Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni - 1773

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Monday, June 30, 2014

The Supreme Court and the HHS Mandate



The Supreme Court and the HHS Mandate

Like everyone interested in the freedom of religion and with an understanding of the potential impact on the future of our country, I was greatly relieved to see Hobby Lobby vindicated by the Supreme Court Monday in its battle against the HHS mandate.  By the narrowest 5-4 margin, sanity held the day, but there are many things that still concern me greatly.
            The first is the limited scope of the court’s decision.  Fox News reported that:  “The court stressed that its ruling on Monday applies only to corporations that are under the control of just a few people in which there is no essential difference between the business and its owners.” Why?  How can the court justify any business being forced to pay for the services demanded by the HHS mandate?  And upon whose judgment will we rely to determine which companies qualify?
            The dissent sounds at times as though the sky is falling, and that civilization is under attack by the ruling.  Is it not true that contraception / abortifacient coverage has never been required until Obamacare’s putrid mandate?  Somehow women were not left on the streets to die.  Framing this whole debate around the issue of women’s health is incredibly misleading to begin with.  The claim that the court’s ruling will somehow have disastrous consequences is simply ridiculous.  The one part of the dissent which I pray is true is the statement: “Although the Court attempts to cabin its language to closely held corporations, its logic extends to corporations of any size, public or private. Little doubt that RFRA claims will proliferate.”
            The biggest problem with the decision is that the court gave any credence to the idea that the government can force any employers to provide morally objectionable coverage for its employees.  Don’t get me wrong, I am elated that Hobby Lobby won its case.  But to think that we have won a decisive blow for religious freedom is na├»ve.  The battle is far from over.