Hobby Lobby: Religious Freedom Wins, ObamaCare Loses

"Americans don't have to surrender their freedom when they open a family business."


It's ridiculous that the First Amendment was even up for debate in this country. But the Supreme Court, somewhat surprisingly, stood behind religious freedom.

ObamaCare lost. Religious freedom won.

The Supreme Court advanced the cause of religious freedom Monday in the most closely watched case of its term, ruling that companies cannot be forced to offer insurance coverage for birth control methods they equate with abortion.

The 5-4 decision by the court's conservative majority, over the vehement objections of liberal justices, dealt a blow to President Obama's health care law two years after the court came within one vote of striking it down as unconstitutional.

"A corporation is simply a form of organization used by human beings to achieve desired ends," Alito said. "Protecting the free-exercise rights of corporations like Hobby Lobby, Conestoga and Mardel protects the religious liberty of the humans who own and control those companies."

"If the owners comply with the ... mandate, they believe they will be facilitating abortions, and if they do not comply, they will pay a very heavy price – as much as $1.3 million per day, or about $475 million per year, in the case of one of the companies," Alito said. "If these consequences do not amount to a substantial burden, it is hard to see what would."

Again, that's straightforwardly obvious, despite the liberal claims that "corporations aren't people" (but unions somehow are).

Corporations aren't run by computers. They devolve down to people. And those people have First Amendment rights.

The obvious flaw in logic undid Obama's entire case...

Just because the 1993 law applied only to a “person”, the government cannot claim that this excludes for-profit companies: “no conceivable definition of a ‘person’ includes natural persons and non-profit corporations, but not for-profit corporations.”

Liberals have tackled the whole case by claiming that the owners are "imposing" their religion on their employees by refusing to cover abortion.

But they aren't.

Hobby Lobby isn't forcing employees to go to church or recite the Shahada. That would be positive coercion. What they are doing is refraining from engaging in a practice because it violates their religion.

That is not coercing anyone else, even though lefties like the East Ramapo NAACP have tried to claim, for example, that Orthodox Jews who don't keep a medical office open on Saturday are discriminating against non-Jews.

Those justices, led by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, warned that if some companies can avoid covering contraceptives, others could seek religious waivers for other types of health care, such as vaccines or blood transfusions.

"Today's potentially sweeping decision minimizes the government's compelling interest in uniform compliance with laws governing workplaces – in particular, the Affordable Care Act," Ginsburg said in a dissent read from the bench. "It discounts the disadvantages religion-based opt-outs impose on others – in particular, employees who do not share their employer's religious beliefs."

And that's the crux of the issue.

When you compel employers to provide health care, that still doesn't trump their First Amendment rights, though labor law has steadily chipped away at the Bill of Rights.

The ruling was hailed by Conestoga CEO Anthony Hahn. "We wholeheartedly affirm what the Supreme Court made clear today – that Americans don't have to surrender their freedom when they open a family business," Hahn said. "All Americans, including family business owners, must be free to live and work according to their beliefs without fear of government punishment."

It's almost like we live in America... or something.