A Liberty Counsel news release:
Washington, DC—Today, the United States Supreme Court struck down the ObamaCare HHS contraception and abortion employer mandate. The Court ruled that the federal government may not force religious business owners and corporations to provide abortion-inducing drugs and devices and contraceptives to their employees. “Our responsibility is to enforce RFRA [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] as written, and under the standard RFRA prescribes, the HHS contraceptive mandate is unlawful,” the High Court ruled.
“This is a good day for religious freedom. It is a great day for everyone who values life,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.
At issue was the fundamental right to free exercise of religion and intrusive governmental regulation. Employers such as Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood, Little Sisters of the Poor, and Liberty University, which operate their businesses in accordance with religious principles that respect the sanctity and dignity of human life, were told by the Obama Administration that they must either abandon their principles and provide free abortion-inducing drugs and devices to their employees or pay exorbitant fines. These fines could be as high as $15,000 per employee, per day!
In 2010, the Court found that businesses are considered “persons” and entitled to protection under the First Amendment Free Speech Clause. Today the Court ruled that even some for-profit corporations are entitled to the free exercise of religion under the First Amendment.
The Supreme Court found, “For the HHS mandate to be sustained, it must also constitute the least restrictive means of serving that interest, and the mandate plainly fails that test.” The justices ruled “protecting the free-exercise rights of corporations like Hobby Lobby, Conestoga, and Mardel protects the religious liberty of the humans who own and control these companies.”
In its amicus brief, Liberty Counsel asked the Supreme Court to invalidate the so-called “Preventive Care Mandate,” which includes abortion-inducing drugs and devices. “Subjecting employers to such extortion is antithetical to the free exercise protections recognized by the First Amendment. The ObamaCare law seeking to force religious employers to promote genocide is the most outrageous assault on religious liberty and life in the history of America. President Obama and those who supported this genocide should be ashamed,” Staver said.
Liberty Counsel filed the first private lawsuit against ObamaCare four years ago on behalf of Liberty University, the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation; the largest university in Virginia; and the largest Christian university in the world.
Liberty Counsel will continue to litigate against the individual mandate that requires individuals who are part of a pool of insurance that covers abortion to pay a separate monthly fee that is used to fund abortions. The individual abortion mandate was not part of today’s ruling.
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.