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Bridget Johnson


July 1, 2014 - 1:01 pm

The Libertarian Party said that the 5-4 decision at the Supreme Court in favor of Hobby Lobby on the contraceptive mandate isn’t, in the grand scope of Obamacare, really that big of a deal.

“It’s strange that liberals and conservatives are making this ruling out to be a huge deal. All the ruling does is remove a very narrow coverage requirement, in very specific cases; 99.9 percent of Obamacare is upheld,” Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict said in a statement today. “It’s true that closely held corporate entities should not be forced to pay for this particular contraceptive coverage. But focusing on that narrow issue misses the bigger point: No employer should be forced to provide any health coverage at all.”

“This ruling just draws the line between freedom and regulation arbitrarily. If these employers are free to ignore this particular mandate, why aren’t other employers free to ignore other Obamacare regulations? They should be,” Benedict said. “Obamacare is unjust and unconstitutional from top to bottom. No employer should be forced to provide health coverage to its employees, or penalized by government if it doesn’t.”

“Religion is not the issue. The fact that these employers have religious motives doesn’t matter,” he continued. “Employers have the right to associate freely with their employees, and to come up with any mutually agreeable employment terms, whether their motives are religious, secular, generous, greedy, or whatever.”

“This ruling is a tiny island in a huge sea of Supreme Court rulings that have supported the federal government’s desire to regulate and control.”

Libertarian Party Chair Nicholas Sarwark said removing prescription requirements from birth control pills “would advance liberty by giving easier access to birth control for people who want it without putting their employer in the middle of their personal choices.”

“Government doesn’t make men get prescriptions for condoms, there’s no reason it should make women get prescriptions for birth control pills,” Sarwark said.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has been advocating making the Pill over the counter since 2012, and Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner (R), running against Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) this fall, recently came out in favor of the OTC conversion as well.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (4)
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The criticisms are mostly valid, except all the "why nots". The SC does not get to rule on cases that are not before them. The ruling was narrow in scope, because the case was narrow in scope. Hobby Lobby was willing to pay for contraception, just not for morning-after pills.

ObamaCare is a big bill. 2k+ pages. It's gonna take a few more cuts to take it down. There is another decision due this month which could well doom it. One thing at a time.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
As I understand it (and I may be mistaken) Hobby Lobby was about whether the Restoration of Freedom of Religion Act applied to them. Without the RFRA, they would have lost. RFRA overrode an earlier SCOTUS decision (iirc) that neutrally constituted laws did not infringe (or I guess it is also did not unduly burden) the practice of religion.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm leery of the Libertarian Party, as opposed to libertarianism, but this is a position I agree with.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
“Government doesn’t make men get prescriptions for condoms, there’s no reason it should make women get prescriptions for birth control pills”

Um, condoms don't give anybody a heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism. I mean, you can make an argument for making the pill over the counter, but don't pretend it's the same as a condom.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
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