The court rules 5-4 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby to allow corporations to hold religious objections and opt out of the new health law requirement that say they must cover contraceptives for women. Contraception is among a range of preventive services that must be provided at no extra charge under the health care law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010 and the Supreme Court upheld two years later. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion:
Under the standard that [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] prescribes, the HHS contraceptive mandate is unlawful…Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs.
The court’s four liberal justices called it a decision of “startling breadth” and said that it allows companies to
opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.