Speed Reads


Why you can blame Bill Clinton for the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision

An ideologically divided Supreme Court ruled today that "closely held" for-profit corporations did not have to provide their employees with contraception coverage if the corporations had religious objections. Crucially, the court's five conservatives did not base their rationale on the First Amendment's protection of religious freedoms, but on a 1993 law known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The law passed with overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate, and was signed by Bill Clinton.

Here's some background from The New York Times:

The companies challenged the coverage requirement under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. The law was a response to a 1990 Supreme Court decision that declined to recognize religious exceptions under the First Amendment's free exercise clause to generally applicable laws. Congress effectively reversed that decision.

"What this law basically says," President Bill Clinton said before signing the bill, "is that the government should be held to a very high level of proof before it interferes with someone's free exercise of religion." [The New York Times]

Over to you, Congress.