2:38 PM, Jan 28, 2014 • By JIM SWIFT
Nineteen Democratic senators filed a brief this week with the Supreme Court in support of requiring business owners to pay for contraceptives and abortifacients for their employees over their religious objections.
The senators' amicus curiae brief was filed regarding two cases being heard by the Supreme Court, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood — cases surrounding the question of whether individuals, as owners of businesses, should have their free exercise rights protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
Obamacare regulations require all businesses with more than 50 employees to provide employer-provided health insurance policies that cover contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs without co-pay. Owners of businesses sued, arguing that as sole-owners of companies, their religious free exercise rights are being violated.
Some plaintiffs lost, and appealed to the high court, while others won, and the government appealed.
The senators’ brief argues that the protections afforded to individuals under RFRA shouldn’t apply to individuals as business owners since, they argue, the law was written with the understanding that "free-exercise rights were limited to individuals and religious organizations,” not to secular-for profit corporations.
The brief concludes that the RFRA’s protections shouldn’t be extended to individuals in their capacity as owners of closely-held businesses. In ruling in favor of the religious small business owners, who sought protection under RFRA, the senators say the appellate court’s ruling "opened the door to allowing corporate shareholders to impose their religious beliefs on others, by virtue of their control of secular, for-profit corporations."
Here’s the list of senators who signed the brief: Patty Murray, Max Baucus, Barbara Boxer, Sherrod Brown, Maria Cantwell, Benjamin J. Cardin, Richard J. Durbin, Dianne Feinstein, Tom Harkin, Tim Johnson, Patrick J. Leahy, Carl Levin, Edward J. Markey, Robert Menendez, Barbara A. Mikulski, Harry Reid, Bernard Sanders, Charles E. Schumer, and Ron Wyden.
5:34 PM, Aug 1, 2013 • By MARIA SANTOS
Women Speak for Themselves, a grassroots organization of more than 40,000 women for religious freedom, gathered today at Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. to protest enforcement of the Health and Human Services mandate, which requires employers (including some religious institutions) to cover contraceptives for employees. The mandate went into effect for for-profit organizations a year ago today.
The IRS prepares to enforce Obamacare’s contraception mandate. Jun 17, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 38 • By ASHLEY E. MCGUIRE
On August 1, the one-year “safe harbor” for religious charities objecting to provisions of Obamacare will end. Starting then, these nonprofit employers will be forced to violate their religious beliefs or pay large fines. In charge of collecting the fines will be our recently newsworthy friends at the Internal Revenue Service.
11:25 AM, Dec 14, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, widely believed to be a potential Republican candidate for president in 2016, has an op-ed in Friday's Wall Street Journal encouraging the government to permit the sale of oral contraceptives without a prescription. Here's an excerpt:
3:35 PM, Oct 5, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Democrats had one overarching message at a rally Friday: Barack Obama is for free contraception and abortion rights, and Mitt Romney isn’t.
“It is not some far right, extremist cause.”11:37 AM, Sep 11, 2012 • By JULIANNE DUDLEY
Addressing a largely Catholic audience Monday night at an event sponsored by the John Carroll Society in Washington, D.C., Cardinal Timothy Dolan emphasized the non-sectarian, non-partisan—catholic with a small “c”—nature of the fight for religious liberty. “It is not some far right, extremist cause,” Dolan said, but an “American human rights issue.”
1:35 AM, Sep 5, 2012 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
In the hours before network TV broadcast the Democratic National Convention to millions of Americans, the convention was shaping up to be a rip-roaring abortion jamboree.
12:55 AM, Sep 5, 2012 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
Four years ago in Denver, the group Democrats for Life hosted an event. A tiny cadre of anti-abortion Democrats assembled in a hotel conference room and were treated to a hopeful talk led by Senator Bob Casey and Representatives Lincoln Davis and Heath Shuler. The pro-life caucus was a minority in the party, they realized, but it was a crucial bloc and it would not be left behind by a President Obama, he of the purple states and the hope and change. A new era for pro-life Democrats was just around the corner.
‘Liberation’ and its consequences.Jul 23, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 42 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
‘Contraceptive sex,” writes Mary Eberstadt, is “the fundamental social fact of our time.”
2:36 PM, May 24, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Steve Hayes, with A.B. Stoddard and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:
12:19 PM, May 24, 2012 • By HOWARD SLUGH
On May 7, 2012, the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), the largest organization of rabbis in the United States, approved a resolution recognizing that the Health and Human Services (HHS) regulation that mandates employers provide access to contraceptives, abortifacient drugs, and sterilizations forces many employers to “violate the injunctions of their religion.” The RCA, which represents more than 1,000 Orthodox rabbis, urged the Obama administration to amend the regulation to protect the religious liberties of all employers.
7:05 AM, Apr 23, 2012 • By VINCENT PHILLIP MUñOZ
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has taken a bold stand for religious freedom. In a recent statement, titled “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,” the bishops call for repeal of contraception coverage mandated by the Department of Health and Human Services. The clarified position sets up a dramatic confrontation with the Obama administration—and would, if the bishops prevail, help preserve the religious liberty of all Americans.
11:58 AM, Mar 19, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
The latest web ad from the Republican National Committee effectively attacks "Obama's War on Women."
6:20 PM, Mar 14, 2012 • By JEFFREY BELL
Despite reports of Republican devastation in the contraception debate, social conservative themes show surprising signs of hanging around.