Posted by John Jansen (June 30, 2014 at 10:03 am)
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stunning decision today affirming the religious freedom rights of business owners, ruling in a 5-4 decision ruling that “closely held corporations” cannot be forced by the Obamacare HHS Mandate to provide contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing drugs to their employees.
In its opinion [PDF], the Court stated that the federal government failed to demonstrate that forcing private corporations to provide these drugs and procedures to employees—even if their owners have strong conscientious objections to them—is the “least restrictive means” of providing free access to them.
The decision in these cases, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius, was the very last decision issued by the Court this term, and it was surely the most anticipated decision all year. That being said, it’s hard to underestimate the significance of this ruling affirming the First Amendment rights of business owners.
“This ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby is a victory for all who cherish religious freedom,” said Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League and one of the national directors of the Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies. “The movement that began with hundreds of protest rallies outside federal court buildings has just won a great victory inside the nation’s highest court.” [Continue reading ...]