Skip to comments.Will The Supreme Court Protect Hobby Lobby From the HHS Mandate? (Ruling this week..Your Prediction)
Posted on 06/23/2014 5:11:27 AM PDT by xzins
The Supreme Court decision in the monumental Hobby Lobby case against the abortion mandate in Obamacare is expected either this week or next.
The Obama administration is attempting to make Hobby Lobby and thousands of pro-life businesses and organizations comply with the HHS mandate that compels religious companies to pay for birth control and abortion-causing drugs for their employees. However, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., a landmark case addressing the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of business owners to operate their family companies without violating their deeply held religious convictions.
Kristina Arriaga, Executive Director of the Becket Fund, the legal group heading up the lawsuit against the mandate for Hobby Lobby, talked about what to expect.
hobbylobby3We are expecting the Hobby Lobby decision any day now, she said in an email to LifeNews. In fact, we have been holding our collective breath for the last several weeks as the Supreme Court issues its Monday opinions.
As of today, according to several longtime observers of the Court, the expectation is that additional days will be added to the opinion calendar. We suspect that Monday, June 23, will be followed by several other days of announcements; and then, we will hear later that same week. Until then, we wait, she added.
Arriaga says the decision is a long time coming.
I think it is inherently unjust that the government has forced the Green family, the devout owners of Hobby Lobby, to face a two-year battle in court, she explained. As you know, the Greens grew their family business out of their garage. They now own stores in 41 states employing more than 16,000 full time employees. They have always operated their business according to their faith. In fact, the Greens pay salaries that start at twice the minimum wage and offer excellent benefits, as well as a healthcare package which includes almost all of the contraceptives now mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Their only objection is to 4 drugs and devices which, the government itself concedes, can terminate an embryo.
Their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act should be protected by the government. Instead, the government has threatened them with fines and fought them all the way to the Supreme Court, Arriaga added.
The government has already exempted tens of millions of Americans from complying with the mandate that forces employers to provide certain specific drugs and devices. However, it refuses to accommodate the Green family because the Green familys objections are religious. We believe that the governments position is not only extreme and unconstitutional; it presents a grave danger to our freedoms, she continued.
The Obama administration says it is confident it will prevail, saying, We believe this requirement is lawful and are confident the Supreme Court will agree.
My family and I are encouraged that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide our case, said Mr. Green, Hobby Lobbys founder and CEO. This legal challenge has always remained about one thing and one thing only: the right of our family businesses to live out our sincere and deeply held religious convictions as guaranteed by the law and the Constitution. Business owners should not have to choose between violating their faith and violating the law.
The Supreme Court is also taking the case of the Mennonite cabinet makers forced to pay for birth control and abortion-causing drugs.
In July, a federal court granted Hobby Lobby a preliminary injunction against the HHS abortion-drug mandate. The injunction prevented the Obama administration from enforcing the mandate against the Christian company, but the Obama administration appealed that ruling recently. The governments appeal makes it highly likely that the Supreme Court will decide the issue in the upcoming term.
After the appeals court ruling, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton issued a preliminary injunction and stayed the case until Oct. 1 to give the Obama administration time to appeal the decision.
In an opinion read from the bench, the court said, There is a substantial public interest in ensuring that no individual or corporation has their legs cut out from under them while these difficult issues are resolved.
Duncan says there are now 63 separate lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate. The Becket Fund led the charge against the unconstitutional HHS mandate. The Becket Fund currently represents: Hobby Lobby, Wheaton College, East Texas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University, Colorado Christian University, the Eternal Word Television Network, Ave Maria University, and Belmont Abbey College.
Hobby Lobby could have paid as much as $1.3 million each day in fines for refusing to pay for birth control or abortion-causing drugs under the mandate.
A December 2013 Rasmussen Reports poll shows Americans disagree with forcing companies like Hobby Lobby to obey the mandate.
Half of voters now oppose a government requirement that employers provide health insurance with free contraceptives for their female employees, Rasmussen reports.
The poll found: The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 38% of Likely U.S. Voters still believe businesses should be required by law to provide health insurance that covers all government-approved contraceptives for women without co-payments or other charges to the patient.
Fifty-one percent (51%) disagree and say employers should not be required to provide health insurance with this type of coverage. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure.
Another recent poll found 59 percent of Americans disagree with the mandate.
I think it will be 5-4 in favor of Hobby Lobby.
1. IIRC, the contraception provision is NOT part of the law but is a regulation added to the law by the administration.
2. There are a huge number of exemptions already handed out.
3. The court will narrowly rule that Hobby Lobby also can have an exemption.
This will leave it open to change once the administration ends all its other exemptions. But, by then, this administration will be gone.
This enables the court to avoid actually ruling on the law or the regulation.
Predicting what this SC will do is ridiculous. After Roberts cave, there is absolutely no way to know, and it’s not worth the effort to try.
After the decision, it may or may not be clear as to the real factors behind it.
I think it will go against Hobby Lobby because it is a corporation rather than a sole propritor or partnership.
They are well on the way to destroying this country. I only hope there are enough patriots left to rebuild after the trogs take over. The elites are going to be surprised when those who they have enabled come after them out of lust for what the elites have.
I agree that’s an important issue.
But the exemptions granted to a regulation rather than to a law struck me as a bit more central.
My thought was that all kinds of corporations have corporate beliefs. Mozilla, for example, has beliefs that led them to fire their CEO, whasisname.
I don't see what difference that would make under a 1st Amendment analysis. Citizens United would seem to have resolved that issue in the corporation's favor. Do newspapers loose the right to "freedom of the press" when they incorporate?
The ruling will be against Hobby Lobby. Why? Because the State is all about accumulating power. The State cannot tolerate that there is anything beyond its control, which is why the State despises religion.
I agree. 5-4 in favor of Hobby Lobby.
I think Justice Roberts will protect Obama once again.
In addition to your valid points above, I submit two additional ones ...
... governments should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification;
Since 0bamacare only still stands today as a "tax", it runs afoul of both the equal protection clause of the 10th Amendment (friends of 0bama get exemptions while others do not), and the requirement that all bills raising revenue originate in the House of Representatives.
I believe the Supreme Court will rule that unbridled freedom to kill children will trump religious freedom.
BECAUSE anyone in that company is free to go to Planned Parenthood and get those same free services. OR they can go to the store and spring for "o" rings.
No. Roberts rolls over again.
I’m going to say 7-2 for Hobby Lobby...only because Religious Objection has been around since our beginnings.
And the answer should be, why not? The court has already ruled that corporations have a Constitutional right to free speech when they ruled that campaign funding restrictions were unconstitutional. If corporations have constitutional protections in one area of the First Amendment then why not in all areas? Why can't a corporation have a religious foundation and be entitled to religious beliefs that reflect those of the owners or the shareholders? I have a hard time understanding how the court can possibly hold that they don't. If they do rule against Hobby Lobby then it's a slippery slope because if the entire First Amendment doesn't apply to corporations then can it selectively apply to people too?
>> I think it will be 5-4 in favor of Hobby Lobby.
I pray that it’s at least 5-4 in their favor.
With this court, however, I wouldn’t bank on it.
This is the same Supreme Court that discovered a Constitutional right to homosexual marriage. Who knew that was in the Constitution all these years?
I am not optimistic.
Recently, though, they didn’t have to rule in favor of prayer at town council meetings in Greece, NY.
I’m still amazed that insurance companies started adding personal choice/hygiene items onto health care. You’d think they’d be paying for toilet paper and toothpaste.
It’s crazy that condoms and pills are considered health care.