Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius. In response, Center for American Progress President Neera Tandenissued the following statement:
The cases heard before the Supreme Court today will have far-reaching implications beyond deciding whether businesses have the right to withhold contraceptive insurance coverage, particularly if the court decides to side with special interests over established law. Religious liberty is a fundamental right and one that must be honored to protect individuals and faith-based institutions. But religious liberty also means employers should not be able to impose their religious faith on employees with different beliefs. If the Court decides that for-profit corporations are entitled to this right, the result will have dramatic impacts on how corporations control our private lives.
A bad Hobby Lobby decision will have an immediate negative impact on the right of a woman to make personal health care decisions, but it could also become a blueprint for discrimination against people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community; allow corporations to evade important federal laws; and change the corporate structure as we know it.
That is why all progressives should hope for a decision that protects our important religious liberties by ruling that a for-profit corporation cannot have a religion and that no employer is allowed to impose a burden on their workers by coercing them to follow religious beliefs that are not their own.