Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling: Religious freedom scores victory

The Supreme Court delivered a smashing victory for religious freedom Monday with a 5-4 decision against the Obama administration and Obamacare’s contraception requirement.

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Photo: Washington Times

The decision by conservative Justice Samuel Alito was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy, who wrote a concurring opinion.

Justice Ruth Baden Ginsburg wrote for the dissenters.

The cases involved the national arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby and the furniture maker Conestoga Wood Specialties, which argued the Department of Health and Human Services had no right to force owners of privately held corporations to violate their religious beliefs under the Religious Freedom of Restoration Act.

On Monday, the court agreed.

“We doubt that the Congress that enacted [the Religious Freedom of Restoration Act] or, for that matter, [the Affordable Care Act] —would have believed it a tolerable result to put family-run businesses to the choice of violating their sincerely held religious beliefs or making all of their employees lose their existing healthcare plans,” Alito wrote.

In a statement, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus praised the ruling.

“This decision protects the religious freedom that is guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment, and we’re grateful the Court ruled on the side of liberty. The central issue of this case was whether the federal government can coerce Americans to violate their deeply held religious beliefs, and thankfully the Court has upheld the proper limits on the government’s power,” Priebus said.

 “The fact that Americans had to bring this case in the first place reveals once again just how intrusive ObamaCare is. It’s a misguided one-size-fits-all policy that not only failed to fix our healthcare system but has trampled on our Constitutional rights. Americans deserve a healthcare system that allows them to make the right choices for themselves, gives them more freedom, and comes nowhere close to encroaching on our First Amendment rights.”

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