• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 27s

Supreme Court exempts Hobby Lobby from Obamacare contraception mandate

By Stephanie Condon / CBS News 6:44 AM June 30, 2014

Attempting to expand religious expression protections without significantly disrupting the rules that govern for-profit corporations, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the Obama administration must exempt closely-held firms like Hobby Lobby from a rule requiring large companies to help pay for their employees’ birth control.

The ruling is a loss for reproductive rights advocates who have balked at the notion that some businesses can pick and choose which contraception methods to cover. While it’s a victory for Christian conservatives opposed to the contraception rule, the ruling skirts the broad ramifications that could have come from shielding all for-profit firms from laws that interfere with religious beliefs.

Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. — two privately-held, for-profit companies — sued the United States government over a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires companies with more than 50 employees to provide comprehensive health coverage (including contraception) or pay a fine. Hobby Lobby’s owners, David and Barbara Green of Oklahoma, say they have strong objections based in their Christian faith to providing health care coverage for certain types of contraception. The Pennsylvania-based Hahn family, the Mennonite owners of Conestoga Wood Specialties, had the same complaint.

The Obama administration already exempts nonprofits with religious affiliations, such as Catholic universities, from the contraception coverage rule.

For Christian conservatives, the Obamacare rule represents the threat of government overreach. However, granting all for-profit firms the freedom of religious expression could have opened the floodgates for unprecedented corporate protections. Such a ruling, the administration argued, could have interfered with laws that ban gender discrimination, minimum wage and overtime laws, or mandated health coverage for vaccinations, to name a few.

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Winter gives cold shoulder to Anchorage snow-based business

    by Dave Leval on Nov 21, 22:35

    Plow trucks usually hit the road around Alaska this time of year, clearing snow from parking lots and roads. But this year, most are parked in driveways, waiting for the next big snowfall to hit the Anchorage area. “We’ve got all the plows off the trucks,” said Mike Anderson, owner of Alaska Premier Services. It’s […]

  • News

    Caring for our soldiers at home

    by Bonney Bowman on Nov 21, 21:51

    Alaska soldiers deployed to Afghanistan have been home for a couple days; getting used to life away from the war and back with their families. It can be a tough adjustment, but the U.S. Army works to help the soldiers make a smooth transition. 1st Lt. Nathan Seaman and his fellow soldiers are going through […]

  • News

    Alaskan advocates optimistic about Obama immigration plan

    by Shannon Ballard on Nov 21, 20:52

    Alaskans are reacting to President Obama’s controversial plans to take executive action on immigration. Obama’s plan offers temporary legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants, including thousands in the 49th state. It also protects undocumented parents of children born in the states. Republicans are questioning the president’s right to bypass Congress and act on his own. […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Nov. 21

    by KTVA Weather on Nov 21, 20:19

      Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound - Skies will be cloudy with a chance of showers. Southeast - The panhandle will have showers with snow levels 1000′ to the north and 1400′ around Juneau. Interior and North Slope - Areas will have a mix of sun and clouds with some snow showers by Delta Junction. Slope areas […]

  • News

    Program works to reduce Alaska’s high recidivism rate

    by Lauren Maxwell on Nov 21, 19:43

    About half the people who get out of prison in Alaska will be back within six months: It’s a costly problem some say will require a new prison by 2016 if something doesn’t change. A new state-funded program is hoping to make a difference. It’s called the Partners Reentry Center, and it’s where George Goenett […]

  • News

    Port of Anchorage modernization plan moves forward

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 21, 18:34

    Mayor Dan Sullivan and Anchorage Port Modernization Project engineers unveiled the project’s chosen design concept during a presentation to local lawmakers Friday at City Hall. Concept D involves cutting back and stabilizing the Port of Anchorage’s North Extension, filling shoreline to create additional acreage and rebuilding Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, according to documents distributed […]

  • News

    Alaska unemployment unchanged since August

    by Associated Press on Nov 21, 15:23

    Alaska’s unemployment rate stood at 6.8 percent in October, a full percentage point above the national average. The state labor department says the difference between the two is getting closer to the gap that existed before the recession. During the recession, Alaska’s seasonally adjusted rate fell below that of the national rate, as Alaska wasn’t […]

  • News

    Pipeline projects gets an export approval

    by Associated Press on Nov 21, 15:00

    A federal agency has approved the export of liquefied natural gas from a proposed mega-project in Alaska to free-trade nations. The U.S. Department of Energy said Friday that the automatic approval, which was required by law, should not be read to indicate the department’s views on a still-pending request to export to non-free trade countries, […]