On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to address whether businesses can use religious objections to escape a White House requirement that is imposed by ObamaCare to cover birth control for their employees.
In doing so, the justices will take up an issue that has divided the lower courts in the face of roughly 40 lawsuits from for-profit companies. These lawsuits ask for the businesses to be spared from having to cover some or all forms of contraception, including abortifacients that effectively terminate unborn babies.
This latest legal challenge to the President’s signature policy initiative comes from the consolidation of two of those 40 similar cases. One involves Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., an Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain with 13,000 full-time employees. The owner of Hobby Lobby says he runs his business on biblical principle and is opposed to the contraception mandate found in ObamaCare. Hobby Lobby won in the lower courts. In the other case, the Mennonite-owned Conestoga Wood Specialties lost on a similar religious challenge.
The cases will likely be argued in March of 2014, with a decision rendered by the end of June. Arguments will undoubtedly touch on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the previous Court ruling in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
Project 21 co-chairman Horace Cooper, a former professor of constitutional law and former leadership staff member with the U.S. House of Representatives, had this statement regarding the potentially landmark case:
I am pleased to see that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear this case.
The Obama Administration clearly over-reached in this case. Being so fixated on maintaining a political wedge issue to frighten women voters in America, they were willing to trample on religious freedom in the process.
This case need never have gone forward if the White House would have simply accepted the counsel of people of faith both within and without the Obama Administration that its contraception mandate went too far. Just as the President refused to listen to those urging a go-slow approach on the ObamaCare web site and the overall roll-out, the Obama Administration pushed forward with disastrous and disruptive results for many Americans.
Apparently, only the U.S. Supreme Court can force this White House to put the fundamental principle of religious liberty ahead of its dogmatic left-wing ideology.
Cooper has written a National Policy Analysis paper for the National Center for Public Policy Research about the unconstitutionality of ObamaCare’s contraception mandate. That paper can be found by clicking here.