HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > Supreme Court Makes Major Rulings


Supreme Court Makes Major Rulings

Supreme CourtThe nation will have to wait until Monday for the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the religious freedom challenge of two faith-based businesses, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, against the Obama Administration’s mandate that all new health plans cover contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs.  However, the Court did issue several other important decisions this week. 

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court delivered a blow to Aereo with a 6-3 ruling essentially stating that the television streaming start-up company’s business model of capturing over-the-air TV broadcast signals and delivering them online for a fee was in violation of copyright law.  Writing for the majority of the Court, Justice Stephen Breyer stated that Aereo's activities were "substantially similar" to that of a cable company and it was "not simply an equipment provider."  However, in his dissent, joined by Justices Thomas and Alito, Justice Scalia criticized this "crude ‘looks-like-cable-TV’" reasoning.  He agreed with the concern about Aereo’s business model, but believed “the proper course is not to bend and twist the Act’s terms in an effort to produce a just outcome, but to apply the law as it stands and leave to Congress the task of deciding whether the Copyright Act needs an upgrade.”

On Thursday, the Justices delivered two more rulings, both unanimous.  One declared a Massachusetts law requiring buffer zones around abortion clinics to be in violation of the First Amendment.  The other determined that President Obama did not have the authority to avoid the Senate confirmation process by “recess appointing” commissioners to the National Labor Relations Board when the Senate considered itself to be in session.  Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who led 44 Senate colleagues in an amicus brief in this separation of powers case, stated, “[T]he Court’s decision is a clear rebuke of the administration’s behavior. The President made an unprecedented power grab by placing political allies at a powerful federal agency while the Senate was meeting regularly and without even bothering to wait for its advice and consent. A unanimous Supreme Court has rejected this brazen power-grab.”

The last day of the Supreme Court’s session will be Monday.  A decision on the cases of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties is expected that morning.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: June 27, 2014

Latest News

NRB President Supports Senator Cruz on Israel Following IDC Event

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, sent a letter today to Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) following the disrespectful treatment he received for expressing solidarity with Israel at a recent “In Defense of Christians” event.

NRB Speaks Out for First Amendment Rights

NRB could not be silent this week in the face of a serious threat to the Bill of Rights being considered by the U.S. Senate.

Rep. Frank Wolf Receives NRB Faith & Freedom Award

At its annual President’s Council Capitol Hill Media Summit this week, NRB presented the 2014 Faith & Freedom Award to Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA).

FCC Oversight Hearing Next Week

Next week, a House panel will conduct an oversight hearing on the FCC, specifically attending to management and spending at the agency.

Former FCC Commissioner Joins New Firm

Former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell (R) this week transitioned from the Hudson Institute to the Washington law firm Wiley Rein.

NRB Congratulates 2014 CMB Award Winners

Three NRB members were recognized with awards from Christian Music Broadcasters (CMB) last week during the annual CMB Networking Dinner held at Momentum 2014.

Reach Thousands of Christian Communicators: Sponsor or Promote at the NRB15 Convention

NRB's International Christian Media Convention represents the world’s largest gathering of Christian communicators and offers organizations unique opportunities to reach thousands of media and ministry professionals.

Pacific Garden Mission Debuts TV Series on TLN

Pacific Garden Mission (PGM), the oldest, continuously-operating, Gospel rescue mission in the country, has begun airing its own show on Total Living Network (TLN).

'Moms’ Night Out' Now Out on DVD

The endearing true-to-life family comedy Moms' Night Out was released on DVD and Blu-ray last week and has been touted as a “must have” for fans of faith-based movies.

NRB to Hold Internet Freedom Panel

A former FCC Commissioner and a top executive from Amazon will be featured in a panel event next week being held by NRB in Washington, DC.

More News