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An Introduction to Constitutional Law » Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores

An introduction to Constitutional Law 100 Supreme Court cases everyone should know

Randy E. Barnett & Josh Blackman

Hobby Lobby operated nearly 600 craft stores nationwide. The company was founded by David and Barbara Green. The Green family owned the corporation in a trust. Before the ACA was enacted, Hobby Lobby’s insurance policy already covered most forms of birth control. However, board members shared a religious objection to paying for certain other contraceptives, such as Plan B and ella. They considered such products to be “abortifacients,” or abortion-inducing drugs. Hobby Lobby and other religious for-profit corporations challenged the so-called “contraceptive mandate” in court. They argued that the regulations imposed a substantial burden on their free exercise of religion, in violation of RFRA.

The Court ruled for Hobby Lobby by a 5-4 vote. Justice Alito wrote the majority opinion, joined by Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas.

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