Free Markets, Free People

Score one for religious liberty and minus one for ObamaCare

What’s going to be interesting is to see is if they actually do what they say they’re planning to do. The administration has tried to ignore the court before. Just as interesting will be the substance of the “rewrite”. What will the court accept as an “accommodation” to “religious liberty?”:

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius cannot enforce the Obamacare contraception mandate as it is written, but must follow through on a promise to rewrite the rule to accommodate religious liberty, a federal appeals court ordered.

The Obama administration “represented to the court that it would never enforce [the mandate] in its current form against the appellants or those similarly situated as regards contraceptive services,” the three judges hearing the case wrote in their order. The Obama team made that promise during oral arguments against Wheaton College and The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which sued over the contraception mandate but lost at the lower court level.

“There will, the government said, be a different rule for entities like the appellants . . . We take the government at its word and will hold it to it,” the judges wrote. They ruled that the Obama administration must rewrite the regulation by August 2013 and provide updates to the court every 60 days. If the government fails to do so, the lawsuits may proceed.

The court also noted that the Obama administration had not made such an expansive pledge outside the courtroom.

Yeah, I’m sure they haven’t. Of course they could have cooled all the angst fairly quickly if they had. You have to wonder why they didn’t.

Well, not really.

~McQ

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13 Responses to Score one for religious liberty and minus one for ObamaCare

  • Excellent!  Good judge!
    We lost an excellent judge, attorney and man today.  Robert Bork as a fine as his attackers were…and are…vile.

  • They didn’t say it because they have no intention of doing it.   Not that saying one thing and doing the opposite particularly concerns them.
     
    You damned dhimmi serfs will learn eventually, it is acceptable to lie to you until the proper moment has arrived.

  • Their record of accountability prededes them …

    The Obama administration “represented to the court that it would never enforce [the mandate] in its current form against the appellants or those similarly situated as regards contraceptive services,” the three judges hearing the case wrote in their order. The Obama team made that promise during oral arguments against Wheaton College and The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which sued over the contraception mandate but lost at the lower court level.

    “There will, the government said, be a different rule for entities like the appellants . . . We take the government at its word and will hold it to it,” the judges wrote. They ruled that the Obama administration must rewrite the regulation by August 2013 and provide updates to the court every 60 days. If the government fails to do so, the lawsuits may proceed.

    The court also noted that the Obama administration had not made such an expansive pledge outside the courtroom.

    “The D.C. Circuit has now made it clear that government promises and press conferences are not enough to protect religious freedom,” The Becket Fund’s Kyle Duncan, who argued the case, said in a statement. “The court is not going to let the government slide by on non-binding promises to fix the problem down the road.”

    … more on the “War on Women” by the D.C. Circuit Court later

  • I’m still a little concerned that the fight is being phrased so narrowly as a fight over religious liberty.
    Seems to me that in the big picture the government is trying to encourage a certain type of behavior (i.e. having people purchase health care insurance) by granting preferential tax treatment via the employer health care deduction. Presumably the government has a right to set some criteria on what qualifies as acceptable to take advantage of that deduction, but other criteria would be considered unacceptable, and moreover there may be a conflict between what the current government in power thinks, the employer thinks, and any given employee thinks. I’d sort of like to know how far this “religious liberty” could go, given that to some degree other taxpayers are cross-subsidizing employer provided health care.

    • How about we look at this as a Muslim … Muslims are exempt from ObamaCare because it violates Shria Law to have insurance, since Allah is your ultimate insurance agent.
      The Amish are exempt too.
      The court’s ruling was a foregone conclusion just based on “equal rights”.  The only reason to have such a rule is all political.

      • That seems to be the opposite case. An employer could choose not offer health care at all, but in that case they aren’t claiming the tax deduction either. Lots of companies don’t offer health insurance, so there would be no equal rights issue. I was wondering if there were a case where an employer could exclude coverage of a condition for what they claim are religious reasons but the public at large might consider it unacceptable.

    • “Seems to me that in the big picture the government is trying to encourage a certain type of behavior …… by granting preferential tax treatment”
       
      Absolutely correct. That is the source of 99.99% of the tax code.

      • Which is why that abomination MUST be scrapped, root and branch, and replaced with a tax system NOT friendly to any form of market manipulation and distortion.

  • It’s too bad that people can’t see that their belief in a god is about as valid as belief in Zeus—then we wouldn’t have to consider religion in our legislation.