Federal government says Hobby Lobby cannot raise religious objections to insurance requirements.
The federal government is asking a judge to rule against Hobby Lobby, whose owners do not want to provide their employees with insurance coverage for “abortion-causing drugs and devices.”
Founder David Green and other owners of the Oklahoma City-based retail chain…are asking U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton to prevent the government from enforcing new health care rules on their business “and other individuals and organizations that object on religious grounds to providing insurance coverage for abortion-causing drugs and devices and related education and counseling…”
In a response this week, government attorneys argued the owners cannot raise religious objections to “the preventive services coverage regulations” because Hobby Lobby is a for-profit, secular corporation.
“To hold otherwise would permit for-profit, secular corporations and their owners to become laws unto themselves,” the attorneys wrote.
“Because there are an infinite variety of alleged religious beliefs, such companies and their owners could claim countless exemptions from an untold number of general commercial laws designed to protect against unfair discrimination in the workplace and to protect the health and well-being of individual employees and their families…”
The government responded that the Greens want to block regulations intended to give women access at no cost to approved contraceptive methods “that medical experts have deemed necessary for women’s health and well-being.”
“The Greens’ theory boils down to the claim that what’s done to the company (or the group health plans sponsored by the company) is also done to its owners. But, as a legal matter, that is simply not so…”
As a nation that respects the intellectual freedom built into our constitution, that right is deliberately broad. Equally broad, the citizens of this land should only be governed by civil and criminal laws that don’t allow favors for religions, exemptions from civil practices on the basis of one or another religion.