Conestoga Wood Specialties owners received a favorable ruling in the Supreme Court yesterday, alleviating a threat of punishing fines on the health care front. It has little to do with wood products manufacture. That just happens to be the principal business of the plaintiffs in this case.
The widely-followed proceedings, one of the most-viewed series of stories at Woodworking Network, revolved around the Conestoga Wood's refusal to cover certain forms of birth control required by Obamacare.
The action by the Mennonite Hahn family, owners of this closely held, 900-employee wood components firm, could run against the interests of the family business, in the long run.
Of course, that is not the value by which the Hahn family pursued the case. On the other hand, there may have been an alternative approach that could satisfy both the family's moral condition, and meet the requirements of the health care program.
The court process was managed for Conestoga Wood Specialties by a religiously-oriented legal group with a social agenda, the Alliance Defending Freedom, which actively fund-raised as it pursued litigation, with Conestoga Wood Specialties as the test case.
How could this hurt Conestoga? Obviously this is a divisive issue - even the Supreme Court managed only to eke out a decision in a 5-4 vote. All three women justices voted in the minority.
There are many people on both sides of the divide. Many corporations, including publicly-traded companies, many closely-held firms and women-owned businesses, are customers of Conestoga Wood Specialties. Certainly there are some firms among these that will, in principal, be unable to do business with Conestoga, to the extent they are aware of this case.
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