This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations.
The United States Supreme Court decided an important religious freedom case this week. In a 5-4 decision the court ruled that a privately held corporation is allowed its free exercise of religion. The landmark case, made famous by the mega-craft store Hobby Lobby, held that plaintiffs don’t have to comply with certain parts of Obamacare that offend their religious beliefs. Specifically, Hobby Lobby and two other plaintiffs are not required to pay for an employee’s abortion-related contraception such as the “morning after” pill.
The basis of this precedent-setting decision is a federal law known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA.
RFRA states that the federal government shall not substantially burden a person’s free exercise of religion and the court held that a privately owned family business is a “person” in terms of this law.
Under RFRA, for the federal government to violate a person’s religious beliefs it has to demonstrate a “compelling government interest” and it then has to pursue a solution to enforce that interest in “the least restrictive means” possible. In other words, to force Hobby Lobby to pay for its employees’ abortion pills, the federal government would have to prove why abortion pills for employees are more important than the religious beliefs of employers and, even if that were possible to prove, the federal government would have to enforce its mandates in the least restrictive means possible. The court properly acknowledged that requiring Hobby Lobby to pay daily fines of $1.3 million, or nearly a half-billion dollars a year, in noncompliance is a clear burden to its free exercise of religion.
Of course, the progressive left is going crazy implying (and sometimes outright lying about) what this decision really means. Read more