The fact that the IWF’s attacks on the ACA’s contraception non-mandate were just consevertarian attacks on the ACA with no particular religious freedom content was no coincidence. As Stephanie Mencimer notes in her brilliant piece, the particular ad hoc challenge to the ACA advanced by the Hobby Lobby’s lawsuit makes the political roots of the challenge particularly clear:
On many levels, the Hobby Lobby case is a mess of bad facts, political opportunism, and questionable legal theories that might be laughable had some federal courts not taken them seriously. Take for instance Hobby Lobby’s argument that providing coverage for Plan B and Ella substantially limits its religious freedom. The company admits in its complaint that until it considered filing the suit in 2012, its generous health insurance plan actually covered Plan B and Ella (though not IUDs). The burden of this coverage was apparently so insignificant that God, and Hobby Lobby executives, never noticed it until the mandate became a political issue.
I’ll return to the issue of how the court should interpret RFRA later today. But the fact that the managers of the Hobby Lobby never noticed that the contraceptive coverage in the insurance they offered to their employees intolerably contradicted their Deeply Held Religious Principles until the Republican Party decided that the Affordable Care Act was the greatest threat to freedom in known human history tells you what you need to know about how seriously we should take these legal arguments.