Happy 4th of July!! 🎉🎉🍻 #fireworks #denver #colorado (at Denver’s Civic Center Park)
In a decision of startling breadth, the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs. …Compelling governmental interest in uniform compliance with the law, and disadvantages that religion-based opt-outs impose on others, hold no sway, the Court decides, at least when there is a ‘less restrictive alternative.’ And such an alternative, the Court suggests, there always will be whenever, in lieu of tolling an enterprise claiming a religion-based exemption, the government, i.e., the general public, can pick up the tab.
…The Court does not pretend that the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause demands religion-based accomodations so extreme, for our decisions leave no doubt on that score… Instead, the Court holds that Congress, in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA)… dictated the extraordinary religion-based exemptions today’s decision endorses. In the Court’s view, RFRA demands accomodation of a for-profit corporation’s religious beliefs no matter the impact that accommodation may have on third parties who do not share the corporation owners’ religious faith—in these cases, thousands of women employed by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga or dependents of persons those corporations employ. Persuaded that Congress enacted RFRA to serve a far less radical purpose, and mindful of the havoc the Court’s judgment can introduce, I dissent.
…Hobby Lobby and Conestoga surely do not stand alone as commercial enterprises seeking exemptions from generally applicable laws on the bass of their religious beliefs. See, e.g. Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, Inc. …(owner of restaurant chain refused to serve black patrons based on his religious beliefs opposing racial integration)… In re Minnesota ex rel. McClure … (born-again Christians who owned closely-held for-profit health clubs believed that the Bible proscribed hiring or retaining an ‘individual living with but not married to a person of the opposite sex,’ ‘a young, single woman working without her father’s consent or a married woman working without her husband’s consent,’ and any person ‘antagonistic to the Bible,’ including ‘fornicators and homosexuals’… Elane Photography, LLC v. Willock …(for-profit photography business owned by a husband and wife refused to photograph a lesbian couple’s commitment ceremony based on the religious beliefs of the company’s owners)… Would RFRA require exemptions in cases of this ilk? And if not, how does the Court divine which religious beliefs are worthy of accommodation, and which are not?"