Today, the Court granted certiorari in four cases, two of which were consolidated:
Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 13-354; Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius, 13-356: The Court consolidated two cases addressing religiously-based challenges by corporations to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. Hobby Lobby’s question presented is whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq., allows a for-profit corporation to deny its employees the health coverage of contraceptives to which the employees are otherwise entitled by federal law, based on the religious objections of the corporation’s owners. Conestoga Wood Specialties poses the question of whether the religious owners of a family business, or their closely-held, for-profit corporation, have free exercise rights that are violated by the application of the contraceptive-coverage mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, 77 Fed. Reg. 8725, 8725 (Feb. 15, 2012).
Clark v. Rameker, 13-299: Whether an individual retirement account that a debtor has inherited is exempt from the debtor’s bankruptcy estate under Section 522 of the Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. 522, which exempts “retirement funds to the extent that those funds are in a fund or account that is exempt from taxation” under certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.
Wood v. Moss, 13-115: (1) Whether the court of appeals erred in denying qualified immunity to Secret Service agents protecting the President by evaluating the claim of viewpoint discrimination at a high level of generality and concluding that pro- and anti-Bush demonstrators needed to be positioned an equal distance from the President while he was dining on the outdoor patio and then while he was travelling by motorcade. (2) Whether respondents have adequately pleaded viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment when no factual allegations support their claim of discriminatory motive and there was an obvious security-based rationale for moving the nearby anti-Bush group and not the farther-away pro-Bush group.