The Supreme Court ruled today that employers with religious objections can refuse to pay for contraception.
In a 5-4 opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, the court held that as applied to closely held corporations the Health and Human Services regulations imposing the contraceptive mandate violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The decision is a victory for the Hobby Lobby arts and crafts chain and Conestoga, a cabinet making company, who had challenged the contraceptive mandate on the grounds it forced them to either violate their faith or pay ruinous fines.
Congressman John Fleming, R-La., weighed in on the ruling, saying, “Finally, a firewall has been put up to stop some of the Obama Administration’s attacks on religious freedom. This decision reinforces the protections guaranteed in the First Amendment: family business owners are free to live out their religious beliefs, and the government cannot force them to pay for potentially life-ending drugs and devices.”
Gov. Bobby Jindal issued the following statement: “With today’s Hobby Lobby decision rejecting the arguments of President Obama’s administration and affirming the rights of families to conduct their business according to their faith, the Supreme Court formally recognized what the overwhelming majority of Americans already know to be true: that religious liberty is a good thing.”
U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., said today was a “truly great dray in America.”
“The Supreme Court has reaffirmed the most basic principle upon which our country was founded: the free exercise of religion,” Vitter said. “Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate was always unconstitutional, and I’m glad the Supreme Court defended this most fundamental freedom today.”