The other night, the top trending hashtags on Twitter were: #HobbyLobby, #SCOTUS, #ReligiousFreedom.
All of them referred to the Obama administration’s 5 – 4 defeat in the Supreme Court over the ObamaCare mandate that required employers to cover contraception, including the morning-after pill. Hobby Lobby, a chain of retail stores, challenged the constitutionality of the health care Act. The Americans take such matters seriously.
Now, if you get your news from the liberals you will probably think – wow, how can a corporation deny women access to contraception? The Federalist takes this on here. First, Hobby Lobby, a retail chain, employed people, paying them wages to buy anything they want. Not only that, but they will also cover their employees’ health care, but they are not willing to cover abortifacients, as it went against the company owner’s religious beliefs. The option of denying heath care completely and incurring a huge federal fine was not a legitimate one for the firm.
This was because the Hobby Lobby’s owners noted that they also felt compelled by their religious beliefs to provide health insurance to their employees — including coverage for 16 different types of contraception (Hobby Lobby’s objection was to mandated abortifacient coverage).
The Supreme Court agreed that it was breach of religious liberty to make a ‘closely held companies’ pay for abortifacients. They take religious freedom quite seriously in the US, what with the founders frequently having fled religious persecution in Europe.
You might say, what has it got to do with employers what kind of contraception a woman might use? Well, up until Obamacare it had nothing to do with her employers, but now it has because they are mandated by the federal government to provide healthcare. Be careful what you wish for liberals….
The other interesting aspect of this affair is that it is yet another case that the Obama Administration has lost in the Supreme Court. President Obama was a constitutional law professor but he certainly does not seem to have much problem pushing back against the Constitution and expanding federal power.
In fact according to the National Review, this month saw the Obama administration’s twelfth unanimous defeat at the Supreme Court – this is where every single one of the nine justices of the Supreme Court agree the federal government exceeded it powers. (Hobby Lobby was not unanimous, instead a narrow 5 – 4 split).
If the Supreme Court has slapped down the Obama administration twelve times unanimously does this make them power hungry junkies? Probably. Is this exclusive to liberal governments? I am willing to say probably not. It just illustrates that once in power, most administrations/governments quite like taking as much power as possible until someone with legal authority can stop them.