by Nina Martin
the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga
Woods birth control cases, the most significant religious-freedom cases in
at least a generation. The central issue — should companies whose owners
have deep-seated religious objections to some forms of contraception be
required to provide birth control benefits to employees under the Affordable
Care Act — touches on a plethora of issues that affect women, employers,
workers — in other words, almost every American.
ruling isn’t expected until the end of June, so there’s plenty of time to do
some background reading on what has been called one of the most significant
civil rights issues of the day. This reading list, compiled by ProPublica’s Nina Martin, is culled from a wide range of
sources across the ideological spectrum.
Here’s what you need to know about the Hobby Lobby case, The Washington Post
you’re just looking for a quickish recap of the
issues, sans political/ideological commentary, checkout this blog post by James Fuller.
Argument preview: Religion, rights, and the workplace, SCOTUSblog
you’re interested in what legal scholars/commenters have been saying about the
case, SCOTUSblog’s Lyle Denniston
is one of the most respected court-watchers out there.
Religious exemptions — a guide for the confused, Eugene Volokh
a more right-leaning analysis of the issues, check out the writings of UCLA law
professor Eugene Volokh on his old site and at
his new home at The Washington Post.
Eat, Doesn’t Pray, Doesn’t Love, The New York Times; The Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Cases: Your Questions, Answered, RH Reality Check
For a more left-leaning analysis, read what the NYT’s Linda Greenhouse had to say
about the case last November and what RH Reality Check’s
Jessica Mason Pielko had to say more recently.
Amicus History: Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Amicus Briefs Among Record Levels, the Becket Fund
To read all 84 amicus briefs filed with the
Supreme Court, The Becket Fund — the conservative legal group that has
played a leading role in the contraception-mandate cases — essentially functions as Hobby Lobby Central.
Sex, Gender, and the Familiar Fight Over Religious Exemptions, ProPublica
If you want to understand the history of
religious exemptions in the 60-year battle over civil and gender rights,
Professor Katherine Franke, director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at
Columbia Law School, has this thought-provoking Q&A with ProPublica.
In God’s Name, The New York Times, 2006
For a look at the amazingly broad reach that
religious exemptions already have in American law, the New York Time’s 2006
series is eye-opening.
Disputes over birth control fuel Obamacare fight, Religion News Service
sort out the “emergency contraception vs. abortifacient”
debate at the heart of the Hobby Lobby
cases, this piece by Religion News Service’s Cathy Lynn Grossman is useful.
Why Hobby Lobby should matter to gays and
lesbians, Sarah Warbelow and Brian Moulton, Human Rights …read more