Friday, August 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Court limits Obamacare birth control

By Adam Liptak

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that requiring family-owned corporations to pay for insurance coverage for contraception under the Affordable Care Act violated a federal law protecting religious freedom. It was, a dissent said, “a decision of startling breadth.”

The 5-4 ruling, which applied to two companies owned by Christian families, opened the door to many challenges from corporations over laws that they claim violate their religious liberty.

The decision, issued on the last day of the term, reflected what appears to be a key characteristic of the court under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. — an inclination toward nominally incremental rulings with vast potential for great change.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., writing for the majority, emphasized the ruling’s limited scope. For starters, he said, the court ruled only that a federal religious-freedom law applied to “closely held” for-profit corporations run on religious principles. Even those corporations, he said, were unlikely to prevail if they objected to complying with other laws on religious grounds.

But Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent sounded an alarm. She attacked the majority opinion as a radical overhaul of corporate rights, one she said could apply to all corporations and to countless laws.

The contraceptive coverage requirement was challenged by two corporations whose owners say they try to run their businesses on Christian principles: Hobby Lobby, a chain of crafts stores, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, which makes wood cabinets.

Alito said he accepted for the sake of argument that the government had a compelling interest in making sure women have access to contraception. But he said there were ways of doing that without violating the companies’ religious rights.

The government could pay for the coverage, he said. Or it could employ the accommodation already in use for certain nonprofit religious organizations, one requiring insurance companies to provide the coverage. The majority did not go so far as to endorse the accommodation.

Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas joined the majority opinion.

Ginsburg, joined on this point by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, said the court had for the first time extended religious-freedom protections to “the commercial, profit-making world.”

“The court’s expansive notion of corporate personhood,” Ginsburg wrote, “invites for-profit entities to seek religion-based exemptions from regulations they deem offensive to their faiths.” Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Elena Kagan joined almost all of her dissent.

 

Comments

comments

New York Times News Service

.

News

No easy task: History buffs still trying to save building

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
DHS musicians back from summer in Italy

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
City to overhaul its sprinkler heads, other water-wasters

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Russian aid convoy reaches war-torn Luhansk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Davis indecent-exposure suspect pleads no contest

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Not-guilty plea entered in Woodland homicide case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
 
Parents’ Night Out features Vacation Bible School

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Afternoon tours of city wetlands resume Sept. 6

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Yolo County golf tournament enters fourth year

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Putah Creek Council appoints new executive director

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A3

Communitywide ice bucket challenge on Sunday

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Prunes take center stage at last agri-tour of the summer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
In need of food? Apply for CalFresh

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Saylor will meet constituents at Peet’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Event will unveil mural celebrating food justice

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Writing couple stops at Davis bookstore

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Explorit: Final Blast show returns for second year

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A5

 
Wolk bill would require reporting of water system leaks

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Record drought saps California honey production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
World travelers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Seniors set to stroll through Arboretum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Forum

Weightlifters causing a racket

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

No support for militarization

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
A better use for this vehicle

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Police are our friends, right?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Wage plan has a big flaw

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Bridging the digital divide with computational thinking

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
.

Sports

 
Watney and McIlroy struggle at start of The Barclays

By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B1

Light-hitting Cats fall

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Giants win nightcap in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Watts likes what he’s seen in keen Aggie DB competition

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Big West soccer coaches have high hopes for UCD men

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

 
Davis Chinese Film Festival to kick off with 1994 favorite

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Rock Band campers perform at E Street Plaza

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Natsoulas to host mural conference

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

Yolo Mambo to play free show

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
‘If I Stay’: Existential angst

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11

.

Business

Car Care: Teenagers not driving safe cars, study shows

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Car Care: Feeling the summer heat? Your car battery is too

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Three-wheeled Elio gets closer to going on sale

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, August 22, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6