The Corner

Politics & Policy

Can Publicly Traded Companies Have Religious Beliefs?

Generally, I applaud the Trump Administration’s rollback of the Obamacare rules that infringed on religious liberty of individuals, non-profits, and closely held businesses by forcing them to act contrary to their religious faith in providing coverage for birth control and morning after pills.

But I think the administration took at least one step too far.

The new conscience exemption includes ”publicly traded companies.”

How can a publicly traded company have a moral conviction or a religious belief?

Stockholders are the owners of such concerns, not management or the board of directors. In order for “the company” to have a religious belief or moral conviction, it seems to me that every owner–e.g., all shareholders–would have to have the exact same opinion. 

How would a publicly traded company even begin to prove that?

This was a mistake. Hopefully, it will not be a fatal one to the legality of the new rules.

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