Jun 30, 2014 3:19 PM GMT
The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to President Barack Obama’s health-care law, ruling that closely held companies can claim a religious exemption from the requirement that they offer birth-control coverage in their worker health plans.
Voting 5-4, the justices today sided with family-run businesses, including the craft-store chain Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., that say they regard some forms of contraception as immoral.
The ruling carves a hole in Obama’s biggest legislative accomplishment, the 2010 health-care law that the Supreme Court upheld two years ago. More broadly, the decision marks an expansion of corporate rights, saying for-profit companies, like people, can claim religious freedoms under federal law.
Safeguarding the religious rights of corporations “protects the religious liberty of the humans who own and control those companies,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court.