Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Religious Freedom Case Highlights the Stakes in Supreme Court Fight

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell, which will determine whether the Department of Health and Human Services can override conscience and force religious orders, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, and other religious nonprofits to cover contraception in their insurance plans. It's a clear case of the government blatantly disregarding religious freedom, yet, as SCOTUSblog notes, "The Obama administration had four Supreme Court Justices quite plainly on its side Wednesday."

The unified hostility of the Court's liberal bloc towards religious liberty emphasizes anew the critical importance of the Supreme Court vacancy. The late Justice Antonin Scalia joined a 5-4 majority in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which upheld religious freedom against HHS bureaucrats in 2014. President Obama's nominee to replace Scalia, Judge Merrick Garland, voted against rehearing Priests for Life v. HHS after a three-judge panel upheld the contraception mandate. He also has a long history of deference to other government regulators imposing their rules on businesses and private citizens.

The Senate should consider the freedoms at stake in Zubik v. Burwell and hold the line: no confirmation of the Supreme Court nominee.

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