Skip to comments.Republicans Optimistic After Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Arguments
Posted on 03/26/2014 7:41:06 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
WASHINGTON The Supreme Court heard Tuesday morning oral arguments for two challenges to the Affordable Care Acts mandate that requires employers to include birth control in their employee health plans.
Activists on both sides of the issue clashed outside the courtroom in Washington. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union argued that business owners should not impede female workers from obtaining birth control free of charge in their health plans.
On the other side, conservative and Tea Party groups argued that businesses should be free to choose whether they want to comply with the laws contraceptive mandate.
The case pits the government against two businesses that oppose types of birth control such as morning after pills and some intrauterine devices they consider to be forms of abortion, which is contrary to their religious beliefs. These firms face hefty fines for refusing to comply with the mandate.
Earlier this year, the Obama administration introduced new regulations that granted churches and houses of worship an exemption from providing contraceptives. Religiously affiliated organizations that fall somewhere in the middle can tell their insurance company or third-party administrator that they object on religious grounds. The insurer or administrator would then have to provide contraceptives to the employees at no cost.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined religious freedom activists who had spent the cold, snowy morning in Washington demonstrating in support of Hobby Lobby and the other plaintiffs in the case.
Cruz pointed out that the Obama administration had given exemptions to big business and members of Congress, but refused to do the same for people of faith.
Those who walk the corridors of power in the Obama administration get an exemption, he said. And yet, the position of this administration is that people of faith do not deserve an exemption.
He said that the case had nothing to do with the individual right to use birth control.
No one is doubting that any person, if they choose to use contraceptives, can do so. This is not about that, Cruz said. This is about the federal government, whether they can force people of faith to violate their own faith by paying for something that is contrary to the dictates and teachings of their faith.
Cruz predicted that the administration would rule in favor of religious freedom supporters.
I predict that the United States Supreme Court is going to strike down the contraception mandate because they are going to say, the federal government does not have the authority to force people to violate their faith particularly when they are granting exemptions to every other powerful interest, he said.
Justices questions during the arguments indicated a split along the courts predictable ideological lines, with Justice Anthony Kennedy on the fence.
Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), who attended the oral arguments, was also confident the Supreme Court would rule for the challengers.
I think our side won the case, said Pitts, who represents one of the plaintiffs districts, at a press conference today that included several GOP House members.
Our side based our arguments on statute, primarily and when you listen to the questions and answers, the court is very respectful of Congress setting policy through statute. I really feel good about what I heard this morning, he said.
Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise (La.) said companies should not have to choose between violating their religious beliefs and running a business.
Hopefully the Supreme Court joins with us in recognizing that [religious expression] is a right that cant be trampled on by any president, Scalise said.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said millions of people have been exempted from rules under Obamacare, and argued that the plaintiffs deserve a waiver too.
Family businesses should have freedom of expression for their religious liberty rights, Bachmann said. Obamacare is not fair to people all across the United States.
Democrats criticized attempts to undermine part of the ACA, saying these efforts would turn back the clock on womens reproductive rights.
Unfortunately there are efforts underway all across the country, including here, today, in our nations capital, to severely undermine a womans access to some of the critical and lifesaving services provided by the [ACA], said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). Allowing a womans boss to call the shots about her access to birth control should be inconceivable to all Americans in this day and age, and takes us back to a place in history when women had no voice and no choice.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said allowing businesses to deny its female workers insurance coverage for contraception is discriminatory against women, especially those who lack the money to pay for contraception out of pocket.
Decisions about a womans health care options should be made in a doctors office, not in a boardroom, he said. If certain contraceptive options violate a womans personal religious beliefs, she is free not to pursue those options, but her employer should not be allowed to make that decision for her.
Until the Left applies the extortion screws to Benedict Roberts.
I wonder if they see the hypocrisy of it all?
My read: they DO but DON'T care.
what do Roberts and Kennedy think? Could well be a 5-4 decision. No doubt that Kagan, Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Breyer will vote that Hobby Lobby must comply with forced contraceptive coverage. The liberals minds are made up. It could all come down to Roberts and Kennedy.
As an aside, cases such as this show how important presidential elections are regarding the composition of our courts. Obama will have had 8 years of appointing liberal ideologues to our federal courts. And the courts unfortunately make up new laws or policies.
Maybe Roberts has paid off the vig and loan and is now free.
the last two presidents were all ABOUT the supremes.
Any woman can go get contraceptives and PAY FOR IT HERSELF!
I am so sick of the media and liberals going down the side path and disregarding the issue: THIS IS ABOUT OUR FREEDOM and how our GOV’T is taking away those freedoms with corrupt laws like OBAMACARE! I’m as MAD as HE** and I’m not going to take it anymore...the activists have been the ones who yell and scream for their way. Well, WE THE PEOPLE, have got to STAND UP AND SCREAM for OUR RIGHTs, OUR LIBERTY, our FREEDOM...
Wait ‘til they put the screws to Roberts, again.
I don’t think so, we can no longer win on any Obamacare case because Roberts made it clear he’s on their side. Hell, he invented a tax on nothing, on NOT buying a product.
It’s like Alice in Wonderland’s upside down.
I was optimistic after the arguments on ObamaCare, Round 1. The Constitution is absolutely clear, and there was no legitimate way that decision could have come down in any way other than Enumerated Powers.
I am optimistic on ObamaCare, Round 2, also. This is a basic Free Exercise question, and there is no legitimate way the decision can come down any way other than overturning the HHS abortion mandate.
My concern is that the thugs in power no longer care about legitimacy. We may be transitioning from a constitutional republic with the rule of law into a state inspired by George Orwell (1984, Animal Farm, and worse). If those controlling the government make illegitimate decisions, we owe them nothing beyond the level of submission that they can compel, and that only when directly compelled. The far left will need a lot of energy (more than they have) to accomplish their dreadful and destructive goals once the perception of legitimacy has disappeared.
Rdepublicans were optimistic during the challenge to Obamacare’s constitutionality too.
Then Roberts declared it a tax and the bottom fell out.
The SC is not Constitutional. All crooked lawyer political hacks.
there was a lawyer on FNC that said this is only about four specific types. There are 11 or so other forms still provided.
Agreed. But even Hobby Lobby supports 16 of the 20 FDA approved forms of birth control. They only refuse the ones labeled by the FDA as potentially resulting in the destruction of a fertilized egg.
Yeah... I remember all that confidence we had during the hearings on the mandate... then, as Roberts quietly changed his intention to “overturn” to “sustain”, as well as re-write the entire brief, it turned into one huge disastrous disappointment.
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Yeah but we were all excited after oral arguments before SCOTUS on the original ACA...and then John Roberts committed TREASON (hope ya got that NSA)....and our freedoms (what few we have left) are officially on notice. They too will be breached with impunity
Justice Kennedy asked Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., for instance, whether for-profit corporations could be forced in principle to pay for abortions and be powerless to object on religious grounds.
Mr. Verrilli said that was right, though he added that there was no such law.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. jumped in. Flesh it out a little more, he said. There is no law on the books that does what?
Squirming, Mr. Verrilli said, That requires for-profit corporations to provide abortions.
Chief Justice Roberts looked puzzled. I thought thats what we had before us, he said.
We have the best courts that money can buy