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‘This is a great day for religious freedom’

Lori Windham, Hobby Lobby attorney and church member, addresses supporters, critics after U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling. (Updated)

Update: Lori Windham talks about fellow Abilene Christian University graduates involved in the case. (See below)

The U.S. Supreme court has ruled in the controversial Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp v. Sebelius cases. 

In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled that closely held companies — including those owned by a family with religious convictions — cannot be required to pay to cover some types of contraceptives for their employees.

“We are thrilled with the court’s decision today,” Lori Windham, an attorney for Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby and member of the Fairfax Church of Christ in Virginia, told CNN. “We think this is a great day for religious freedom.” 

Read the Supreme Court opinion and see coverage from The Oklahoman.


Windham, a graduate of Abilene Christian University in Texas, is senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and is part of the legal team representing Hobby Lobby’s challenge of the Affordable Care Act contraception mandate. The company is  owned by David and Barbara Green. 

Standing outside the Supreme Court, Windham addressed supporters and opponents of the ruling. 

“We don’t know what the government will choose to do next, but we know that the Greens are free from this unjust mandate,” she said. “Women like Barbara Green and Elizabeth Hahn (of Conestoga Wood Specialties)  fought for their religious freedom and today they won. … Women’s voices are heard standing up for religious freedom. 

“This case is about the freedoms of all Americans — women and men — and it’s something that all Americans should celebrate today.”

Robin Saylor, editor of Abilene Christian’s website, conducted a recent   Dialogue with Windham . The attorney sent Saylor the following response after the ruling:

I’m thrilled by the decision. As a student at ACU, I hoped that one day I might be able to take a case to the Supreme Court. But it’s still hard to believe that it happened. I guess I will have to slow down a bit to let it sink in.

I had been predicting all along that Hobby Lobby would win its case, since the law is on our side. But it was still nerve-wracking after the oral argument. For three months, all you can do is wait. 

 

ACU was well-represented in the Hobby Lobby case. Two other alums, April Farris (class of 2006) and Matthew Kacsmaryk (class of 2000), filed friend-of-the-court briefs supporting Hobby Lobby. April is a fellow ACU/Harvard Law alum, and is now with the Texas Solicitor General’s office. Matthew is with Liberty Institute, where he focuses on religious freedom work. 

ACU does a great job of preparing students to think about the intersection between faith and the law, and to carry their beliefs into their professional lives.

See a news release from the Becket Fund that includes additional quotes from Windham.


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