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EPPC Amicus Brief in Hobby Lobby and Conestoga

EPPC Amicus Brief in Hobby Lobby and Conestoga

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Published by EPPCdc
On January 28, 2014, the Ethics and Public Policy Center filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court cases that present religious-liberty challenges to the Obama administration’s HHS mandate on contraceptives.

EPPC’s brief addresses, and thoroughly refutes, the Obama administration’s claim that for-profit corporations are inherently incapable of an “exercise of religion” for purposes of the protections afforded by the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Among other things, EPPC shows that the Obama administration has no coherent basis for its position that nonprofit corporations and individuals engaged in profit-making conduct can exercise religion but that for-profit corporations can’t.
On January 28, 2014, the Ethics and Public Policy Center filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court cases that present religious-liberty challenges to the Obama administration’s HHS mandate on contraceptives.

EPPC’s brief addresses, and thoroughly refutes, the Obama administration’s claim that for-profit corporations are inherently incapable of an “exercise of religion” for purposes of the protections afforded by the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Among other things, EPPC shows that the Obama administration has no coherent basis for its position that nonprofit corporations and individuals engaged in profit-making conduct can exercise religion but that for-profit corporations can’t.

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Published by: EPPCdc on Jan 28, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/06/2014

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Nos. 13-354 & 13-356 I
N THE
 
Supreme ourt of the United States
 ATHLEEN
S
EBELIUS
,
 et al
.,
 Petitioners,
 v. H
OBBY
L
OBBY
S
TORES
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
 et al
.,
 Respondents.
C
ONESTOGA
W
OOD
S
PECIALTIES
C
ORP
.,
 
 et al
.,
 Petitioners,
 v.
 ATHLEEN
S
EBELIUS
,
 
 et al
.,
 Respondents.
On Writs of Certiorari to the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third and Tenth Circuits BRIEF OF
 AMICUS CURIAE
 ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER IN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENTS IN NO. 13-354 AND PETITIONERS IN NO. 13-356
D
 ANIEL
P.
 
C
OLLINS
 
Counsel of Record
E
NRIQUE
S
CHAERER
 M
UNGER
,
 
T
OLLES
&
 
O
LSON
LLP 355 South Grand Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90071-1560 (213) 683-9100 daniel.collins@mto.com
Counsel for Amicus Curiae
 
 (I)
TABLE OF CONTENTS Page
INTEREST OF THE
 AMICUS CURIAE
 ................... 1 SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT .................................... 1  ARGUMENT ............................................................... 5 I. By Amending RFRA to Decouple Its Definition of the “Exercise of Religion” From the Free Exercise Clause, and Instead Directing That the Phrase Should be Given the “Maximum” Breadth Permitted by Its Terms, Congress Confirmed That For-Profit Corporations Are Covered ............................... 6  A. The Government’s Arguments Overlook Congress’s Explicit  Amendment to RFRA’s Definition of the “Exercise of Religion” ................. 7 B. The Corporate Plaintiffs Here Are Clearly Protected by RFRA’s  Amended Language ............................ 11 II. Even If RFRA’s Definition of the “Exercise of Religion” Is Co-Extensive With the First Amendment, It Still Covers a For-Profit Corporation’s Exercise of Religion ........................................ 13  A. The Government Wrongly Limits the Constitutional Inquiry to Pre-
 Smith
 Case Law, But Fails Even Under That Test ................................. 14
 
II B. The Protections of the Free Exercise Clause Extend to a For-Profit Corporation’s Exercise of Religion ............................ 20 1. The Free Exercise Clause Protects Action or Inaction Motivated by Religious Belief ........................................ 21 2. There Is No Basis to Deny Protection to an Exercise of Religion Merely Because It Is Done by a For-Profit Corporation .............................. 23 III. The Government’s Parade of Horribles Is Illusory ....................................................... 29 CONCLUSION ......................................................... 33

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