- Aaron Streett, Baker Botts
On January 12, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Reed v. Town of Gilbert. This case involves a First Amendment challenge to the town of Gilbert, Arizona’s sign code, which effectively treats certain religious signs differently than other non-religious signs. The question is whether Gilbert’s assertion that it has no discriminatory motive legitimizes the facially neutral code’s disparate effect on religious signs.
To discuss the case, we have Hans A. von Spakovsky, who is Senior Legal Fellow and Manager, Civil Justice Reform Initiative, The Heritage Foundation.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013-14 Term included two major religion cases, Town of Greece v. Galloway and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. In Galloway, the Court held that prayers offered by local clergy at the start of town board meetings did not violate the Establishment Clause. In Hobby Lobby, the Court held that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act required that corporations whose owners object to the HHS contraceptive mandate be exempt from it. The panel will explore, from a range of perspectives, the significance of Hobby Lobby and the religious freedom jurisprudence of the Roberts Court. Among the topics to be considered are the analysis under RFRA of the government’s compelling interest and the narrow tailoring requirements, the interplay between religious exemptions and the Establishment Clause, emerging issues at the intersection of religious freedom and anti-discrimination laws, ongoing challenges to the HHS contraceptive mandate, and the legacy of Hobby Lobby for future First Amendment and religious freedom cases.
The Federalist Society's Religious Liberties Practice Groups presented this panel on "Religious Liberty after Hobby Lobby" on Thursday, November 13, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.
Religion has long had a special place in our society and in the Constitution. Has that place been evolving? If so, how? What does the Constitution say about the role of the federal government, and the Executive Branch in particular, in the realm of religious liberties? This panel will take up such issues as the HHS contraceptive mandate, the U.S. Solicitor General’s positions in religious freedom cases, and other statutory and regulatory matters that have come to the forefront in recent years.
A key element of the Practice Groups' Executive Branch Review project is our annual conference. This year's Executive Branch Review Conference took place on May 7th at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The Contraceptive Mandate
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.