Hobby Lobby is about to get a lot more company.
Monday’s Supreme Court decision in favor of the company and Conestoga Wood of Pennsylvania for refusing to pay for contraception in health insurance affects far more than the 15,000 employees between them. The Supreme Court’s decision allows closely held companies (corporations with more than 50 percent of stock owned by five or fewer individuals) to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. There are at least 80 other companies fighting to be the next Hobby Lobby.
Gretchen Borchelt, senior counsel and director of state reproductive health policy for the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), has been following similar cases for the past three years. She calls the Hobby Lobby decision disturbing—not for the least of reasons, how many other corporations it will affect.
“Other closely held companies now have a license to harm their employees in the name of the company’s religion,” she said. “If companies qualify, they can use this decision to make the same claim.”
A number already have. More than 50 for-profit companies and 59 non-profits have been filed lawsuits against the ACA’s contraception mandate. The majority of these rulings were stayed by courts pending the resolution of Hobby Lobby’s case.
“After SCOTUS issued this decision, lower courts will apply that decision to these cases that they’ve been holding,” said Borchelt.
Those that don’t immediately get approval may simply move forward without it.
“Some of the plaintiffs who have existing cases have said they intend to stop fighting and simply use this decision as a victory,” she said.
When asked whether those companies who haven’t filed suit will be able to follow the Hobby Lobby decision, Borchelt sounded alarmed.
“It’s unclear. There’s no process in place. Technically they could.” If they do, the national implications would be huge. Despite what “closely held company” sounds like, these aren’t all small, family-owned businesses. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted in her dissent, candymaker Mars Inc., with 70,000 employees, qualifies as a closely held company. Cargill does too and it takes in more than $136 billion in annual revenue.
“It’s impossible to predict how many more companies might want to take advantage of this decision,” she says. For each of the cases filed in court, the NWLC estimates there are dozens more that hold the same beliefs, but haven’t bothered to take it to court.
“We don’t know how wide the scope is or how many companies will step forward,” says Borchelt. “The Supreme Court claims it is trying to limit this decision, but it includes a huge swath of companies. It’s not as limited as it appears.”
Below is a full list of pending cases filed by companies, nonprofits, and universities challenging the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate as of June 26. (*= Both Nonprofit + Profit cases)
1. Tyndale HouseIllinois for-profit publishing company focusing on Christian books.
2. Freshway FoodsA fresh produce processor and packer, Freshway Logistics is a for-hire carrier of mainly refrigerated products. The companies are Ohio-based for-profits that serve 23 states.
3. Johnson Welded ProductsOhio-based manufacturer of reservoirs for air brake systems.
4. Willis & Willis PCMichigan-based law firm.
5. Trijicon, Inc.Michigan-based maker of aiming systems for firearms.
6. Barron IndustriesMichigan-based company that produces metal castings for various industries.
7. Midwest Fastener CorpMichigan-based company that supplies fasteners to the hardware store, home center, and industrial markets.
8. Electrolock Inc.Ohio-based corporation that works in the electrical and thermal insulation industry. Other plaintiff companies include Stone River Management Co. and Dunstone Co.
9. Zumbiel PackagingKentucky-based manufacturer of paperboard packaging for consumer goods.
10. Encompass Develop, Design & Construct, LLC.Kentucky-based architect, design and construction service of which John Stewart is the managing and sole member.
11. Holland ChevroletWest Virginia-based corporation engaged in selling and servicing motor vehicles.
12. Autocam CorporationAutocam Automotive makes parts for transportation while Autocam Medical makes medical equipment. These are west Michigan-based manufacturing companies that operate across the United States.
13. Dominos FarmsMichigan-based property management company.
14. Mersino ManagementMichigan-based management company and provides insurance for Mersino Enterprises, Mersino Dewatering, Global Pump Co., and Mersino South-West.
15. Eden Foods IncorporatedEden Foods is a Michigan-based corporation that specializes in supplying macrobiotic, organic food.
16. MK Chambers CompanyMichigan-based supplier of specialty machining.
17. M&N PlasticsMichigan-based supplier of custom injection molding products.
18. Mersino Dewatering, INCMichigan-based company that provides dewatering (water removal) services. It has branches in Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania.
19. Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc.,Illinois-based full-service construction contractor.
20. Truine Health GroupTriune is an Illinois corporation that specializes in facilitating the re-entry of injured workers into the workforce.
21. Grote IndustriesIndiana-based, privately held business manufacturing vehicle safety systems.
22. Tonn and Black ConstructionIndiana construction company.
23. Lindsay, Rappaport and Postel LLCLR&P is an Illinois-based law firm that primarily practices in insurance defense, insurance coverage, and appellate work.
24. Hart Electric LLC,An Illinois-based manufacturer of electrical components, and H.I. Cable.
25. Ozinga BrothersIllinois-based producer of ready-made concrete.
26. O’Brien Industrial HoldingMissouri company engaged in the exploration, mining, processing, manufacturing, and distribution of refractory and ceramic raw materials.
27. American Pulverizer CompanySpringfield Iron and Metal, LLC, American Pulverizer Company, Hustler Conveyor Company, and City Welding are four Missouri-based companies involved in the business of wholesale scrap metal recycling and manufacturing of related machines.
28. Annex Medical IncAnnex Medical and Sacred Heart Medical are companies that design, manufacture, and sell medical devices. They are owned by Stuart Lind. Tom Janas is an additional plaintiff who is an entrepreneur who has owned several dairy businesses in the past and intended to purchase another in 2013. He operates Habile Holdings and Venture North Properties, companies that lease commercial properties but currently have no employees.
29. Sioux Chief MFG. Co, Inc.Missouri Corporation that manufactures plumbing products.
30. O’Brien Industrial HoldingOwned by Reverend Gregory Hall, a Catholic deacon, it is a Minnesota-based company that manufactures and markets mining equipment, mud pumps, and parts for global distribution.
31. Bick Holdings Inc.Missouri-based holding company for operating companies Bick Group Inc., Bick Properties Inc., and SEALCO LLC. Through these subsidiaries BHI engages in data center consulting, design, maintenance, service, and cleaning.
32. SMA LLCMinnesota based agricultural/industrial construction company.
33. MedfordThe QC Group Inc is a Minnesota-based corporation, owned by Daniel Medford and David DeVowe, which provides quality control services.
34. Feltl and Co.Minnesota-based securities brokerage and investment banking company.
35. Randy Reed AutomotiveRandy Reed Automotive, Randy Reed Buick GMC, Randy Reed Nissan, and Randy Reed Chevrolet are Missouri-based car dealerships.
36. Doboszenski & Sons, IncMinnesota-based company that provides services for excavation, demolition, and street construction and reconstruction.
37. Hastings AutomotiveHastings Automotive Inc. (known as Hastings Ford) and Hastings Chrysler Center are Minnesota car dealerships.
38. Stinson ElectricMinnesota electrical services company.
39. Hercules Industries, Inc. isColorado corporation that manufactures heating, ventilation, and air conditioning products, owned by the Newlands and another plaintiff.
40. Continuum Health Partnership & ConessioneCHP is a Colorado-based oxygen supply company; Conessione is an investment company.
41. Cherry Creek Mortgage Co.Colorado-based full-service residential mortgage banking company.
42. Beckwith Electric Co.Florida-based provider of micro-processor-based technology.
43. Geneva College*The Pennsylvania-based for-profit plaintiffs are Seneca Hardwood, a lumber business, and WLH Enterprises, a sawmill. Geneva College is a Pennsylvania-based non-profit.
44. Weingartz Supply Company*Michigan company that sells outdoor power equipment. Legatus is a non-profit organization comprising more than 4,000 members, including individuals and professional organizations.
45. Sharpe Holdings Inc.*Missouri corporation that is involved in the farming, dairy, creamery, and cheese-making industries. Ozark National Life Insurance Company is a Missouri insurance corporation; N.I.S. Financial Services is a Missouri mutual fund broker, and CNS Corporation is the Missouri-based holding company for Ozark, N.I.S. and Sharpe Holdings.
46. Catholic Benefits Association*For- and non-profit corporations including Good Will Publishers, the Catholic Benefits Association, and Catholic Insurance Company.
47. Belmont Abbey Coll.48. Wheaton College (Illinois)49. Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington50. Priests for Life (New York)51. Roman Catholic Archdiocese of NY52. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, et al.53. Louisiana College54. Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth (Texas)55. Roman Catholic Diocese of Biloxi (Mississippi)56. East Texas Baptist University57. Catholic Diocese of Beaumont (Texas)58. Michigan Catholic Conference59. Right to Life of Michigan60. Catholic Diocese of Nashville (Texas)61. Ave Maria Foundation (Michigan)62. Union University (Tennessee)63. University of Notre Dame (Indiana)64. Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend (Indiana)65. Grace Schools (Indiana)66. Archdiocese of St. Louis (Missouri)67. The School of the Ozarks (Missouri)68. Dordt College (Iowa)69. Colorado Christian70. Southern Nazarene (Oklahoma)71. Little Sisters of the Poor (Colorado)72. Reaching Souls International, (Oklahoma)73. Fellowship of Catholic University Students (Colorado)74. Diocese of Cheyenne (Wyoming)75. Eternal World Television Network (Alabama)76. Ave Maria University (Florida)77. Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta (Georgia)78. Perisco (Diocese of Erie)79. Zubik (Diocese of Pittsburgh)80. Brandt (Diocese of Greensburg),81. Dr. James Dobson (“Family Talk” radio show and ministry)82. Ave Maria School of Law (Florida)