ObamaCare is an objectively unpopular law among millions of Americans, sparking countless conversations about its potential to curtail constitutional rights. Perhaps the law’s most troubling aspect, however, is the mandate that employers provide contraception – and what some consider abortifacient drugs – in their employee health insurance plans.
The owners of two companies leading the fight against this requirement are presenting their case before the U.S. Supreme Court this week. The Christian family behind Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporations’ Mennonite owners argue that their religious beliefs prohibit them from complying with the healthcare law.
As part of their argument, the companies have asserted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 should protect them from violating the tenets of their faith.
Hobby Lobby presented a brief to the court detailing the company’s stance.
“Ultimately,” the document stated, “whether it is the individuals, the corporations, or both who are exercising religion, the government cannot simply wish away the reality that its policies substantially burden Respondents’ religious exercise in a wholly unjustified manner.”
The federal government, however, has determined the statute only applies to individuals.
U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. claimed in his brief that “respondents must stretch every operative provision of RFRA well beyond what Congress could reasonably have intended” to arrive at their stated position.
The libertarian Cato Institute weighed in with its own brief, explaining the impact the court’s ruling in this case will have.
“This is an important case because the corporate form is an essential tool for operating successfully in the complex modern economy and the right to exercise one’s religion,” the organization contended, calling it “an essential right in a free nation” even in the operation of one’s business.
Of course, leftist groups including gay rights activists and Planned Parenthood warn a ruling in favor of religious freedom would open the door for discrimination.
Dozens of other companies across the U.S. have objected to the mandate, and the Supreme Court’s decision in this case will provide context for other cases currently under consideration. For countless believers, along with those who simply oppose the federal government’s intrusion, this case will hopefully offer some much-needed support for the liberties they feel are under siege.
–B. Christoher Agee
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Photo Credit: DangApricot (Creative Commons)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom