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Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

United States Supreme Court
134 S.Ct. 2751, 573 U.S. 682 (2014)

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.


The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb (the act), prevented the federal government from acting in any way that burdened a person’s free exercise of religion unless the action was the least-restrictive means of serving a compelling government interest. The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (defendant) passed regulations that required closely held corporations, including Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (Hobby Lobby) and two others (plaintiffs), to provide health-insurance coverage for certain methods of contraception. The methods of contraception violated the sincerely held religious beliefs of Hobby Lobby’s owners. Other HHS regulations provided cost-free access to contraception for employees of religious nonprofit corporations. As a result, Hobby Lobby brought suit, claiming that the HHS regulations violated the act. The district court denied Hobby Lobby’s motion for a preliminary injunction, and the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Alito, J.)

Concurrence (Kennedy, J.)

Dissent (Ginsburg, J.)

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