What Does the Ruling Mean for Religious Liberty?

You may have found it also, but before the ruling, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty had this helpful illustration on the Supreme Court and the HHS mandate last week.

The fight for religious liberty against the HHS Mandate continues apace. The question of a mandate for religious employers to pay for contraception and abortion-inducing drugs was not directly at issue in the case before the court that was decided today.

The anti-mandate lawsuits will still go forward, and the rallies for religious liberty in this Fortnight for Freedom have something to pray for. Urgently.

Benedictine College is sending a caravan to Topeka, led by a full bus, for the Kansas bishops’ rally. Pray for your country, and show America that Catholics won’t back down on religious freedom.



  • ed palinurus

    @tz1 — while your “they’re all the same” argument appears, at first glance, to have more juice, esp. in light of the ACA decision yesterday, it really doesn’t. Sure, there’s no guarantee that any given justice will do the right thing in any given setting, but we can still draw some conclusions definitively:

    First, as a whole, Republican-appointed justices are more likely to be pro-life than Democrat-appointed justices. However many solid pro-life votes exist on the court today (three, at least, and perhaps four), they are Republican appointees; the last pro-life Democrat-appointed justice was Whizzer White appointed by JFK.

    Second, it is rare to find a Democrat-appointed federal judge ANYWHERE who is pro-life. This fact has ramifications in getting certain cases back to the Supreme Court, if ever we do get a pro-life majority.

    Third, while I abhor the failure of the Court to uphold anti-abortion laws, this is an issue wholly apart from the Citizens United case. In fact, the Citizens United case likely has the happy effect of electing MORE pro-lifers, since it likely will elect more Republicans.

    Fourth, while I have limited hopes for Romney myself, I don’t see how anyone can reasonably argue that he won’t be substantially different, and far better for pro-lifers, than the current president. The party apparatus from which he will draw his staff is loaded with pro-lifers, and the members of Congress now in office and likely to ride his coattails are sufficiently conservative to ensure great improvement.

    So no, I don’t see Romney, or the judges/justices he will appoint, as an improvement “only on the margin.” I say this having lived through the great Supreme Court disappointments of the past 30 years. Our choice isn’t Obama or our perfect candidate. It’s Obama or Romney. And I’m guessing a Mormon backed by the more conservative partisans will understand the issues we care about much better than the devil we know.

  • Cris

    Interstingly, with the mandate funding classified as a tax, a simple majority in the Senate can defund it as fillibusters don’t apply to budget items.

  • tz1

    See, it isn’t a “fine”, it is a tax, so if the church doesn’t want to buy from the corrupt corporatist cartel (Roberts seems to be there to insure corporations are persons more than fetuses), they have to pay a tax. And the church pays “taxes” all the time.

    What Romney and the GOP could but won’t do is to ZERO out the supreme court budget so they justices would have to see out donations or do their own clerk and janitorial work and buy their own health insurance. Or pull a Roosevelt and expand the Court to 11 or 13.

    But instead he will appoint another Oligarch or two – no different from Obama except on the margin – that will ignore the life issues except to give life to the corpseorations.

  • Ed Palinurus

    I’m no religious freedom or constitutional scholar, but this seems to make it more likely the HHS regs will get struck down. The four justices who were ready to strike down the whole bill will look favorably on regs issued under it, and even Roberts (please God) will see the First Amendment threat from a conservative perspective. Just an off the cuff guess. I’d be interested in your First Amendment scholar-readers opinions.

    • Kurt

      Two factors will make it tricky

      1. The mandate in on the insurance companies. The case would be enhanced if an insurance company joined the lawsuit and said this is objectionable. None have so far.

      2. It has been upheld on the state level.

  • joe

    This is all part of social justice scam. Be happy.

  • Billy

    I guess the question is, how is this any different from when the federal courts already took on the mandate question in Erickson v. Bartell Drug Co.?

    • Cris

      Bartell wasn’t a religious institution – apples and oranges



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