interests of third parties. See Catholic Charities of Sacramento, Inc. Superior Court , 32 Cal. Supreme Court] has exempted a religious objector from the operation of a neutral, generally applicable law despite the recognition that the requested exemption would detrimentally affect the rights of third parties. See also H. See Brief for Senator Murray et al. Despite these authoritative indications, the Court sees RFRA as a bold initiative departing from, rather than restoring, pre- Smith jurisprudence. See ante, at 6, n. See ante, at 6—7. But the amendment in no way suggests that Congress meant to expand the class of entities qualified to mount religious accommodation claims, nor does it relieve courts of the obligation to inquire whether a government action substantially burdens a religious exercise.
See Rasul v. Myers , F. See also Gilardi v. United States Dept. Kennedy , F. See also ante, at 6, n. See supra, at 8—9. Douglas Laycock. See Sherbert , U. And last, does the requirement represent the least restrictive means for furthering that interest? Misguided by its errant premise that RFRA moved beyond the pre- Smith case law, the Court falters at each step of its analysis. Here, context does so indicate. There is in that case law no support for the notion that free exercise rights pertain to for-profit corporations.
Woodward , 4 Wheat. No such solicitude is traditional for com- mercial organizations. The reason why is hardly obscure. Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. Workers who sustain the operations of those corporations commonly are not drawn from one religious community. Indeed, by law, no religion-based criterion can restrict the work force of for-profit corporations. See 42 U. Trans World Airlines, Inc. Hardison , U. Reading RFRA, as the Court does, to require extension of religion-based exemptions to for-profit corporations surely is not grounded in the pre- Smith precedent Congress sought to preserve. Had Congress intended RFRA to initiate a change so huge, a clarion statement to that effect likely would have been made in the legislation.
See Whitman v. American Trucking Assns. The text of RFRA makes no such statement and the legislative history does not so much as mention for-profit corporations. See Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. See also Senators Brief 10—13 none of the cases cited in House or Senate Judiciary Committee reports accompanying RFRA, or mentioned during floor speeches, recognized the free exercise rights of for-profit corporations. The Court notes that for-profit corporations may support charitable causes and use their funds for religious ends, and therefore questions the distinction between such corporations and religious nonprofit organizations.
See ante, at 20— See also ante, at 3 Kennedy , J. For-profit corporations do not fit that bill. Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England , and was reiterated by this Court centuries before the enactment of the Internal Revenue Code. See Terrett v. Taylor , 9 Cranch 43, 49 describing religious corporations ; Trustees of Dartmouth College , 4 Wheat. Citing Braunfeld v. See also ante, at 16— In a sole proprietorship, the business and its owner are one and the same. One might ask why the separation should hold only when it serves the interest of those who control the corporation. In any event, Braunfeld is hardly impressive authority for the entitlement Hobby Lobby and Conestoga seek. The free exercise claim asserted there was promptly rejected on the merits.
Although the Court attempts to cabin its language to closely held corporations, its logic extends to corporations of any size, public or private. See Cong. The Court barely pauses to inquire whether any burden imposed by the contraceptive coverage requirement is substantial. See Thomas , U. See also 42 U. Kaemmerling v. Lappin , F. Bowen v. Roy , U. See also Hernandez v. The re quirement carries no command that Hobby Lobby or Conestoga purchase or provide the contraceptives they find objectionable. Instead, it calls on the companies covered by the requirement to direct money into undifferentiated funds that finance a wide variety of benefits under comprehensive health plans.
Those plans, in order to comply with the ACA, see supra, at 3—6, must offer contraceptive coverage without cost sharing, just as they must cover an array of other preventive services. Importantly, the decisions whether to claim benefits under the plans are made not by Hobby Lobby or Cones- toga, but by the covered employees and dependents, in consultation with their health care providers. Should an employee of Hobby Lobby or Conestoga share the religious beliefs of the Greens and Hahns, she is of course under no compulsion to use the contraceptives in question. Those interests are concrete, specific, and demonstrated by a wealth of empirical evidence. To recapitulate, the mandated contraception coverage enables women to avoid the health problems unintended pregnancies may visit on them and their children.
See IOM Report —Court held that George Frideric Handels Halleujah Chorus unsuccessful bidder on a government contract had standing to sue the Dartmouth College V. Woodward Case Study because the award violated law and regulations. Ashcroft v. New York Review Different Types Of Love In Shakespeares Romeo And Juliet Books. Dartmouth College V. Woodward Case Study v. Dartmouth College V. Woodward Case Study for-profit corporation that operates facilities in other countries may exceed the requirements of local law Dartmouth College V. Woodward Case Study working conditions Dartmouth College V. Woodward Case Study benefits. See App.