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Justice Scalia and Hobby Lobby

Today the Supreme Court hears arguments in the Hobby Lobby cases which I discussed at length in my last blog post. We won’t have a decision for a while, but you can get clues from the justices’ lines of questioning. We should be listening to what Justice Scalia has to say. He wrote the majority opinion in the Smith case which led to Congress adopting the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Here are a few excerpts from that decision:
“We have never held that an individual’s religious beliefs excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that the State is free to regulate.”
“ Conscientious scruples have not, in the course of the long struggle for religious toleration, relieved the individual from obedience to a general law not aimed at the promotion or restriction of religious beliefs.”
“ The mere possession of religious convictions which contradict the relevant concerns of a political society does not relieve the citizen from the discharge of political responsibilities.”
“ Our cases do not at their farthest reach support the proposition that a stance of conscientious opposition relieves an objector from any colliding duty fixed by a democratic government.”
If the Court gets beyond whether corporations are entitled to make free exercise claims it will be interesting to see whether Scalia still holds the same strict view of free exercise claims he held 24 years ago.

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About legalfeet

I'm an essayist, commentator, lawyer and reporter with expertise in Constitutional Law, United States History, religion and public education. I cover current issues involving the First Amendment religion clauses, modern religious movements, scientific history and developments and the events in which these areas converge.

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© Robin Radner and Legalfeet, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robin Radner and Legalfeet with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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