Today, Free Speech For People is submitting an amicus (friend of the court) brief to the Supreme Court in a case that will make you scratch your head. In this case, a kitchen cabinet manufacturer is claiming that it has a constitutional right to disregard a legal requirement to provide its female employees with health insurance coverage for contraception, coverage to which they are entitled under the new federal Affordable Care Act. The company’s theory? It goes against the corporation’s religion. Our press release announcing the brief can be read here.

Corporations are not people. Our brief argues that the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion is for real, live people—not corporations. We’re proud to be joined on this brief by two co-signers: Auburn Theological Seminary, an institute committed to building the multifaith movement for justice, and Hollender Sustainable Brands, the manufacturer of Sustain, the first sustainable, fair trade condom in the U.S. As Jeffrey Hollender, the founder and CEO of Hollender Sustainable Brands and founder of the Seventh Generation company, said so well in our announcement of this filing today: “We all know that individuals, including business owners, enjoy the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. But as any business leader will tell you, corporations are not individuals – they are purely economic, state-created entities and they do not practice religion.” On March 25th, the Supreme Court will hear argument in this case, Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius, and its companion case, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, brought by the Hobby Lobby craft store chain. This isn’t just about whether corporations can disregard the insurance coverage requirements of this new federal law.

The broader question is whether corporations will now try to extend the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling to challenge other local, state, and federal laws, and threaten even further the basic promise of our Republic: government of, by, and for the people. Businesses like Hollender Sustainable Brands understand that, along with the benefits of obtaining a corporation status, they must also uphold certain responsibilities. In this case, these responsibilities include following the law under the Affordable Care Act.

That’s why we’re asking you to join us in signing our petition to tell Conestoga Wood Specialties, Hobby Lobby, and other corporations to STOP trying to twist the Constitution in their favor.

Click here to sign the petition. 

Click here to read our full amicus brief.


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