SCOTUS sides with freedom
It would follow that if businesses have the right to free speech in the form of campaign contributions that business should have a right to religious freedom.
Thus the logic used by the five justices in the Hobby Lobby case is sound. The Supreme Court handed down its 5-4 decision Monday in a case that pit pro-life religious company owners against the juggernaut of Obamacare and its mandates on provision of birth control.
The justices in the majority were careful not to open the door to a variety of other appeals in the name of personal beliefs. Rather, Justice Samuel Alito specified that the decision applies to contraceptives under the health care law in the case of small companies that are owned by sole proprietors or a small group of individuals, where the company is the ownership.
That should preclude giant publicly held companies from seeking the exemption and it would stop companies from saying they don’t believe in other forms of care.
As to the issue of women’s rights, the justices didn’t rule out government coverage for birth control but said there would be other ways to offer such coverage other than requiring the business to pay for something in which it does not believe.
In an odd irony, it was Chief Justice John Roberts whose siding with Justices Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia swung the court in the direction of the support of the companies. Roberts case the swing vote to create a 5-1 majority in 2011 supporting the existence of the public health care insurance law.
There are separate suits covering religious-affiliated hospitals and colleges and other religious organizations that, on the face of this decision, should take heart. However, we know that one case does not necessarily follow into another decision.
But the decision shows a well-argued case regarding the operation of the convoluted health care insurance law, which shows its complexities in the form of so many waivers and changes made by administrative fiat, can find an ear on the nation’s highest court.