I have read the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Opinion, and it leaves me with great concern. I intend to study it further, but here is my take at first glance…
My greatest concern remains that this court continues to acknowledge the federal government’s authority to mandate healthcare. This is Constitutionally NOT a function of the federal government, and the Supreme Court’s refusal to limit the federal government’s seizure of power just proves James Madison was right when he said:
“If the decision of the judiciary be raised above the authority of the sovereign parties to the Constitution… dangerous powers, not delegated, may not only be usurped and executed by the other departments, but that the judicial department, also, may exercise or sanction dangerous powers beyond the grant of the Constitution…” Virginia Assembly Report, 1800
Here are the facts that we can take away from this Supreme Court opinion:
In the Hobby Lobby opinion, SCOTUS recognizes a correlation between birth control and abortion and the financial impact of birth control upon the businesses:
“The owners of the businesses have religious objections to abortion, and according to their religious beliefs the four contraceptive methods at issue are abortifacients. If the owners comply with the HHS mandate, they believe they will be facilitating abortions, and if they do not comply, they will pay a very heavy price—as much as $1.3 million per day, or about $475 million per year, in the case of one of the companies. If these consequences do not amount to a substantial burden, it is hard to see what would.”
SCOTUS sees the potential “unlimited” application of HHS that would be endorsed if SCOTUS held against Hobby Lobby:
“It is HHS’s apparent belief that no insurance-coverage mandate would violate RFRA—no matter how significantly it impinges on the religious liberties of employers—that would lead to intolerable consequences. Under HHS’s view, RFRA would permit the Government to require all employers to provide coverage for any medical procedure allowed by law in the jurisdiction in question—for instance, third trimester abortions or assisted suicide. The owners of many closely held corporations could not in good conscience provide such coverage, and thus HHS would effectively exclude these people from full participation in the economic life of the Nation. RFRA was enacted to prevent such an outcome.”
SCOTUS says that the exception carved out for not-for-profits can be easily applied to for-profits.
“Although HHS has made this system available to religious nonprofits that have religious objections to the contraceptive mandate, HHS has provided no reason why the same system cannot be made available when the owners of for-profit corporations have similar religious objections. We therefore conclude that this system constitutes an alternative that achieves all of the Government’s aims while providing greater respect for religious liberty. And under RFRA, that conclusion means that enforcement of the HHS contraceptive mandate against the objecting parties in these cases is unlawful.”
SCOTUS then does a major CYA and makes this decision SPECIFIC to birth control and SPECIFIC to Hobby Lobby, which will either create a never-ending trail of litigation or chill the entire system of due process and force the remainder of the businesses to submit in silence.
“In any event, our decision in these cases is concerned solely with the contraceptive mandate. Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fail if it conflicts with an employer’s religious belief. Other coverage requirements, such as immunizations, may be supported by different interests (for example, the need to combat the spread of infectious disease) and may involve different arguments about the least restrictive means of providing them.”
Victory, yes, but very limited in its scope. There are greater dangers lurking about in the Affordable Care Act. Hobby Lobby’s case is just the beginning. If you want to know how deep this rabbit hole goes, read this article: http://bit.ly/1gnZu7K
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom