Prepare a written Case Brief of the U.S. Supreme Court case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. The opinion is available at: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/13-354_olp1.pdf
MUST USE THE TEMPLATE ATTACHED TO COMPLETE THIS ASSIGNMENT. I HAVE ALSO ATTACHED A SAMPLE PAPER FOR YOUR GUIDANCE DO NOT PLAGIARIZE!
ABSOLUTELY NO PLAGAIARISM! MINIMUM 600 WORDS. DUE 7/16/2020 AT 10AM EST TIME.
Week 3 Case Brief Assignment
American Public University
Case Citation: xx
Running head: CASE BRIEF 1
CASE BRIEF 2
Case Citation: Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 573 U.S. 682 (2014)
The Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., representing the plaintiff, was requesting the court for a preliminary injunction against the implementation of the use of contraception under their health plan. The plaintiff argued that the requirement contravened their religious beliefs as they were a Christian-run organization. Also, they claimed the requirement as a violation against the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act(RFRA) of 1993. Thus they were suing Sylvia Burwell, the Secretary and the Department of Human Health Services (HHS). There were specifically against a few of the contraceptive methods approved by the department which they felt led to abortion which would be against their religion.
The case began in 2012 when Hobby Lobby sued against the enforcement of the requirement under the RFRA before a U.S District Court judge who denied them a preliminary injunction. In 2014, the company was favored as having a right to religious freedom under the RRFRA. This thus exempted the company from covering the cost of particular contraception drugs in their health plan based on their religious beliefs. Prior, before it was a standalone case, it entailed a combination of two cases including Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation v. Sebelius.
The issue facing the court is what constitutes a person covered under the RFRA when regarding for-profit organizations. The courts had to consider the side of the plaintiff who argued their right to religious freedom and the HHS claim that the requirement only covers corporations and not individuals. On one side, the plaintiff claimed they were fixed into a corner between choosing to maintain their religious beliefs and paying the high penalties imposed by HHS. The court also had to consider how much power the HHS and other government agencies have in dictating which type of contraception women should access and also requiring the employer to cover such contraception under their health plans.
The case moved between the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 and the Affordable Care Act. The court’s burden of proof was in determining if the requirement enforced by HHS under the ACA was restrictive on the religious freedom of the plaintiff and the public’s interest. The RFRA prohibits limiting a person’s religious freedom by an enforced law and thus prompting its reevaluation. In this case, the court had to reevaluate if the law passed by HHS was generally restrictive of the religious freedom of the plaintiff under the HHS. On the other hand, it had to keep the public interest in mind in the observation of the ACA which relies on HHS to adopt the coverage of female contraception under employer health plans.
The court ruling in favor of the plaintiff indicates the thin line between religious beliefs and the law. The determination of the court that the company was a person under the RFRA law gave them leverage to argue against the requirement by HHS to cover contraception. The HHS on its part placed certain obstacles to its implementation. First, it advocated for the company to be separated from its owners which is not favored under the RFRA. Secondly, it outlined certain contraceptives to be covered under the plan which shows the possible cause of abortion which contravenes the religious beliefs of the plaintiff. Thirdly, its penalties including $100 per day proofed to be burdensome to the plaintiff which again violates the RFRA.
The final ruling on the case encompasses the RFRA which requires the reexamination of any law that causes a general restriction on the religious freedom of a person. The determination of the company as a person under the RFRA implies they are protected and thus can protest the requirement.
Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., et al. (2019). Supreme Court. Retrieved 13 April 2020, from www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/13-354_olp1.pdf