by Jeffrey Rosen
November 26, 2013
The Supreme Court today agreed to hear two cases involving the most hotly contested and far reaching question from the latest round of constitutional challenges to the Affordable Care Act: Do corporations have the same religious liberty rights as individuals? The cases arose out of the Obama administration’s decision, under threat of litigation, from religious liberty groups like the Beckett Fund, to exempt churches, organized as non-profit corporations, from the ACA’s requirement that all businesses provide their employees with health insurance coverage related to contraception. Now the Beckett Fund and other scholars are arguing that the ACA’s exemption for religious non-profits is too narrow and that all corporations, profit and non-profit alike, should be able to claim an exemption from the contraception mandate because, according to the Citizens United case, corporations have the same First Amendment rights as individuals.