Closely-held for-profit corporations are protected from rule by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, court rules in Hobby Lobby and Conestoga cases, dealing yet another blow to the Obama Administration after striking down their recess appointments last week and voting against the buffer zone in front of a Planned Parenthood.
The Court says that the government has failed to show that the mandate is the least restrictive means of advancing its interest in guaranteeing cost-free access to birth control. Justice Kennedy’s concurring opinion says that the government could pay for the coverage itself, so that women receive it.
This decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to mean that all insurance mandates, that is for blood transfusions or vaccinations, necessarily fail if they conflict with an employer’s religious beliefs. It does not provide a shield for employers who might cloak illegal discrimination as a religious practice.
This decision looks like a monster: 49 pages for the majority, four for Kennedy concurrence. The Court says that RFRA requires the government to provide closely-held corporate objectors the same accommodation it already provides nonprofit organization
Are you getting it yet, Mr. President? The people are voicing that they will not stand such outright disregard for small businesses and the welfare of pregnant women and freedom of speech and religion.
The justices’ 5-4 decision Monday is the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law. And it means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under objecting companies’ health insurance plans.
Congratulations to the Hahn and Green families and thank you for having the courage to stand!
Photo Courtesy of Random Retail