SCOTUS Must Uphold First Amendment Rights for All
March 25, 2014 – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties cases opposing Obamacare’s HHS mandate (Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius). The mandate forces businesses to pay for potentially abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations and contraception for their employees regardless of the owner’s religious beliefs. Currently, there are more than 90 other lawsuits, involving 300 plaintiffs and representing a broad coalition of faith backgrounds, opposing the mandate.
Texas Values president and attorney Jonathan Saenz released the following statement in support of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties:
“Religious freedom is our most foundational freedom, protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. President Obama’s HHS Mandate empowers the government to force individuals and business to violate their moral beliefs as a price of doing business. This type of clear attack on the First Amendment should not be tolerated in America.”
“No individual, religious organization or business should be forced to sacrifice their conscience and religious freedom at the altar of government. This is an unconstitutional mandate, and I urge the Supreme Court to stand up for the First Amendment rights of all Americans and to this blatant attempt to use government power to force citizens to violate their faith.”
Over 50 briefs were filed in support of Hobby Lobby, including a bipartisan group of 107 members of Congress, 21 states (including Texas), leading scholars, doctors and women’s organizations, prominent Catholic and Protestant theologians and a diverse group of religious entities. See the list of briefs here.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott signed onto a legal brief that includes 20 other states. Find the legal brief here.
Texas Values is the leading state organization promoting religious freedom in the state of Texas. President and attorney Jonathan Saenz will be available for comment and analysis related to the Supreme Court hearing.