Burwell v. Hobby Lobby
On June 30, 2014, Bancroft secured a victory before the Supreme Court in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, 134 S. Ct. 2751 (2014). Bancroft represented Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties, whose owners operate their businesses according to deeply held religious beliefs that prohibit them from providing health care coverage for abortion-causing drugs and devices. The question presented was whether the Department of Health and Human Services’ contraception mandate violated the companies’ rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (“RFRA”) or the First Amendment. The Supreme Court held that RFRA protects the companies’ religious free exercise rights and that the contraceptive mandate violates RFRA. The Wall Street Journal described the decision as “an important vindication of religious liberty in this … pluralistic constitutional republic.” Paul D. Clement argued the case before the Supreme Court and Michael H. McGinley assisted with the briefing.