Washington and Lee law professors Lyman P.Q. Johnson and David Millon, along with distinguished colleagues, have authored and submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services. Specifically, the comments address the proposed definition of “eligible organization” for purposes of coverage of certain preventative services under the Affordable Care Act.
From the abstract:
In late August 2014, after suffering a defeat in the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision when the Court held that business corporations are “persons” that can “exercise religion,” the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) proposed new rules defining “eligible organizations.” Purportedly designed to accommodate the Hobby Lobby ruling, the proposed rules do not comport with the reasoning of that important decision and they unjustifiably seek to permit only a small group of business corporations to be exempt from providing contraceptive coverage on religious grounds. This comment letter to the HHS about its proposed rules makes several theoretical and practical points about the Hobby Lobby holding and how the proposed rules fail to reflect the Court’s reasoning. The letter also addresses other approaches to avoid in the rulemaking process and argues for rules that, unlike what the HHS has proposed, align with the Supreme Court’s reasoning while being consonant with generally applicable precepts of state law and principles of federalism.
The full letter may be read here.
Washington and Lee law professor Lyman Johnson is co-author on an amicus brief, filed yesterday, September 2, 2014. The brief supports the respondents in Omnicare Inc., et al. v. Laborers Dist. Council Constr. Indus. Pension Fund, et al. a case currently before the United States Supreme Court, docket no. 13-435.
This securities law case, appealed from the sixth circuit, addresses whether a statement of opinion or belief is actionable under 1933 Securities Act §11 only if the speaker knew its disclosures were untrue.
Download the brief here.
Washington and Lee law professor Lyman Johnson was recently invited to contribute to the Business Law Prof Blog. Professor Johnson’s post, Hobby Lobby – A Landmark Corporate Law Decision, discusses the Supreme Court’s decision in the high profile Hobby Lobby case. It appeared on Wednesday, July 2, 2014.
The Court held that a closely-held business corporation was a “person” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), that such a for-profit corporation could indeed “exercise religion” under that Act, and that as applied to closely-held corporations the contraceptive mandate promulgated under the Affordable Care Act violated RFRA. Two days after the controversial decision, the sky has not fallen, although dire forecasts to that effect still abound. My post today makes a simple but basic point: quite apart from the decision’s implications for religious liberty in the corporate realm – no small thing, to be sure – and notwithstanding the still unfolding legal and political fallout,Hobby Lobby immediately became a landmark decision in which the Supreme Court spoke in unprecedented fashion to an issue going to the very foundation of corporate law, the question of corporate purpose.
Washington and Lee law professor Lyman Johnson spoke at the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting on June 13, 2014. The program was titled “Family Feuds, Shareholder Oppression and Judicial Remedies.” Professor Johnson was joined by William Rakes (Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore LLP), Yama Shansab (Ferguson Walton & Shansab PLLC), and Martha Leary Sotelo (Vaughan Fincher & Sotelo PC) for a multifaceted discussion of the corporate, trust, and psychological issues encountered in the battles for control over Luray Caverns, Disthene, Inc., and the Cavalier Hotel.
On Thursday, April 24, 2014, Washington and Lee Law professor Lyman P.Q. Johnson speaks at University of St. Thomas at an event sponsored by the Veritas Institute. The conference is part of the “Higher Calling Series” and titled “Business as an Agent for Social Change: Social Entrepreneurship, Benefit Corporation, Curing Poverty“.
Professor Johnson will participate as a panelist in a conversation about social entrepreneurship and Benefit Corporations and the positive social role they play in contemporary society as well as possible unintended consequences such movements can have for business. Professor Johnson is joined by John McVea, Ph.D. of the University of St. Thomas, Elizabeth Babson of Drinker Biddle and Reath LLP, Haskell Murry of Belmont University and Michael Naughton, Ph.D. of the University of St. Thomas.
Washington & Lee law professor Lyman P.Q. Johnson participated in an online symposium hosted by The Conglomerate on the topic of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and its companion cases. Professor Johnson was invited to join fellow corporate law scholars to debate both sides of the issues presented at the Supreme Court on March 25, 2014.
Professor Johnson’s contributions include:
Corporate Law in the Supreme Court, March 24, 2014
Religious Obligations in the Corporation, March 25, 2014
Corporate Law in the Arguments, March 26, 2014
The Supreme Court and Corporate Purpose, March 27, 2014
Read more of Professor Johnson’s scholarship here.
Washington & Lee law professor Lyman P.Q. Johnson will publish in the forthcoming issue of the Washington & Lee Law Review. The article, The Dwindling of Revlon (with Rob Ricca) was recently reviewed by another Washington and lee law professor, David Millon at Jotwell: Corporate Law.
The review is titled What’s Left of Mandatory Shareholder Primacy? and was published on March 18, 2014.