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By Deacon Keith Fournier

11/28/2013 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The fact that the Court accepted both cases for review indicates there are serious constituional issues involved with the entire legislative scheme

On Tuesday, November 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear two strong challenges to the unconstitutional requirement under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), as applied through the HHS regulations. The application of the Affordable Care Act would compel Christian Business owners, in violation of their conscience, the First Amendment to the Constitution and the protections of Federal Law to provide articifial contraception, sterilization and abortifacients to their employees or face the punitive Police Power of the Federal Government under the Obama Administration.

The outside of the United States Supreme Court in Washington,DC

The outside of the United States Supreme Court in Washington,DC

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/28/2013 (7 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Obamacare, HHS Mandate, Hobby Lobby, Conestaga Wood Specialties, abortion, contraception, sterilization, First Amendment, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Pro-Life, Deacon Keith Fournier


WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - On Tuesday, November 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear two strong challenges to the unconstitutional requirement under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), as applied through the HHS regulations.

The application of the Affordable Care Act would compel Christian Business owners, in violation of their conscience, the First Amendment to the Constitution and the protections of Federal Law to provide articifial contraception, sterilization and abortifacients to their employees or face the punitive Police Power of the Federal Government under the Obama Administration.

If enforced, it will have the ultimate effect of forcing businesses to shut down if their owners refuse to act in a manner which is complicit with an immoral act and forces them to sumit to an unjust law. These cases concern the challeneges to Obamacare filed by for profit businesses. The cases filed on behalf of Non profits organizations, churches and associations, including the outreaches of the Catholic Church, are still progressing on their way through the Federal Court System.  

One of the cases which the Court agreed to hear, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, arose out of a petition for review which was filed by the Obama Administration. The other, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, arises out of a petition filed by a private employer.

By taking both cases, the highest Court in the United States has indicated it will hear both the constitutional claims which have been raised as well as the claims filed under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. (RFRA)  

The Court's decision to hear both of these cases - and to consider both the Constitutional issues as well as the issues of Federal Law arising out of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act - is a huge turn of events. It has vitally significant implications for all who are facing the onerous application of this unconstitutional mandate.

The issues  presented to the Court:

1) Whether The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), 42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq., which provides that the government "shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion" unless that burden is the least restrictive means to further a compelling governmental interest, allows a for-profit corporation to deny its employees the health coverage of contraceptives to which the employees are otherwise entitled by federal law, based on the religious objections of the corporation's owners.

2) Whether the religious owners of a family business, or their closely held, for-profit corporation, have free exercise rights under the Bill of Rights to the US Constituion that are violated by the application of the contraceptive-coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act.

Mat Staver, a good friend, great constitutional lawyer and founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel issued this statement: Americans are awakening to the fact that Obamacare is far from a done deal. The courts are just now beginning to respond to the many constitutional challenges, including the constitutionality of the employer mandate and also the free exercise of religion that applies to individuals.

Obamacare, the biggest funding of abortion in history, is on a collision course with the sincerely held religious beliefs of many individuals and businesses. The HHS mandate presents a classic conflict with the free exercise of religion. I think it is apparent that the Obamacare abortion mandate will be struck down because it violates the free exercise of religion.

As a constitutional lawyer, I agree with Mat. The fact that the Court accepted both cases for review indicates there are serious constituional issues involved with the entire legislative scheme. I ask our readers to pray with me for a just outcome. 

Fr. Frank Pavone, another good friend and a hero of the great human rights movement of our age, the struggle to have the Government recognize the fundamental Right to Life of our youngest neighbors in the womb, issued this statement: 

It's a good day for religious liberty. The U.S. Supreme Court decision to hear lawsuits brought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties against the HHS mandate means this unjust requirement will get a full airing. We are watching this case with great interest at Priests for Life, since we also have filed suit against the mandate. Its so-called accommodation for religious employers was, in reality, no accommodation at all.

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