The Magazine

Hobby Lobby Hysteria

Jul 14, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 41 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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There was a slippery slope to be worried about in this case, but not the one liberals warned of. Alito wrote, “It is HHS’s apparent belief that no insurance-coverage mandate would violate RFRA—no matter how significantly it impinges on the religious liberties of employers—that would lead to intolerable consequences. Under HHS’s view, RFRA would permit the Government to require all employers to provide coverage for any medical procedure allowed by law in the jurisdiction in question—for instance, third-trimester abortions or assisted suicide.”

As Democrats plot their response to the decision, the Center for American Progress is urging them to gut
the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by amending it to say that the law “does not authorize exemptions that discriminate against, impose costs on, or otherwise harm others.” But Alito’s argument shows why that approach could backfire. The American people may be conflicted about mandatory contraception coverage. But if Democrats allow the government to subject religious Americans to even more egregious mandates, they’d be asking for a fight they would—and should—lose.

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