This makes no sense. It shouldn’t apply as it stands - not because of “person vs. corporation” but because the RFRA’s main intent is to re-establish the Sherbert Test. That test first requires that the “person” seeking exclusion from a law prove two things to the court:
• whether the person has a claim involving a sincere religious belief, and
• whether the government action is a substantial burden on the person’s ability to act on that belief.
Note the word “sincere”. Since Hobby Lobby both invested in companies producing contraceptives (including those they specifically opposed), and didn’t apply their beliefs equally to the sexes (male employees are offered Viagra and vasectomies), they fail the very first question. They also weren’t given a substantial burden. When the Blunt Amendment failed in 2012, a workaround involving pooling employee payments with employer payments for insurance was developed to protect the rights of all concerned.
Even had they passed the first two parts, they still shouldn’t have won. The Sherbert Test has four total points, and the last two are required to be proven by the government - should a “person” pass the first two. In this case, the government still passes the final two parts:
• that it is acting in furtherance of a “compelling state interest,” and
• that it has pursued that interest in the manner least restrictive, or least burdensome, to religion.
Because the ACA protects Civil Rights laws, it does represent a “compelling state interest”, and as already explained, the feds already tried to work with religiously-oriented employers on this matter.
Hobby Lobby (no matter the status of their corporate personhood (CP)) should not have won this case! CP has gone bonkers, with far too much leniency given to corporations, but in this case, CP really isn’t to blame - this is simply a bad ruling.
Sherbert v. Verner, source of the Sherbert Test:
It just gets worse when you realize that use of the RFRA has, in the past, been considered unconstitutional when it was determined that the Congressional power being used didn’t meet a test of “congruence and proportionality” - because in those cases, the “Court has determined that such action must be congruent and proportional to the deprivation of the right that the Congress is seeking to remedy” So the RFRA has, in the past been trumped, and in this case, the religious desires of a few (typically same-family shareholders) owning a corporation, will suddenly be allowed to railroad the rights of all their employees - outside of their employment. Hobby Lobby currently has over 18,000 people working for them.