HHS Mandate: Supreme Court Finally Rules in Favor of Hobby Lobby – But Against American Taxpayers

In a 5-4 ruling on Monday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, saying that closely held corporations with religious owners can’t be required to provide contraception coverage in their insurance plans for employees. However, they did rule that the federal government may provide that coverage.

Justice Anthony Alito delivered the opinion of the Court.

“We must decide in these cases whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), 107 Stat. 1488, 42 U. S. C. §2000bb et seq., permits the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to demand that three closely held corporations provide health-insurance coverage for methods of contraception that violate the sincerely held religious beliefs of the companies’ owners. We hold that the regulations that impose this obligation violate RFRA, which prohibits the Federal Government from taking any action that substantially burdens the exercise of religion unless that action constitutes the least restrictive means of servicing a compelling government interest.”

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The court rejected the HHS mandate as unlawful, saying that it was in violation of the RFRA that men and women involved in for-profit corporations are not to be discriminated against in this way due to their religious beliefs.

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Alito wrote that Hobby Lobby faced nearly $500 million each year in fines for not complying with the HHS mandate. “If these consequences do not amount to a substantial burden, it is hard to see what would.”

So far, so good. However, he then went on to write, “There are other ways in which Congress or HHS could equally ensure that every woman has cost-free access to the particular contraceptives at issue here and, indeed, to all FDA-approved contraceptives.”

Now, I ask you, where does Congress get authority to “ensure” “cost-free access” to contraceptives for women? In fact, let’s ask a more direct question, who will pay for that contraception?

The answer to the first question is that nowhere in the US Constitution is their authority for Congress to provide contraception. The answer to the second question is the American taxpayer.

Alito went to explain that HHS has already implemented a system that “seeks to respect the religious liberty of religious nonprofit corporations while ensuring that the employees of these entities have precisely the same access to all FDA-approved contraceptives as employees of companies whose owners have no religious objections to providing such coverage.”

“HHS has provided no reason why the same system cannot be made available when the owners of for-profit corporations have similar religious objections,” Alito wrote.

Again, I ask, where is the authority that the Federal government have in HHS mandating or providing any contraception?

While Alito and company are in favor of letting corporations like Hobby Lobby off the hook for providing contraception based on their religious convictions (and rightly so), they then turn the tables to force the American taxpayer, which many of us disagree with providing contraception with our tax dollars, to pay for the contraceptions. Does that sound like justice to you? Does it sound like the protections of the First Amendment were really addressed here? I think not, at least not fully when it comes to the individual American citizen.

Now there are two questions to ask. First, who will be repaying Hobby Lobby their legal fees for fighting an unconstitutional law? Second, who will go on behalf of the American taxpayer to see that our money is not used by HHS and funneled to organizations like Planned Parenthood not only for contraception, but for abortions as well. Remember, once organizations like Planned Parenthood get the money, they don’t have to distinguish between abortions and contraceptives… promotion of infanticide, pimping or sadomasochism advice.

As our own Publius Huldah has pointed out, it is wrong for anyone to point to either the General Welfare Clause or the 14th Amendment to provide such things.

Sounds to me like the Supreme Court got it right when it comes to Hobby Lobby, but they got it dead wrong when they claim this is an issue for the Federal government to be involved in and lay on the backs of American citizens with the same conscience as the owners of Hobby Lobby.

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