Amicus History: Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Amicus Briefs Among Record Levels
Welcome to the go-to site for all amicus briefs in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius. Amicus briefs, or friend-of-the-court briefs are filed by groups, individuals, and scholars who are not part of the case before the Supreme Court, but who care about how the Court rules.
In Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, 84 amicus briefs were filed – among the largest amicus efforts ever. By an almost three- to-one margin, these briefs favored Hobby Lobby, demonstrating the breadth and depth of support for the Green family, Hobby Lobby, and religious freedom. Not only are the numbers large, the briefs include powerful arguments from leading scholars, top Supreme Court practitioners, and prominent religious leaders, forming a diverse coalition in support of Hobby Lobby before the Supreme Court.
Over 50 briefs were filed in support of the Green family, including:
See more highlights below.
Briefs in Support (59)
- Bipartisan group of 88 Senators & Reps*
- [Twenty States]§ 20 States*
- 15 Senators & Reps — Original RFRA Signers*
- 4 U.S. Senators*
- [Okla.]§ State of Oklahoma
- Women’s public policy groups & legislators*
- [Orthodox Union] Orthodox Union, Agudath Israel & Others*
- Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence
- [Christian Legal Society]§ Christian Churches & Ministries (Prof. Doug Laycock)
- Constitutional Law Scholars*
- Women Speak for Themselves
- [67 Catholic Theologians]§ 67 Catholic Theologians*
- [38 Protestant Theologians]§ 38 Protestant Theologians*
- [C12] C12 Group (Business Leaders)
- [Christian Booksellers]§ Religious Publishers (Prof. Michael McConnell)*
- 9 International Law Institutions & 27 Law and Religion Scholars*
- National Association of Evangelicals
- Knights of Columbus
- [U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops]§ U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye & Others*
- Independent Women’s Forum
- Cato Institute
- [Council for Christian Colleges]§ Council for Christian Colleges & Universities*
- Association of American Physicians and Surgeons & Others*
- [Judicial Education Project]§ Judicial Education Project
- National Religious Broadcasters
- [Ethics & Public Policy]§ Ethics & Public Policy Center
- Breast Cancer Prevention Institute & 286 Legatus Members*
- American Freedom Law Center
- Christian Medical Association & Others
- Catholic Medical Association
- Westminster Theological Seminary
- Democrats for Life
- National Lawyers’ Association*
- American Center for Law & Justice
- Liberty, Life, & Law Foundation*
- International Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers
- Law Professors & Others*
- Reproductive Research Audit
- [Freedom X] Tax Law Professors*
- J.E. Dunn Construction and JJ White
- Texas Black Americans for Life
- Foundation for Moral Law
- Rutherford Institute
- American Civil Rights Union
- Thomas More Law Center
- Eagle Forum Education & Legal Fund
- Individual Rights Foundation
- Family Research Council
- Liberty Institute
- Washington family business owners
- Judicial Watch, Inc.
- Beverly LaHaye Institute
- Liberty University
- Hon. Daniel Branch
- Tri Valley Law
- Eberle Communications
- Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought
- David Boyle
Briefs in Opposition (23)
- Center for Inquiry
- Brennan Center for Justice
- National League of Cities & Others
- Jewish Social Policy Action Network
- Gedicks & Other Church-State Scholars
- American Jewish Committee
- California, Massachusetts, & 14 other States
- Ovarian Cancer National Alliance
- Religious Organizations
- Constitutional Accountability Center
- Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund
- American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists
- Lawrence Gostin & Other Legal Experts
- Freedom from Religion Foundation
- 19 Democratic Senators
- 91 Democratic Representatives
- Free Speech for People
- Corporate and Criminal Law Professors
- National Women’s Law Center
- Guttmacher Institute
- National Health Law Program
- U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce
Briefs Supporting Neither Party (2)
§Names in brackets correspond to citations in Hobby Lobby’s brief before the Supreme Court. That brief can be found here.
*Bipartisan Group of 88 Senators and Reps: Senators Blunt (R-MO), Alexander (R-TN), Ayotte (R-NH), Barrasso (R-WY), Burr (R-NC), Coburn (R-OK), Enzi (R-WY), Fischer (R-NE), Graham (R-SC), Hoeven (R-ND), Johanns (R-NE), Moran (R-KS), Rubio (R-FL), Scott (R-SC), Toomey (R-PA), and Wicker (R-MI), Congressmen and Congresswomen Lipinski (D-IL), McIntyre (D-NC), Cantor (R-VA), Forbes (R-VA), Aderhold (R-AL), Kelly (R-PA), Bachmann (R-MN), King (R-IA), Benishek (R-MI), Kline (R-MN), Bentivolio (R-MI), Labrador (R-ID), Black (R-TN), LaMalfa (R-CA), Blackburn (R-TN), Lamborn (R-CO), Boustany (R-LA), Lankford (R-OK), Brady (R-TX), Latta (R-PA), Bridenstine (R-OK), Long (R-MO), Broun (R-GA), Lummis (R-WY), Cole (R-OK), Massie (R-KY), Conaway (R-TX), Miller (R-FL), Daines (R-MT), Mullin (R-OK), DeSantis (R-FL), Murphy (R-PA), DesJarlais (R-TN), Neugebauer (R-TX), Duncan (R-SC), Nunnelee (R-MS), Fincher (R-TN), Olson (R-TX), Fleming (R-LA), Palazzo (R-MS), Fortenberry (R-NE), PIttenger (R-NC), Foxx (R-NC), Pitts (R-PA), Franks (R-Az), Poe (R-TX), Garrett (R-NJ), Pompeo (R-KS), Gowdy (R-SC), Roskam (R-IL), Griffin (R-AR), Rothfus (R-PA), Harper (R-MS), Scalise (R-LA), Harris (R-MD), Scott (R-GA), Hartzler (R-MO), Smith (R-NE), Hudson (R-NC), Stockman (R-TX), Huelskamp (R-KS), Wagner (R-MO), Huizenga (R-MI), Walberg (R-MI), HUltgren (R-IL), Webster (R-FL), Johnson (R-OH), Westmoreland (R-GA), Jones (R-NC), Wilson (R-SC), Jordan (R-OH), Wittman (R-VA)
20 States: *Michigan, Ohio, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin
*15 Senators and Reps – Original RFRA Signers: Hatch, Coats, Cochran, Crapo, Grassley, Inhofe, McCain, McConnell, Portman, Roberts, Shelby, Goodlatte, Smith (NJ), Smith (TX), Wolf
*4 U.S. Senators: Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, Mike Lee and David Vitter
*Women’s Public Policy Groups and others: Susan B. Anthony List, Charlotte Lozier Institute, Concerned Women for America, and a Coalition of State Legislative and Executive Branch Officials
*Agudath Israel, Orthodox Union & Others: Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs, Agudas Harabbanim, Agudath Israel of America, National Council of Young Israel, Rabbinical Alliance of America, Rabbinical Council of America, Torah Umesorah, The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
*Christian Churches & Ministries (Prof. Doug Laycock): Christian Legal Society, American Bible Society, Anglican Church in North America, Association of Christian Schools International, Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Prison Fellowship Ministries, World Vision
*Constitutional Law Scholars: Justice Thomas O. Marshall Chair of Constitutional Law Randy Beck, Professor of Law Ashutosh Bhagwat, Professor of Law Gerard V. Bradley, Luis D. Brandeis Professor of Law and Director of The Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics Robert F. Cochrane, Jr., Associate Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Center for Law & Religion Marc O. DeGirolami, Professor of Law and Director of the Interdisciplinary Program on Law and Religion Robert A. Destro, Professor of Law and Director of the Program in Church, State, and Society Richard Garnett, McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program Robert P. George, Learned Hand Professor of Law Mary Ann Glendon, Professor of Law Scott Idleman, Associate Professor of Law and Political Science John D. Inazu, Assistant Professor of Law Antony Kolenc, Vice Dean & Professor of Law Michael P. Moreland, Warren Distinguished Professor of Law and Co-Executive Director of the Institute for Law & Religion Steven D. Smith, William P. and Hazel B. White Director at Center for Ethics and Culture and Professor of Law O. Carter Snead, Deab and Professor of Law Robert Vischer, Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law Eugene Volokh
*67 Catholic Theologians: Ann Astell, Rev. Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, Dr. Melanie Barrett, Gregory R. Beaubout, Frank Beckwith, J. Brian Benestad, John Berkman, Rev. Tom Berg, Christopher Plum, Patrick Boyle, Gerard Bradley, Joseph Capizzi, John Cavadini, Rev. Brian Chrzastek, Patrick Clark, Fr. Basil Cole, Randall Colton, Holly Taylor Coolman, Rev. John Corbett, Patrick Deneen, Patrick Derr, Dana Dillon, Jason Eberl, Robert Fastiggi, Gloria Falcao Dodd, Michael Duricy, John Finley, MIchael Foley, Alfred Freddoso, Rev. W. Thomas Frerking, Michael Gorman, John Grabowski, Marc Guerra, Ann Hartle, Lawrence Hennessey, Josh Hochschild, Dr. Leroy Huizenga, Dr. Christopher Kaczor, James Keating, Karl Keating, Mary Keys, Angela Knobel, Rev. Dominic Langevin, Patrick Lee, Fr. Dominic Legge, Matthew Levering, V. Bradley Lewis, Charles LiMandri, Dr. Steve A. Long, Fr. Brendan Lupton, Bruce Marshall, William Mattison III, Monsignor Kevin McMahon, Fr. David Meconi, Melissa Moschella, Mark Murphy, Michael Pakaluk, C.C. Pecknold, Thomas Petri, Daniel Philpott, Patricia Powers, Alexander Pruss, Lawrence Welch, Shawn McCauley Welch, Fr. Thomas Joseph White, Christopher Wolfe, Rev. Martin Zielinski
*38 Protestant Theologians: Rick Warren, Eric Metaxas, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Coalition of African American Pastors, Manhattan Declaration, InStep International, Wayne Grudem, Scott Rae, Ravi Zacharias, Daniel Akin, Bruce Asherford, E. Calvin Beisner, John A. Bloom, Linwood Bragan, Chad Brand, Donald Arthur Carson, David Dykes, Matthew Flannagan, Norman Geisler, Rev. Trevon Gross, Wayne Grudem, Danny Han, Daniel Heimbach, Joseph Holden, Hershell Wayne House, Bishop Harry Jackson, Clay Jones, David W. Jones, Kenneth Keathley, Kevin Lewis, Rev. Art LIndsley, Scott Matscherz, Alex McFarland, Terry MOrtenson, Andrew Naselli, J. Randall Price, Scott Rae, Rich Schenker, Rev. Gregory Smith, John Stonestreet, Derek W.H. Thomas, Frank Turek, Eric Teetsel, Hugh Whelchel
*Religious Publishers: Michael McConnell, Christian Booksellers Association, Deseret Book Company, Feldheim Publishers, Tyndale House Publishers
*9 International Law Institutions and 27 Law and Religion Scholars representing the countries Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, and Uruguay: International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Asociación para la Promoción y el Estudio de la Libertad Religiosa, Centro de Libertad Religiosa, Consorcio Latinoamericano de Libertad REligiosa, European Centre for Law and Justice, Instituto de Derecho Religioso del Estado, Oxford Society for Law and Religion, Law and Religion Chair, Real Academia de Jurisprudencia y Legislación de España, Prof. Rex Ahdar, Prof. Carmen Asiaín Periera, Prof. Paolo Carozza, Ana María Celis Brunet, Prof. Louis-Leon Christians, Prof. Pieter Coertzen, Prof. Alberto Gambino, President Hamza Yusuf Hanson, Prof. Mark Hill QC, Prof. Natan Lerner, Prof. Joaquin Mantecón, Prof. Asher Maoz, Prof. Javier Martiníz-Torrón, Prof. Stefano Delle Monache, Prof. Michaela Moravciková, Prof. Juan Navarro Floria, Prof. Andrea Nicolussi, Prof. Rafael Palomino, Dr. Alberto Patiño Reyes, Dr. Peter Petkoff, Prof. Vicente Prieto Martinez, Dr. Gregor Puppinck, Prof. Gerhard Robbers, Prof. Giulio Salerno, Juan Carlos Valderrama Adriansén, Prof. Lorenza Violini
*Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye: Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Int’l Soc’y for Krishna Consciousness, Crescent Foods, Queens Federation of Churches, Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, East Texas Baptist University, Colorado Christian University, Ave Maria University
*Council for Christian Colleges & Universities: Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, Kuyper College, Dr. Andrew Abel
*Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.: Individual Physicians and Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
*Breast Cancer Prevention Institute and 286 Legatus Members: Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, Polycarp Research Institute, Coalition on Abortion Breast Cancer, 286 Members of Legatus and Catholic Vote
*Christian Medical Association and others: American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Christian Medical Association, The National Catholic Bioethics Center, Physicians for Life, National Association of Pro Life Nurses, National Association of Catholic Nurses, Drury, Development Corporation Drury Southwest, Inc., Drury Hotels Company, Inc.
*National Lawyers’ Association: National Lawyers’ Association, Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Massachusetts Family Institute, Pro-Life Legal Defense Fund
*Liberty, Life, and Law Foundation: Liberty, Life, and Law Foundation, Thomas More Society, and Christian Family Coalition
*Law Professors and others: Professor Emeritus of Law Charles E. Rice, Professor of Law Bradley P. Jacob, Prof of Law David M. Wagner, Common Good Foundation, Common Good Alliance, Catholic Online, LLC, The Texas Center for Defense of Life, and the National Legal Foundation
*Tax Law Professors: Steven Willis: Freedom X, Kristin Balding Gutting and Daniel D. Barnhizer
**Filed in support of neither party, but supports free exercise rights for family businesses like Hobby Lobby: Azusa Pacific University, Alliance Development Fund, Bethany International, Biblica US, Inc., Billy Graham Evangelical Association, Compassion International, Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Fellowship of Catholic University Students, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Marilyn Hickey Ministries, New Tribes Mission, Once Child Matters, Pine Cove, Point Loma Nazerene University, Reach Beyond, Samaritan’s Purse, Simpson University, Sky Ranch, Summit Ministries, The Christian & Missionary Alliance, The Navigators, Waterstone, Young Life and Upward Unlimited
Three Congressional briefs 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.
- 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 protect the religious exercise of business owners like the Green family.
- More than 85* members of the House and Senate joined a bipartisan brief asking the Court to protect religious freedom.
- 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.
- The Breast Cancer Prevention Institute filed a brief addressing how the government ignored the carcinogenic classification of certain drugs and devices.
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