Is Hobby lobby dangerous for religious liberty?

Andrew Koppelman, Frederick Mark Gedicks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Court is evidently keen to protect religious liberty, but this reading of the law is a disaster for religious liberty. Had Hobby Lobby been granted the exemption it sought, thousands of women would have incurred significant out-of-pocket costs or forgone altogether the contraceptives Hobby Lobby refused to cover if they could not afford to pay for them. Imagine a world where religious people are a kind of aristocratic elite who are entitled to injure non-adherents with impunity - a world which would ‘permit every citizen to become a law unto himself’. Hobby Lobby didn’t care at all about women’s access to emergency contraception, and was untroubled that the RFRA exemption it sought would wholly deny them this coverage. The consequence in practice will be an interpretation of religious liberty in which adherents get to harm non-adherents, in which some are forced to pay for the religious exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLaw, Religion, and Freedom
Subtitle of host publicationConceptualizing a Common Right
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781351369633
ISBN (Print)9781138555891
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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