Hobby Lobby opinion may come down tomorrow
One of the most important religious freedom cases heard before the Supreme Court in a generation may see an opinion handed down tomorrow.
Hobby Lobby, a Michigan based company, is challenging the Obamacare contraception mandate on the grounds that paying for coverage would violate their religious beliefs.
Tomorrow, the Supreme Court is likely to release its decision in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, a widely anticipated ruling expected to have far-reaching implications for businesses.
The question before the justices is whether a for-profit corporation can refuse to provide certain contraceptive services in health plans offered to employees, on the grounds that doing so would violate the owners' particular Christian beliefs.
Business owners claim they should not have to make sacrifices in their belief system just because the Affordable Care Act requires employers to cover contraception for employees. The government claims allowing business owners' religious views to burden the family planning decisions of employees will open the door for corporations to consider denying other benefits on the grounds of religious belief.
This is a specious argument. What else is in Obamacare that would cause a corporation to balk at paying for coverage?
Madeleine Roberts of the Faithful Democrats organization stated on the Patheos blog numerous problems will be created if the Supreme Court rules in favor of Hobby Lobby:
"The Hobby Lobby case asks a simple question - can corporations refuse to cover certain kinds of birth control for women by claiming First Amendment religious freedom protections, despite the fact that the Affordable Care Act requires insurance to cover birth control? So, should corporations have this power - yes or no? It is a simple question, with a simple answer of 'no,' but it is the far-reaching implications that come from studying the issue that make things a bit more complicated.
"Should the Supreme Court rule in Hobby Lobby's favor and agree that women's right to contraception can be restricted, hundreds of thousands of women and their families would be put in jeopardy. As Democrats, we must raise our voices in defense of the fundamental right of women to plan when they will have a family and what size it will be. And as people of faith, we should think hard about the best ways to support our families and let all people make the decisions that fit best with their values and beliefs.
"The fundamental right of women to plan when they will have a family..." is not dependent on getting free or almost free contraception. That's ridiculous. Are we to believe that a woman's rights are violated if she has to pay for something rather than get it free? Nonsense.
Perhaps it will be someone's "right" to own a Mercedes someday.
These are the sort of nonsensical arguments advanced by the other side in this debate. And they're designed to distract from the core issue; are individual business owners' conscience to be dictated by government? Or belief in a higher power?
SCOTUS may find other reasons to rule against Hobby Lobby, but it's not going to be because a ruling in their favor threatens any "fundamental" rights of women.