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.
FReepmail me to subscribe to or unsubscribe from the SCOTUS ping list.
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
I saw a woman outside the courthouse protesting about women’s right to choose. It seemed she had facial tick. I think she would be a good candidate for Jesus to cast her demons out.
What is a vig? What loan? I thought they held his illegally adopted children over his head.
If the SCOTUS comes down against freedom of religion, then there was no point to the founding of this once free country. Meanwhile, any woman unhappy about her job circumstances is free to look for another job that will make her happier.
If businesses are allowed to determine what is covered in an insurance policy, that is an open door to limit whatever they want to limit.
The owner of a company could be of a religion that doesn't believe in surgery and take out all surgery in that policy.
The owner could decide no person should be able to have a blood transfusion (at least one religion believes that) and take that out of the policy.
The owner could decide no woman could have a hysterectomy for any reason and remove that from the policy. I had to have one in my early 50s or die.
The owner could decide no man should be able to have a vasectomy to prevent him from fathering a child and take that out of the policy.
I think the Supreme Court will not allow Hobby Lobby to dictate what an insured person can have or not. If the court allows that, owners can take anything they want out of an insurance policy and claim a religious belief to do it.
In his early life, my husband had a medical condition that require hospitalization and surgery. His brother was there and filled out paperwork. The brother was of a religion that didn't believe in blood transfusions and put on that paper that his brother could not have a blood transfusion. Later, the brother (later my husband) found that out and had the hospital remove that. Someone else’s religious belief should not be allowed to subject others to that belief, whether that person is a family member or business.
The Kabuki theater in intermission.
If Roberts is right, that this is a tax...
No one has the right without owed tax money to the government just because some of that money might be used for something their religion disagrees with.
Example, a religious pacifist can't withhold owed tax money because some of that money might go to fight wars that he doesn't agree with because of religious reasons.
I hope I am wrong, but don't bet on it.
I am cynical as well. The court cannot decide in favor of HL, although they should. And if they do, the holding will be so narrow, it becomes worthless anyway. Holding for HL will disrupt the libtards transformation of America.
While the Somali scumbag cab drivers can refuse service to infidels carrying alcohol, or refuse to handle “dirty” food in stores, HL will lose. I so hope I am wrong.
RE: No procedure or covered medicine in the policy is against the law, it is legal.
Whether it is legal or not is NOT the point.
For instance, it was LEGAL in Germany to persecute Jews simply for being Jews, and it was ILLEGAL to protect them. But was it MORAL?
Same question applies here — is what Obama and the Dems made legal, MORAL according to a person’s religion? THAT is the point. Whose rights are being trampled according to the First amendment?
If it is not moral, then which party has the constitutional right not to participate, the government who wants to make what is not moral, legal, or the party who wishes NOT to participate in what he considers IMMORAL?
We'll see. The merits of their arguments really don't matter. What matters is if John Roberts can be bought or blackmailed again.
The government attorney seemed to understand when he made his arguments to the lawyers in black robes.
The media seem not to understand or merely prefer to distort the facts, i.e. forcing every American to pay for drugs that end the life of a baby, which many of us consider murder, regardless of how the pagans prefer to describe it.
My faith tells me I should not only not intentionally take the life of an innocent human being, neither should I assist another in doing so but this Tyrannical despot insist that I now do so - or be punished.
I am confident that the Green Family will refuse to do so regardless of how nine people vote.
I don’t trust any part of our government to do the right thing (except the military). I think the Court of Bozos (POTUS) is in cahoots with obammy to destroy the Constitution.
“The far left will need a lot of energy (more than they have)....
I suspect N. Korea, Iran, Cuba, China and Russia will be willing to provide all the energy necessary to finish what Obama has started in the destruction of America.
RE: The owner of a company could be of a religion that doesn’t believe in surgery and take out all surgery in that policy.
The argument being made by Hobby Lobby is the application of the RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION ACT, a 1993 United States federal law aimed at preventing laws that substantially burden a person’s free exercise of their religion.
The bill was introduced by Howard McKeon of California and Dean Gallo of New Jersey on March 11, 1993. The bill was signed into law by President Bill Clinton and was passed by a unanimous U.S. House and a near unanimous U.S. Senate with just three dissenting votes.
The law provided an exception if two conditions are both met.
First, the burden must be necessary for the furtherance of a compelling government interest. Under strict scrutiny, a government interest is compelling when it is more than routine and does more than simply improve government efficiency. A compelling interest relates directly with core constitutional issues.
The second condition is that the rule must be the least restrictive way in which to further the government interest.
Now, based on that, let’s talk about refusal to provide surgery or say, blood transfusion on “religious grounds”
Is there a compelling interest for a healthcare provider to provide life saving surgery or blood transfusion?
I would say YES. THAT is exactly what healthcare is for -— to provide insurance for life saving and life enhancing measures that are SO EXPENSIVE that a person cannot live without it.
Now, what about contraceptives, which you can buy in any drug store? Is there a COMPELLING health or life-saving reason to provide it?
I would say NO. Anybody who has a job with a company can get it affordably on his own.
RE: I think the Supreme Court will not allow Hobby Lobby to dictate what an insured person can have or not.
The right policy is and should be this -— Businesses are not in business to provide health insurance for ANYONE.
If a business does not provide health insurance for its employees, people are FREE NOT to be employed by the business and can look elsewhere.
If a business does provide health insurance, it is for the business to decide what TYPE of insurance they will provide.
What an insurance covers or not is and should NOT be the business of government. If you don’t like what they cover, you can always work elsewhere.
I am not allowed to kill my dependents. But a pregnant woman is??
What? The Left have drunk way too much kool-aid. This sentence is nonsense and pure propaganda (and really, really stupid!).
The only thing Republicans are optimistic of is for the Court to do their job for them. For over three years now, they have had the opportunity to cut off funding for Obamacare, yet each and every time it has come up for a vote, they voted to continue it.
Their objection is to killing a separate and distinct human being who has no choice.
Republicans were quite optimistic last time around and how did that work out?
No one is denying any of them contraception. They can go to the store and buy it. It's dirt cheap. Or go to Planned Parenthood.
Sen. Barbara Box-o-rocks (D-CA) went a step further to remind us that 99% of the women in this country have used birth control, which pretty much blows their whole ‘access to birth control’ argument out of the water. If 99% of the women in this country already had access to birth control before ObamaCare, then where in the hell is there any need for ObamaCare to provide access to birth control?
As Catholics, I’m surprised the left hasn’t called on Roberts (and Scalia) to recuse themselves from this case. Do they already know its outcome?
Now the Amish are a different story, and it's possible but unlikely that they could be found exempt, since they are exempt from paying some other taxes. In particular, self-employed Amish do not pay Social Security tax. Those employed by non-Amish employers do pay Social Security tax. The Amish do however pay real estate, state and federal income taxes, county taxes, sales tax, etc. So it's hard to see them being exempt from paying for Obamacare.
RE: As Catholics, Im surprised the left hasnt called on Roberts (and Scalia) to recuse themselves from this case.
Well, if Catholics are to recuse themselves, the following justices should not be hearing this case:
Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Sotomayor.
That leaves Breyer, Kagan, Kennedy and Ginsburg in the case. Guess which way this remaining bunch will go ...
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. - George Bernard Shaw
“Someone elses religious belief should not be allowed to subject others to that belief, whether that person is a family member or business.”
It doesn’t. Anyone that wants the coverage can go buy it. The Religious have Constitutional right as well as everybody else.
Yes, barely. Abortion is their sacrament.
“Until the Left applies the extortion screws to Benedict Roberts.”
Ergo, the government is giving them a waiver for religious reasons on some taxes and not others. Therefore, the gov is deciding what is a recognized religious belief and what is not.
That is exactly where the HL case is currently. This is a very serious issue considering how the USSC is stocked.
God help us!!!