Hobby Lobby, RFRA, and Family Burdens

Posted: 26 Oct 2016

See all articles by Mark Strasser

Mark Strasser

Capital University - Law School

Date Written: October 25, 2016


The Supreme Court held in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act sometimes requires that for-profit corporations be exempted from federal requirements that would have forced those corporations to act contrary to their sincerely held convictions. But the Hobby Lobby Court misrepresented free exercise jurisprudence and offered an implausible interpretation of RFRA, which if taken seriously would result in exemptions that neither members of the Court nor members of Congress would countenance. In the long run, Hobby Lobby will have to be narrowly construed but in the short run the decision is likely to cause even greater inconsistency in the law, satisfying neither the religious nor the non-religious.

Keywords: Free Exercise, RFRA, Conscience, Burdens, Corporations, For-Profit, Exemption

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Strasser, Mark, Hobby Lobby, RFRA, and Family Burdens (October 25, 2016). 25 Boston University Public Interest Law Journal 239-64 (2016), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2859002

Mark Strasser (Contact Author)

Capital University - Law School ( email )

303 E. Broad St.
Columbus, OH 43215-3200
United States
614-236-6686 (Phone)
614-236-6956 (Fax)

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