Sotomayor Ruled in Favor of Muslim Inmate’s Ramadan Dinner But Rejected Christian Hobby Lobby’s Appeal for HHS Exemption


Justice Sotomayer ruled in favor of Muslim inmates but ruled against Christian business owners.

The Supreme Court denied a request by Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned company, to shield the company from the controversial contraceptive mandate. Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected a request for an emergency injunction that would have shielded employers from the mandate. Hobby Lobby could face fines of up to $1.3 million a day if they do not comply to the Obama mandate.

Yet, as Laura Ingraham pointed out, in a previous case Sotomayor ruled for a Muslim inmate who was denied Ramadan meals. In Ford v. McGinnis, 352 F.3d 582 (2d Cir. 2003), Sotomayor wrote an opinion that reversed a district court decision holding that a Muslim inmate’s First Amendment rights had not been violated because the holiday feast that he was denied was not a mandatory one in Islam. Sotomayor held that the inmate’s First Amendment’s rights were violated because the feast was subjectively important to the inmate’s practice of Islam.

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