In its final rulings of the year Monday, the Supreme Court is set to release its decision about whether private businesses like Hobby Lobby have the right to exercise freedom of religion as a company by rejecting the contraception mandate in Obamacare. This will be the biggest decision made by the Supreme Court surrounding Obamacare since the law was determined to be a tax and was upheld as constitutional in June 2012. Here is a quick summary from The Wire:
Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores & Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp v. Sebelius.
These two cases, considered together, challenge the health care reform law's contraceptive mandate. There are two broad questions at issue here: whether private businesses have the right to exercise their freedom of religion either under the Constitution or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and if so, whether the contraceptive mandate violates that religious freedom. Those are both big questions with implications for the more than 40 other challenges to the contraceptive mandate working their way through the courts. However, as we noted in our recap of the oral arguments, the court could end up issuing a much narrower ruling. Justice Ginsburg has said that the Hobby Lobby decision will be one of the last released by the court this month.
Those on the side of Hobby Lobby in this case are confident in the arguments that were made before the court on this issue earlier this year and believe freedom of religion will prevail.
"Absolutely, we win -- we are very confident after oral argument in March that we will prevail in this case," Chief Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty Hannah Smith, who is representing Hobby Lobby, said in a recent interview on Fox News. "The Court was very skeptical that the government's claim that the federal law and the constitution doesn't allow for-profit businesses to be protected in their religious freedom. I think you saw some of the liberal justices being very skeptical of that claim."
Protests by liberal and conservative groups are expected outside of the Supreme Court ahead of the ruling.