Bi-Partisan Legislators, Religious Leaders, Legal Scholars and States File Support in Supreme Court for Hobby Lobby

Image: Bi-Partisan Legislators, Religious Leaders, Legal Scholars and States File Support in Supreme Court for Hobby Lobby

Amicus briefs endorse religious freedom case

For Immediate Release: January 28, 2014
Media Contact: Emily Hardman, ehardman@becketfund.org, 202.349.7224

Washington, D.C. – At midnight tonight more than 50 briefs will be filed in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Hobby Lobby Stores and the Green family, supporting their challenge to the HHS mandate.  The Becket Fund represents Hobby Lobby and David and Barbara Green, owners of the family business, and is the leading resource on all HHS Affordable Care Act mandate cases.

The Becket Fund will continue to update its website as the briefs are filed.   As of 11:00 a.m. EST today:

Three Congressional briefs will be filed by members of Congress from both parties.

  • 107 members of the House and Senate asked the Supreme Court to protect the Greens’ religious freedom.  Of the 107, more than 85 members of the House and Senate joined a bipartisan brief asking the Court to protect religious freedom.
  • Fifteen original signers of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act submitted a bicameral brief arguing that the civil-rights law at the core of the case was intended to protect the religious exercise of business owners like the Green family.
  • The signers are both Republicans and Democrats, men and women, and represent 34 states.

Twenty states filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to protect Hobby Lobby.

Leading scholars agree that the Supreme Court should rule for Hobby Lobby.

  • Law professors filed a brief explaining that religious accommodations like the one that protects the Greens are constitutional.   Includes: Mary Ann Glendon of Harvard Law School, Robert George of Princeton, Eugene Volokh of UCLA Law School, Rick Garnett of Notre Dame Law School, Steven Smith of the University of San Diego Law School, Nathan Chapman of University of Georgia Law School, Michael Moreland of Villanova Law School.
  • International law scholars and legal institutes filed a brief explaining that international law principles support Hobby Lobby’s claim of religious freedom.
  • More than thirty Catholic theologians and ethicists joined a brief explaining how longstanding Christian teaching supports the Greens’ refusal to participate in providing potentially life-terminating drugs and devices.
  • Pastor Rick Warren joined Eric Metaxas and over thirty Protestant theologians in a brief explaining the importance for Christians of living out their deeply held religious commitments in their work life.  This is exactly what the Greens strive to do in running their family business.
  • Professor Michael McConnell of Stanford Law School filed a brief explaining that the history of the First Amendment shows that it protects family businesses like Hobby Lobby.

Women’s groups are supporting Hobby Lobby.

  • Several women’s groups joined a brief highlighting the many women who are challenging the HHS Mandate.
  • Professor Helen Alvare and the group Women Speak for Themselves filed a brief explaining the lack of justification for the HHS Mandate.

Doctors and scholars are supporting Hobby Lobby.

  • Six medical groups filed a brief explaining the science behind the drugs and devices the Greens object to, and how they can act to terminate a pregnancy.
  • The Catholic Medical Association filed a brief explaining the legal definition of pregnancy, and how existing law supports the Greens’ objection to providing drugs that could terminate a life.
  • Professor Helen Alvare filed a brief explaining the lack of scientific evidence for the government’s arguments, including mistakes in the underlying report and how it failed to prove that changes to insurance coverage would actually have a measurable impact on public health.

Diverse religious groups support Hobby Lobby and religious freedom.

  • Christian and Jewish publishers came together to explain how the First Amendment should protect those who run businesses based upon deeply held religious convictions.
  • Orthodox Jewish groups filed a brief explaining the importance of integrating work and faith under Jewish law.
  • Supporters include:
    • Orthodox Union, a leading Orthodox Jewish association
    • U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
    • Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, a Santeria church behind that won a 9-0 Supreme Court victory under the Free Exercise Clause
    • International Society for Krishna Consciousness, a Hindu organization which has appeared before the Supreme Court to protect its own religious exercise
    • Dr. Hamza Yusuf, co-founder of Zaytuna College in California, whom The Guardian newspaper called “arguably the west’s most influential Islamic scholar.”
    • Feldheim Publishers, an American Orthodox publisher of Torah books and literature
    • CBA, an association of Christian publishers and retailers
    • Crescent Foods, a halal food company
    • Tyndale House, a Bible and Christian book publisher
    • The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
    • The Church Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    • Prison Fellowship Ministry
    • Anglican Church in North America
    • Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities
    • Democrats for Life
    • Former Congressman Bart Stupak
    • House Majority Whip Eric Cantor
    • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

For more information, or to arrange an interview with one of the attorneys, please contact Emily Hardman, ehardman@becketfund.org, 202.349.7224.   Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby will be argued March 25, 2014, and decided before the end of the Supreme Court’s term in June 2014.  There are currently 91 lawsuits challenging the unconstitutional HHS mandate.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions—from Anglicans to Zoroastrians. For 19 years its attorneys have been recognized as experts in the field of church-state law. The Becket Fund recently won a 9-0 Supreme Court victory in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC, which The Wall Street Journal called one of “the most important religious liberty cases in a half century.”

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