Georgia Voices: Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling a First Amendment victory for all Americans
July 08, 2014 01:33 AM | 1497 views | 6 6 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If you like your religious freedoms, you can keep them. For now.

The U.S. Supreme Court narrowly ruled business owners with religious objections can’t be forced to pay for women’s birth control under the Obamacare law.

The 5-4 opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, held that imposing the contraceptive mandate on closely held corporations violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Essentially, the court said if you are morally opposed to birth control or abortion, you shouldn’t have to buy it for others just because you offered them a job.

Though the ruling specifically dealt with the Hobby Lobby chain and other companies whose owners have deeply held religious views, it is really a First Amendment victory for all Americans.

“Today’s decision was a victory for freedom,” the National Center for Public Policy Research said. “Because a person who does not have the right to order his or her professional and personal life in accordance with his or her religious beliefs does not have freedom at all.”

It is the first major challenge to Obamacare to come before the court since the justices upheld the law’s individual requirement to buy health insurance two years ago. This will send the Obama administration hunting for another way to give women free contraception if they can’t get through their employers’ insurance plans.

Had the mandate been upheld, a company objecting to the contraceptive mandate would have had three choices: violate their faith; pay ruinous fines; or go out of business.

The ruling applies to businesses so closely held that there is no essential difference between the corporation and its owners. Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby, which employs more than 15,000 full-time workers in 41 states, was founded by a family of evangelical Christians. The other major company involved in the case, Pennsylvania-based cabinet company Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., is owned by a Mennonite family.

What’s more frightening than the contraception mandate the Obama administration dismissively tried to cram down employers’ throats through the Affordable Care Act is the fact that it was nearly upheld as law — only a single Supreme Court justice stood in the way.

Freedom in this country is hanging by a thread.

Comments
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anonymous
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July 16, 2014
All this talk about birth control is a moot point!

Didn't Republicans Todd Akin and Phil Gingrey say the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. Foster Friess said "Back in my days, They used Bayer Aspirin for contraceptives... The gals put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly". Why shouldn't five conservative men who are Roman Catholics decide what is best for women's reproductive health.
just saying
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July 16, 2014
I can't wait until Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to pay for their employee's blood transfusions and Muslim's refuse to pay for their employee's insulin from pig tissue and medicine packaged in pork gelatin capsules! As Justice Ginsberg said "This is a Minefield"!
why not
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July 16, 2014
I will believe corporations are people when Texas executes one!
Patrick Thompson
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July 10, 2014
First it was my insurance company, then my Congressman, now it's our employers between us and our healthcare. Where is the freedom?
Ben Twomey
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July 10, 2014
@Jeff 1234. Been drinking the liberal kool aid a little heavily there, haven't you? Corporations have always had the right to determine what they spend their money for. In this case, they are choosing not to spend it on abortion drugs. They offer a choise of 16 different contraceptives, the choice of any one of which would preclude the need for the abortion drugs. WEhy should they have to pay for their employees' failure to properly protect themselves. They pay for the necessary protection means.
Jeff 1234
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July 08, 2014
Since corporations have more rights than the actual flesh and blood people they employ, you are right: Freedom in this country is hanging by a thread. I'm confused as to if some folks are American first (freedom for all) or "whatever their religion dictates they be first"? If the Hobby Lobby owners were Muslim, I wonder if some opinions would indeed be sounding very different. As far as I see it, religious freedom stops at the choices you get to make about yourself. You don't get to dictate choices for others (unless they are your children).
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