The Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) has again overruled the First Amendment separation of church and state. SCOTUS made a 5-4 decision on June 30, 2014 that the Affordable Care Act (ACA)requirement that employer insurance must include birth control as a no cost service is illegal. The decision in favor of Hobby Lobby is the case of Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services, et al, v Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. et al.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 was cited as the main rationale for deciding that Hobby Lobby, Inc. cannot be forced to provide birth control if that is against the moral principles of the owners. This supports the prior decisions by SCOTUS that corporations have the same rights as individuals, and extends this to the owners of corporations being able to ignore laws if they don’t agree with the laws on moral grounds.
The Citizens United decision eliminated major exceptions to corporate limits on campaign contributions on the grounds that the millions of dollars contributed in campaigns was “free speech.” Now the owners of corporations are allowed to withhold birth control because they don’t believe in it.
The ACA requires that employers provide “preventative health care and screening” without cost to employees. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was given the power by Congress to decide what constituted preventive health care. HHS decided that contraception was a preventative health care service.
Being against contraception creates an interesting moral dilemma. No babies are killed by contraception, but unwanted babies are aborted, abused or killed after birth by unwilling parents. Specific religions are against contraception, including the Roman Catholic Church. The majority of practicing Catholics in the US either ignore the prohibition against contraception or consider the prohibition as unacceptable.
Spiritualists are a minority religion in the US. There many different versions of minority religions and religious practices. The First Amendment is a major protection for minority religions to practice their beliefs as they choose. The Hobby Lobby decision is another chink in the protection provided by the First Amendment because it is clearly a decision that uses the force of government to overturn a health issue provision using a religious argument.
People that don’t want less government intervention in their lives now have SCOTUS putting a minority of corporate organizations above government laws on the basis of the owners’ religious beliefs. Anarchy is defined as a state of disorder due to absence or ignoring of authority. SCOTUS has created anarchy against Congress and the Executive branch of government.
While swearing to uphold the Constitution of the US, SCOTUS has regularly usurped the separation of church and state, and redefined the definitions of corporate rights to permit corporations to ignore laws and subvert the unbiased interests of the people in favor of corporate interests.
Justice Samuel Alito was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion.
We doubt that the Congress that enacted [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] — or, for that matter, ACA – would have believed it a tolerable result to put family-run businesses to the choice of violating their sincerely held religious beliefs or making all of their employees lose their existing healthcare plans.
You can read the full text of the Hobby Lobby decision to determine your own view. Politico did an editorial on the consequences of the Hobby Lobby decision on future corporate decisions. This was titled SCOTUS sides with Hobby Lobby on birth control.
MEDIAite, a liberal news outlet ran an article on June 30, 2014 penned by Tina Nguyen titled ‘I Feel Sick’: Liberal Pundits react to SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Ruling. With mistrust of the government at an all-time high, this decision is not going to make people less fearful of government as a whole, and SCOTUS in particular.
There is an attempt in Congress to overturn the Citizens United decision on corporate contributions to political campaigns. Now there needs to be an effort to overturn the Hobby Lobby decision before the separation of church and state is completely abandoned by SCOTUS.