Get PJ Media on your Apple

Ordered Liberty

In connection with Obamacare’s so-called “women’s preventive services” mandate – i.e., the diktat that employers provide health insurance coverage that includes abortifacients and contraception – the Supreme Court has agreed to review two cases, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Woods Specialties Corp v. Sebelius, that raise religious liberty claims. Monday, the justices declined to review another Obamacare case, Liberty University v. Lew, that sought to press the same issue. The jutices’ denial of review in Liberty has caused some consternation among those of us hopeful that the Court will ultimately strike down the mandate. Don’t be alarmed.

Liberty is a case from the Fourth Circuit. (That court’s opinion is here.) In sum, the case was not argued as a challenge to the abortifacients/contraceptives mandate. Instead, the claimants focused on two other Obamacare mandates: the individual mandate, which requires Americans to purchase health insurance whether they want it or not; and the employer mandate, which requires employers to provide “minimum essential coverage” that includes numerous conditions and services regardless of whether employers wish to provide coverage for all of them (or employers wish to be covered for all of them).

It is true that the Liberty plaintiffs asserted that their religious beliefs barred them from “play[ing] [any] part in abortions, including [any] part in facilitating, subsidizing, easing, funding, or supporting abortions since to do so is evil and morally repugnant complicity.” But this argument was made in the context of the individual and employer mandates, not the abortifacient/contraceptive mandate, which, Jonathan Adler observes, “is a distinct legal obligation.”

Meanwhile, on June 27, 2013, the Tenth Circuit decided Hobby Lobby, one of the aforementioned cases the Supreme Court agreed to review. After hearing the case en banc, a divided court held that the claimants were likely to succeed on their motion for an injunction against enforcement of the abortifacient/contraceptive mandate. The claimants sought the injunction based on the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

Subsequently, in their petition to the Supreme Court, the Liberty claimants argued that the Fourth Circuit’s ruling against them conflicted with the Tenth Circuit’s ruling in Hobby Lobby. But, in truth, it did not: the Fourth Circuit in Liberty did not address the abortifacient/contraceptive mandate that is central to Hobby Lobby. In light of that, it is unsurprising that the Supreme Court did not regard Liberty as an appropriate vehicle for considering religious freedom claims against Obamacare.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (5)
All Comments   (5)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
my friend's half-sister makes $72 an hour on the internet. She has been laid off for six months but last month her pay check was $15553 just working on the internet for a few hours. link>>>>>>>>>>>>> www.jobs35.com
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
When I was in my childbearing years & CHOOSE NOT to procreate, (because I was single until age 57), I paid the ENTIRE COST of my birth control pills & the LAST THING I would have wanted is the government nosing around in my reproductive rights!! I CHOOSE to forego "luxury items" like a car & took the bus to work so I could afford my health insurance & birth control pills. If I was a male I would NOT WANT the government paying for my viagra either!! WHY OH WHY is insurance obligated to cover birth contol pills & viagra??
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
WHY ISN'T OBAMACARE CHALLENGED ON THE FOURTH AMENDMENT? OR IS THEIR NO RIGHT TO PRIVACY?
The ACA mandates all sorts of private information (SS #s, health issues, etc). This alone should be unconstitutional. Then, this information is not properly protected from computer hackers. While navigators have no background checks -- so they could easily be felons or identity thieves. And the IRS seems to be able to do whatever it wants. Is the right to privacy dead?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
"a distinctly different legal argument"

Well, this is the problem, that people can see this as distinctly different. Only lawyers think like that. To me, it is a distinction without a difference.

Doesn't matter, anyway. When the case for ObamaCare was argued before the SC, the plaintiffs clearly won the day in arguments. The government attorney got creamed. He was pathetic, completely unprepared. And it didn't matter. The fix was in. The arguments meant nothing. The merits of your case mean nothing. They are going to decide whatever they are going to decide. The trial is just for show. Smoke and mirrors.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
"In connection with Obamacare’s so-called “women’s preventive services” mandate..."

Phrase recalls a program the guidance services in a school district in which I taught came up with - and, as a teacher, I was in favor of for some students. The program was called "Youth Prevention." After a few weeks, the name was changed, for an obvious reason.

I'm sure there are some men out there who would be in favor of "women preventive services", as well.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All