(THE WESTERN CENTER FOR JOURNALISM) –– Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned retail chain, has largely become the corporate face of ObamaCare opposition. After initially speaking out against mandates in the healthcare law that would force individuals to violate their faith, the company sought legal protection against its implementation.
The dispute centered around a requirement the retailer fund birth control and abortifacient drugs for its employees.
Though a federal court upheld the business’ position in a recent decision, the case now appears to be headed for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Earlier this week, the chain initiated paperwork requesting the high court to review the case, indicating that abiding by the law would violate owners’ First Amendment right to religious liberty. The move comes weeks after Obama filed papers to challenge the lower court’s ruling.
Corporate lawyer Kyle Duncan, who serves as general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, explained the significance of this decision.
“Hobby Lobby’s case raises important questions about who can enjoy religious freedom,” he said. While some courts “recognize the rights of business owners,” he explained, plenty more fail to extend such freedom beyond the individual.
“Religious freedom is too important to be left to chance,” he added. “The Supreme Court should take this case and protect religious freedom for [owners] the Green family and Hobby Lobby.”
While the craft supply giant is among the most identifiable opponents of socialized medicine, reports indicate that at least 63 individual lawsuits similar to Hobby Lobby’s are currently under way.
As details continue to emerge regarding hidden mandates in ObamaCare, the legislation becomes less and less popular among the general public. Its disregard for religious freedom, however, is among the most disturbing aspects of the troubled law.
It is refreshing to follow the incremental victories of one company that has fought against this government intrusion from the very beginning.