The case crafted by Hobby Lobby
Religious liberty is front and center before the Supreme Court, which agreed last week to hear Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. The family-owned craft store company is intrepidly challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare's abortion-coverage mandate. Hobby Lobby's faithful owners deserve our thanks and praise as they defend freedom of conscience for all Americans.
Hobby Lobby founder David Green started out making mini-picture frames in his Oklahoma garage in 1970. Hobby Lobby now runs nearly 600 stores across the country, employs 13,000 people and topped $2 billion in sales in 2009.
The Greens' Christian faith is at the heart of how they do business. The debt-free company commits to “honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles,” as well as “serving our employees and their families by establishing a work environment and company policies that build character, strengthen individuals and nurture families.”
Hobby Lobby employees are covered under the company's self-insured health plan, which brings us back to the company's legal case. Last September, Hobby Lobby sued the feds over ObamaCare's “preventive services” mandate, which forces the business to provide, without co-pay, abortion-inducing drugs in its health insurance plan. The company risked fines up to $1.3 million per day for defying the government's coercive abridgement of its First Amendment rights.
As Lori Windham, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing Hobby Lobby in its court battles, said: “Washington politicians cannot force families to abandon their faith just to earn a living. Every American, including family business owners like the Greens, should be free to live and do business according to their religious beliefs.” Amen.
This summer, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals exempted Hobby Lobby from the abortion mandate and allowed the business to avoid those crippling fines while pursuing its case. Now, the Supreme Court will decide whether Democratic Party pandering trumps bedrock constitutional principles.
Hobby Lobby's company health insurance plan covers 16 of the 20 FDA-approved contraceptives required under the ObamaCare mandate — at no additional costs to employees. What Hobby Lobby refuses to do is to be forced to cover abortifacients that violate the owners' faith and conscience.
Every employee is aware of the founders' history, devout work ethic and faith. No one is forced to work at Hobby Lobby. If workers want birth control, they can pay for it themselves.
The intolerant control freaks at the White House took to Twitter right after the Supreme Court announcement to pile on the pander to the Sandra Fluke/Lena Dunham wing of the Democratic Party. “Birth control should be a woman's decision, not her boss',” Team Obama tweeted.
That's precisely the argument against federally mandated health care benefits enforced by government in violation of religious liberty and subsidized by employers and taxpayers against their will. Let's pray the Supreme Court sees the light.
Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies” (Regnery 2009).