A Win For Hobby Lobby, And What It Means

The Hobby Lobby ruling and a big term for the Supreme Court. We’ll unpack the decisions.

Demonstrators react to hearing the Supreme Court's decision on the Hobby Lobby case outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP)

Demonstrators react to hearing the Supreme Court’s decision on the Hobby Lobby case outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP)

To the Greens of Oklahoma, it was just logical.  Yes, they were billionaires.  Yes, their Hobby Lobby chain employed thousands of people.  But why would they cover contraception that their religious belief found offensive?  To many others, the logic ran just the other way.  The Affordable Care Act offered health care to all.  Contraception included.  Why would a woman be subject to the religion of Boss Green? Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled for the Greens, for Hobby Lobby, for the religious rights of the company.  This hour On Point:  the high court, Hobby Lobby, and religion in the workplace.

— Tom Ashbrook


Joan Biskupic, legal affairs correspondent for Reuters. Author of “American Original” and “Sandra Day O’Connor.” (@JoanBiskupic)

Elizabeth Sepper, law professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

Richard Garnett, professor of law and political science at Notre Dame University. (@RickGarnett)

David Van Biema, contributor for TIME Magazine. Author of “Mother Teresa: The Life and Works of a Modern Saint.” (@DavidVanBiema)

From Tom’s Reading List

Reuters: U.S. justices uphold firms’ religious objections to contraception — “In a 5-4 vote on ideological lines, the justices said that such companies can seek an exemption from the so-called birth control mandate of the law known as Obamacare. The decision, which applies only to companies owned by a small number of individuals, means employees of those companies will have to obtain certain forms of birth control from other sources.”

POLITICO: SCOTUS ignites Obamacare, contraception fight — “What matters is that the Supreme Court has ruled that the Obama administration overreached on one of the most sensitive cultural controversies in modern politics. And in doing so, the justices have given the Affordable Care Act one more setback that it didn’t need heading into the mid-term elections.”

TIME Magazine: Hobby Lobby’s Contraception Showdown — “Normally, when three generations of the Green family meet, it is for one of two joyful purposes: an Oklahoma City Thunder game (a luxury suite is one of the few perks the billionaire family allows itself) or a monthly gathering to decide how to donate the tens of millions of dollars it gives away annually. Two years ago, though, the mood was somber. The topic was whether the Greens—the only shareholders in the $3 billion, 626-store Hobby Lobby arts-and-crafts ­empire—should take on the Obama Administration.”

Read The Supreme Court’s Ruling In Burwell et. al v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Nov 27, 2015
Josh Baldonado, an administrative assistant at Brown & Brown Insurance, works at a treadmill desk in the firms offices in Carmel, Ind., Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. (AP)

The end of sitting at work. A new call to get up off our chairs. To stand and move! We’ll look at how that works.

Nov 27, 2015
The punk rock band Sleater-Kinney (from L: Janet Weiss, Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker) (Courtesy the Band)

Feminist punk-rockers, the band Sleater-Kinney, is with us. Reunited. Hotter than ever.

Nov 26, 2015
Jewel performs in the On Point Studio on Tuesday, September 22, 2015. (Liz Gillis / WBUR)

Singer-songwriter Jewel asked “who will save your soul”? Now she’s talking about saving her own. We’ll talk to Jewel.

Nov 26, 2015
This photo taken July 31, 2012 shows a "tiny" house April Anson built in Portland, Ore. For the past couple of months, 33-year-old Anson and her friends have been planning, measuring, sawing and hammering their way toward completion of what might look like a child’s playhouse. (AP)

Tiny houses, micro-apartments. They’re hot. Americans are downsizing.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Fresh Ideas For Your Thanksgiving: Recipes
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015

Did our Thanksgiving 2016 episode make you hungry? Good news — we’ve got recipes right here.

More »
Karl Rove Still Won’t Get Involved In The 2016 G.O.P. Primary
Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

Karl Rove may say he’s not endorsing or getting involved in the 2016 G.O.P. presidential primary, but that won’t stop from offering advice on how to beat Republican front runner Donald Trump.

More »
Roger Cohen And Barry Posen On ISIS
Monday, Nov 23, 2015

A brief, but illustrative exchange between Barry Posen and Roger Cohen during our conversation on ISIS today.

More »