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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Hobby Lobby

The Supreme Court today ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby over the federal government, finding that the company is within its rights not to provide free contraception as required under Obamacare.

The five to four decision in the case Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius has Justice Anthony Kennedy as the swing vote siding with conservatives Alito, Thomas, Scalia and Roberts. The decision means that employers can opt out of the contraception requirement because of religious objections.

“The Court says that the government has failed to show that the mandate is the least restrictive means of advancing its interest in guaranteeing cost-free access to birth control,” according to ScotusBlog.

The decision hardly guts Obamacare, but it complicates the application of the law and provides yet more evidence of the Obama administration’s overreach and willingness to wade into private lives in order to advance its agenda.

From ScotusBlog:

Justice Kennedy’s concurring opinion says that the government could pay for the coverage itself, so that women receive it.

This decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to mean that all insurance mandates, that is for blood transfusions or vaccinations, necessarily fail if they conflict with an employer’s religious beliefs.

It does not provide a shield for employers who might cloak illegal discrimination as a religious practice.

It is extremely likely that the Obama administration will by regulation provide for the government to pay for the coverage. So it is unlikely that there will be a substantial gap in coverage.

The determination that employers cannot “cloak illegal discrimination” as a religious practice suggests that the Court would not allow similar exclusions from Obamacare related to religious objections to homosexuality.

The decision appears to be in part an extension of the Citizens United ruling, which found that corporations could be considered “persons,” in this case persons with religious beliefs. But in this decision, only “closely held” companies – those with only a few owners, often families – are termed to have religious beliefs, not large corporations.

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42 Responses to Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Hobby Lobby

  1. Sanity has been restored – at least this time. We may have to grapple back our freedoms “one spoonful at a time” – with the leader of this Country throwing everything out that is lawful and good – it is heartwarming to again feel a greater power rules. God bless Hobby Lobby for having the courage to fight back. We are all winners because of it. Obviously, Sandra Fluke won’t be applying at Hobby Lobby to support her mega circulative activities.

    • Unfortunately it is a VERY limited decision but it’s definitely better than a rejection. That it was 5 – 4 is troubling indeed. As it stands now Obama will most likely just write a regulation that will force the taxpayers to pay for it.
      That political correctness has such a solid foothold in the Supreme Court is something that should concern ALL Americans.
      But that said this past week of decisions on everything from warrants for cell phone searches to forced union dues collection does leave me breathing just a little easier regarding our core foundational freedoms that the Founders started that long ago 4th of July.

      • how is it that this isn’t a 9-0 or 8-1 decision.
        only by ideological reasons can someone vote against the ruling.
        the others are following the Constitution.

        I weep if a conservative is not elected and not placing good Constitutional judges in.

        Then again…we thought Roberts was a Constitutional guy and he screwed the entire nation by creating his obamacare law.

      • Yes, taxpayers will ultimately foot the bill. Above all, this is a VICTORY for the religious rights of Christians which have been relentlessly trampled by the Left.

      • Our system of government still works, I don’t give a “poop”, see how I kept it clean, what Obama says.
        After 200 plus years, it’s like an old jalopy, doesn’t start all the time, motor cuts out now and then, could use a couple of new tires, oil change and paint job would be nice.
        But that one time you really really need it, it starts on first try and purrs like a kitten. Takes you where you need to go, we need it today.

        • Hobby Lobby & Conestoga cover 23 birth control prescriptions! Their objections to the abortion inducing pills has been supported narrowly!

          Keith, SCOTUS has upheld ‘conscientious objectors’ religious beliefs against the draft in the 60’s and even for atheists when they ruled that atheism, humanism, secularism, as well as Christianity, are ‘religions with beliefs and tenants that people follow’.

          How were the opinions in the companies (bakeries, photographers, florists) which refuse service to whomever they wish – which is still posted by many businesses – not decided in their favor, too, for ‘conscientious objections’?

          The SCOTUS is the ‘last line of defense’ for Americans who object to undue gov’t intrusion even though it takes years and big bucks to plead a case. I still do not feel protected by the way activists judges in the lower courts can over-rule whatever the citizens know is the ‘narrow interpretation of our Constitution’ protecting our liberties. Very cautious and still confused about our courts….jb

  2. There will be no gap in coverage, because all those employed by Hobby Lobby will now claim a medical reason for the pill, rather than a recreational use. But kudos to them for fighting this.

  3. What is this “free” contraceptives? Nothing is “free”, someone has to pay for it and claiming the “government” will now have to provide it violates MY religious beliefs.
    What in the world is wrong with our leaders that something like providing what is a low-cost, readily available birth control to women a great big honking issue? In the world of pharmas, birth control items are cheap compared to life-saving or life-prolonging medications that both men and women must ingest.

    Our government that represents all of us has no business being involved in providing or sponsoring birth control by means of medications, devices, or abortions.

    • Agree! Obama used ‘free’ contraceptives as a ‘sexy’ campaign promise to woo young women – the Sandra Flukes of the world. Sex sells – and they bought it. So we end up wasting hundreds of millions for a drug that would cost less than a monthly cell phone bill while others will be denied life-saving drugs due to the high cost. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

  4. I heard on NPR that employers were required to offer all drugs approved by the FDA–is that even true? I can’t get all blood pressure drugs approved on my Medicare HMO formulary? Since when does a formulary contain all drugs approved? So I think this is justified.

  5. This is good, and maybe you will be covering the other decision later, but the SCOTUS also ruled that public employees, in this case home care workers in Illinois, cannot be forced into belonging to and paying dues to public employees’ unions. The 5 to 4 decision (you know how they voted) says that it violated the First Amendment rights of non-union employees. To me this validates Scott Walker’s actions in Wisconsin.

  6. Those 5-4 decisions remind us of how close we sometimes come to losing our liberty and our rights as citizens in a Constitutional Republic.

    • Considering Robert’s vote on ObamaCare, this was a nail biter for me.
      I agree Marcus. As the years pass, 60 plus for me, it seems the Constitution and our Republic have become fragile, dangerously so.

      • Gallup is reporting that the American people–measuring the confidence we have in our government–that the presidency has a 29% confidence rating, the Congress has a 7% confidence rating and the Supreme Court a 30 something confidence rating. That suggests more people are catching on that all is not well in Washington. I’m way up into my 70’s, and I’ve never seen anything like what we have now.

  7. Here’s the intriguing part.

    Ginsburg has said she has no plans to retire any time soon–even with the mid-terms four months away, and the Senate looking more and more like it’s going to end up in GOP hands.

    Add to the mix Reid’s pinky-swear on the nuclear option, where he said Supreme Court justices could still be filibustered, and it’s starting to look like the Court may be moving further right before the next term is up.

    UNLESS Reid goes back on his word–not unlikely, given how big of a weasel he is.

    • That’s because her crystal ball isn’t forthcoming with the results of the election.
      If the senate goes republican, she’ll keep her seat, and if it doesn’t she’ll step down.

  8. I guess OBama is now having a hissy fit regarding the rulings of the
    Supreme Court. I call it payback for the time in the past when he
    dissed the Scotus at one of his State of the Union speeches.

  9. This is really really sad. If you are fighting for “religious freedom” this is a very odd way to go about it.
    Contraceptives are used for more than just “birth control.” I have a condition called endometriosis and need to take a birth control pill every day in order to slow down the effects of my condition and maintain my health. The government mandating free birth control is helpful for everyone. You don’t HAVE to take birth control if that’s against your religion, but why shouldn’t it be provided for free? Many women with my same condition would be unable to maintain their health if they had to pay outright for their contraceptives.
    Freedom is the right of choice. Now Hobby Lobby is not giving their employees the choice of receiving free birth control. How is that in favor of freedom? The government didn’t mandate everyone to consume contraceptives;they simply gave everyone the CHOICE to get them easily. That is freedom. And what does that have to do with “religious freedom” anyways? You don’t believe in taking contraceptives? Then don’t. That’s your freedom. What about the workers in your organization that DO agree with taking contraceptives? You’ve now taken away their “religious freedom.”
    This fight is not for freedom, it’s completely against it.
    This just goes to show how close mindedness truly causes more harm than good.

    • If the birth-control pill is “free,” who do you think is paying for it? (Hint: it isn’t Santa.)

      If you insist that other people must subsidize your birth-control pills, you’re perfectly free to seek a job at a company where that’s part of the compensation package. By the way, Hobby Lobby’s insurance plan DOES provide contraceptives; it just doesn’t include abortifacients; so the leftist hysteria is misinformed.

      You’re also free to adjust your budget so as to meet your own basic needs rather than demanding that someone else do it. Lots of people must do that all the time.

      Many things that people need to provide for themselves are more costly than birth-control pills: housing, food, energy (thanks to Obama’s desire that our electricity rates “necessarily skyrocket” and Canadian oil go to Asia instead of here). Are we denied “freedom” because we have to pay for those things?

      The corollary of freedom is responsibility. When you grow up and leave mommy and daddy’s house, you get a lot more freedom — and you also have to take care of yourself. If you want other people to pay your expenses, those people have a moral right to restrict your activity.

      You’re right when you say “This fight is not for freedom, it’s completely against it.” But it’s YOUR side that’s against freedom. Your side stole my freedom to have an insurance plan that meets my needs.

      For your side, “freedom” means “free stuff” — and you want to use the government to coerce other people to buy things for you.

      This goes to show how juvenile the Democrat left has become.

  10. Apart from the religious objection, I don’t understand the insistence that the government has an interest in “guaranteeing cost-free access to birth control.” Somebody is paying the price, and it isn’t “the government.” (The price also gets higher when it’s funneled through the insurance process.)

    The Dems are adamant that contraception MUST be collectively funded. WHY? If women are being “denied access” to contraception when it isn’t communally funded, why shouldn’t food and shelter likewise be communally funded for everyone? (Oh wait, many Dems like that idea too …)

    The insane argument that women are being “denied access” to something if other people don’t pay for it is a highly revealing indication of how totally bonkers the left-wing worldview is.

    On top of that, there’s the putrid hypocrisy of Pelosi et al. screeching that women are being robbed of the “right to make their own health-care decisions.” As if Pelosi et al. had not robbed millions of people, including women, of the right to purchase health insurance that meets their own needs instead of the government’s agenda!

    How can those people even believe what they’re saying?

    But let’s play along: I am clearly being “denied the right to make my own decisions” about where to live, and whether to eat wild, line-caught Alaskan salmon twice a week, because the government is not coercing other people to buy the salmon and the luxury house for me.

  11. The Supreme Court has just shifted millions of women’s votes from Republican to Democrat. The GOP should wave goodbye to their chances of taking the Senate this fall, and the 2016 elections will be even more of a rout. The next President will have plenty of opportunities — until 2025 — to unskew this Court and get Hobby Lobby reversed. The Opus Dei wing of the SCOTUS won’t be around much longer.