The Free Exercise Clause | BRI’s Homework Help Series
Why did the Founders believe that religious liberty was an inalienable right? In this Homework Help video, we explore the history behind the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and how the Supreme Court has interpreted it.
Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2013)
In this lesson, students will study the Supreme Court case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2013). They will examine the facts of the case and analyze the arguments made on both sides through primary source documents and preceding cases. They will then assess the majority and minority decisions for the case.
Religious Freedom and the Affordable Care Act
In August of 2011, the Obama administration announced an interim rule that requires all new private insurance plans to cover “several evidence based preventive services without … charging a copayment, deductible, or coinsurance.” Included in the definition of preventive services are “FDA approved contraception methods,” (including those which some consider to be abortifacients), and surgical sterilization. These medications and procedures go against the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Religious Liberty: Landmark Supreme Court Cases
The Court examined whether the federal anti-bigamy statute violated the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause, because plural marriage is part of religious practice. It unanimously upheld the federal law banning polygamy, noting that the Free Exercise Clause forbids government from regulating belief, but does allow government to punish activity judged to be criminal, regardless of an activity’s basis in religious belief. (Citation:98 US 145) BRI e-Lesson Available