The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 today that corporations (those where there are no essential differences between the company and its owners) cannot be compelled to provide certain contraceptives required by Obamacare that violate their religious beliefs.
This was a landmark victory for religious freedom. Even dissenting Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called the decision “potentially sweeping.” .
Hobby Lobby did not object to providing contraceptives to their employees. They currently offer over a dozen options. As Christians, they objected to providing contraceptives that had the potential to destroy an already fertilized egg (Plan B, ella and two IUDs), since they believe that life begins at conception and should not be destroyed.
Congressman Forbes and Senator Blunt led 88 Members of Congress in an amicus curiae brief, supporting Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood. Other members of the Virginia Congressional delegation that joined Forbes in filing the amicus curiae brief were Eric Cantor and Rob Wittman.
Congress Forbes issued a statement today that said:
“Religious freedom is the cornerstone of a free society, and every American—regardless of whether we are religious—should be concerned when the government attempts to restrain free exercise. We live in a country whose laws respect freedom and diversity, and today the Supreme Court affirmed the Constitution’s strong protections for all Americans to live and work by their convictions. Freedom of conscience can include nothing less than the way a person lives all aspects of his or her life. As a nation, our laws must encourage and support, not penalize, citizens who seek to adhere to their moral convictions.”
In an opinion authored by Justice Alito, the Court held that the Affordable Care Act’s HHS mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a bill passed by Congress in 1993 with overwhelming bipartisan support. In today’s opinion, the Court stated, “The plain terms of RFRA make it perfectly clear that Congress did not discriminate . . . against men and women who wish to run their businesses as for-profit corporations in the manner required by their religious beliefs.”
A huge thank you should go out to Congressman Randy Forbes for being a leader in this battle! Thank you for standing up for religious freedom in Congress and with the Supreme Court.