Skip to comments.SCOTUS Rules Obama Admin Canít Make Hobby Lobby Obey Pro-Abortion HHS Mand (details)
Posted on 06/30/2014 8:48:46 AM PDT by NYer
The Supreme Court ruled today that the Christian-run Hobby Lobby doesn’t have to obey the HHS mandate that is a part of Obamacare that requires businesses to pay for abortion causing drugs in their employee health care plans.
The Obama administration was 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 today issued a favorable ruling in 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.
Writing for the 5-4 majority, Justice Samuel Alito handed down the decision for the high court, saying, “The Supreme Court holds government cant require closely held corporations with religious owners to provide contraception coverage.”
“HHS’s contraception mandate substantially burdens the exercise of religion,” the decision reads, adding that the “decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to mean that all insurance mandates.” The opinion said the “plain terms of Religious Freedom Restoration Act” are “perfectly clear.”
Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy joined in the majority decision. Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote a concurring opinion saying that government itself could provide the coverage for contraception and the abortion-causing drugs if a company declines to do so.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg issued a dissent that claims the decision is “of startling breadth,” a claim the majority denies. The major decision indicates it applies to the abortion mandate, not blood transfusions or other practices to which people may have religious objections.
The Hobby Lobby decision only applies to companies, including Conestoga Wood Specialties, which had a companion case pending before the Supreme Court. Non-profit groups like Priests for Life and Little Sisters are still waiting for a ruling about their right to opt out of the mandate.
The Obama administration said it was confident it would prevail, saying, We believe this requirement is lawful and are confident the Supreme Court will agree.
Americans dont give up their rights to religious freedom just because they open a family-run business, Lori Windham, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented Hobby Lobby. This is a landmark decision for religious freedom. The Supreme Court recognized that Americans do not lose their religious freedom when they run a family business.”
Barbara Green, co-founder of Hobby Lobby, also responded: “Our family is overjoyed by the Supreme Courts decision. Today the nations highest court has re-affirmed the vital importance of religious liberty as one of our countrys founding principles. The Courts decision is a victory, not just for our family business, but for all who seek to live out their faith. We are grateful to God and to those who have supported us on this difficult journey.
Responding to the decision, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel David Cortman told LifeNews: Americans dont surrender their freedom by opening a family business. In its decision today, the Supreme Court affirmed that all Americans, including family business owners, must be free to live and work consistently with their beliefs without fear of punishment by the government. In a free and diverse society, we respect the freedom to live out our convictions. For the Hahns and the Greens, that means not being forced to participate in distributing potentially life-terminating drugs and devices.
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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. 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.
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.
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.
The Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, 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.
Kristina Arriaga, Executive Director of the Becket Fund, tells LifeNews, “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.
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.
Prayers continue. Catholic ping!
The scary thing is the opinions of the minority 4 here.
Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are snapping and snarling like Tasmanian Piranhadevils on twitter.
The White House is oddly quiet.
I can’t see how they could rule this way on for-profit companies, then turn around and rule the opposite for non-profit religious groups. But they’ve done stranger things.
A win, yes. But 5-4? Good Lord. It should have been 9-0. That it was that close is disgusting.
The Republicans rubber stamp the nasty, baby-killing socialist activist judges, instead of fighting like the Democrats do.
“I cant see how they could rule this way on for-profit companies”
Not even a ruling for for-profit companies but for family owned companies. Not sure why they made it so narrow.
My problem is ALL 3 women were among the dissenting opinion.
Says something about narrow mindedness.
This should cover Christian Hospitals and other religious organization. What is the point of differentiating between a for profit and non profit organization, this was always impinging on our Constitutional rights.
It only applies to "family" run businesses. GM, for example, does not qualify.
Look at who these women are they are indeed narrow minded, and can’t read the law about free expression of religious beliefs.
This is still Justice Roberts fault, nobody should be forced to buy anything the government tells us too.
So, they have the right to opt out..yet the rest of us do not? If this is truly a first amendment ruling, then they have to rule that it is the same for all of us.
Good for hobby lobby et al, they opened the door to destroying the whole thing.
Also, the narrowness of this ruling does not remove all clouds from the horizon. (We need to pray even more now!)
However, we should be thankful for this small first step. With that in mind...
I’m surprised at the ruling but it is very good news.
However, Obama will figure out some other way to screw Hobby Lobby and others with religious beliefs that interfere with his Infitada Americana.
EXACTLY. Which encourages liberal efforts at stacking the court.
The absolute hypocrisy and duplicity of the American statist left defies logical explanation!
Putting aside for the moment that statist left and logical should NEVER APPEAR in the same rant, the just announced Hobby Lobby decision by the Supremes displayed it for all to see. All, that is, except the looney 47% who are receiving all the free chit and other goodies dispensed by the left to keep them voting for Democrat hacks who promise more and more of the free chit.
At the time the left rammed through the (Un)Affordable Care Act, there were loud protests from the few million or so sane citizens still living here that it would interpose fedzilla into the formerly sacred relationship between patient and doctor. The equally looney We have to pass it to find out what’s in it left quickly waved a collective imperious hand and uttered a royal Tsk, tsk, dismissed the objectors and returned to destroying the fabric of the country.
Comes now the favorable Hobby Lobby decision and comes now two pro-abortion radical feminazis to where else MSNBC to decry and lament over the decision. One was Rep. Nita Lowey from NYC (aka Gomorrah on the Hudson) and another woman representing one of the several Margaret Sanger eugenics inspired pro-abortion groups still murdering babies in the former safety of their mothers’ wombs.
Their first and only opposition argument? Though I suspect you have figured this out, better brace yourself: It would interfere with the sanctity of the relationship between a woman and her doctor.
And before you hit the reply button with What about the hypocrisy of the pro-life right in celebrating Hobby Lobby?
You may have overlooked the third and silent party in the discussion: The unborn baby!
The pro-aborts maintain that a fetus is NOT a human being either until birth or the third trimester. (I’ll believe that when a human female delivers a chicken or a cow.) And a number of courts here and in other nations regularly rule in support of that erroneous notion.
And while we’re discussing hypocrisy, can you explain this to me? How is it that those same courts correctly rule in cases involving intentional or accidental serious injury to or death of a pregnant woman that if her unborn baby is injured or dies, her baby constitutes a SECOND victim of the trauma or crime and the jury/judge nearly always factors that into the civil judgment or criminal sentence?
That concept comes down to us from the over 2,000 year old law found in the Bible.
And here’s one final piece of law from that Good Book: A double-minded man (or woman) is UNSTABLE in ALL his (or her) ways.
What does that say about 21st century America?
6 30 2014
Another vital reason to elect a POTUS who has read and understands the FOUNDERS’ intent and vision in the Constitution: There will be appointments in the next POTUS term!
Obama pouts, then he comes back with some other way to violate the constitution and get payback against anyone
who doesn't give him what he wants.
At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied,
demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats.
-- P.J. O'Rourke
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That was my initial reaction too. A higher margin in favor of Hobby Lobby would have sent the administration a stronger message. We’re back to these divided opinions, unfortunately.
To keep from being ostracized by the Beltway elite, I suppose.
I hope that SCOTUS realizes that when you feel your soul is in jeopardy because of a law, that law becomes tyranny.