On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States gave a big win to religious organizations. They ordered the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its decision of nearly a year ago which forced the University of Notre Dame to comply with the individual mandate that requires them to provide free contraception to employees.
The 7th Circuit must revisit the case in which they refused to honor the university’s religious objection to provE contraceptive coverage. They could come to the same conclusion, however, this is a strong indication that the Supreme Court will ultimately reject the government’s narrow definition of religious liberty.
The right of conscience has always been one of our most important First Amendment rights but it has been under assault by the Obama administration because of the individual mandate.
He went to some trouble to add it after the bill was passed. Why? It has the effect of telling religious organizations whether they are religious or not and that they must violate their beliefs. Anyone who refuses pays unsustainable fines.
This is a president who ignores Christian genocide and sides with Islam even if they are as radical as Iran.
The problem with the individual mandate is that what constitutes a religious organization is very narrowly defined by the government. This is the government telling a religious organization if they are religious or not.
There is an opt-out form for some religious organizations but it requires them to indirectly provide the coverage to which they have a moral objection.
Last year, Hobby Lobby and other small businesses were given a waiver by the Supreme Court. Notre Dame wants to know why they too can’t have an exemption as a large organization.
In a statement, the University of Notre Dame had strong words for the Affordable Care Act, and said it was “gratified” by Monday’s order.
“The circuit court had earlier denied Notre Dame’s request for a temporary restraining order regarding a [Department of Health and Human Services] mandate which violated our religious beliefs by requiring Notre Dame’s participation in a regulatory scheme to provide abortion-inducing products, contraceptives, and sterilization,” the statement read. “Notre Dame continues to challenge the Federal mandate as an infringement on our fundamental right to the free exercise of our Catholic faith.”
Predictably, the far-left, anti-Christian ACLU believes they have no case and the government will win in their attack on religious freedom.
The Becket Fund which is representing Notre Dame and many of these cases said:
“This is a major blow to the federal government’s contraception mandate. For the past year, the Notre Dame decision has been the centerpiece of the government’s effort to force religious ministries to violate their beliefs or pay fines to the IRS.” said Mark Rienzi, Senior Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which filed an amicus brief in the case. “As with the Supreme Court’s decisions in Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby, this is a strong signal that the Supreme Court will ultimately reject the government’s narrow view of religious liberty. The government fought hard to prevent this GVR, but the Supreme Court rejected their arguments.”
He said University of Notre Dame’s pursuit of higher education is defined by its religious convictions. Its mission statement reads: “A Catholic university draws its basic inspiration from Jesus Christ as the source of wisdom and from the conviction that in him all things can be brought to their completion.” Its fight to stay true to its beliefs has brought it all the way to the Supreme Court – and back to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
There are more than 750 other similar cases pending.