Obama administration justifies mandate as Hobby Lobby owners defy law


David and Barbara Green of Hobby Lobby

David and Barbara Green, founders and owners of Hobby Lobby, are placing their religious principles ahead of an Obama administration mandate — and they may pay dearly for living up to their beliefs.

Last week, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied the Greens an injunction protecting them from being forced to provide abortion-inducing drugs to their employees pending the outcome of their lawsuit.

I noted at that time that the motion’s failure left the company “with the choice of either going out of business or ignoring their religious beliefs” as the lawsuit continued.

In a stunning announcement, Becket Fund attorney Kyle Duncan, representing the Greens and Hobby Lobby, said the Greens will put their money where their mouths are. They’ll conduct business as usual, without offering their employees insurance to cover the controversial “morning-after” and “week-after” pills, pending the outcome of the lawsuit.

“The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees,” Duncan said in a statement, according to LifeNews. “To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs.”

The significance of this decision is enormous. Beginning Jan. 1, when the mandate goes into effect, the Greens and Hobby Lobby risk daily fines of $1.3 million in the name of religious freedom.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate, requiring that all employers provide contraceptives to their employees, is the subject of numerous other lawsuits nationwide.

Unlike those lawsuits, however, the Greens only seek a narrow exemption from the mandate. They object to being forced to provide the “morning-after” and “week-after” pills, reasoning that such drugs are a form of abortion, which runs contrary to their religious beliefs. As such, it also runs contrary to the First Amendment guarantee that all Americans may freely exercise the religion of their choice.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Stuart Delery has advanced two arguments against the Greens.

Individuals lose their First Amendment religious freedoms when they engage in commercial activities as part of a for-profit corporation, one argument goes.

In the other, “the administration argues it can force a person to act against his religion so long as the coercion is done under the authority of a law that is neutral and generally applicable,” according to CNS News.

The CNS article added:

In keeping with Delery’s argument, the Washington Post, as a corporation, can use its First Amendment-protected freedom of speech to write editorials in support of the Obama administration imposing its contraception mandate on businesses like Hobby Lobby. But the members of the family that created and owns Hobby Lobby, because they formed Hobby Lobby as a corporation, have no First Amendment freedom of religion that protects them from being forced by the government to act against their religious beliefs in providing abortion-inducing drugs.

“As the nation approaches the much publicized fiscal cliff, it also approaches a moral cliff: Will the Obama administration compel Christians to act against their faith?” the CNS News article said. “As of now, the answer seems plain: Starting Tuesday, it will.”

It’s hard to argue with that.

Read more at CNSNews.

A video report on the lawsuit and the Greens’ decision follows.


23 thoughts on “Obama administration justifies mandate as Hobby Lobby owners defy law

  1. Olivia? says:

    Okay, so let's talk about the dumber side of law: Did you know that in Arizona, when being attacked by a criminal or burglar, you may only protect yourself with the same weapon that the other person posseses?. In Arkansas, a husband can beat his wife, but no more than once a month? And in Delaware, dance clubs cannot serve alcoholic beverages? How about in Florida, where it's illegal to shower naked? (Yep. It's on the books). Hundreds of stupid, idiotic laws made by men in these United States, who at one time believed they had very reasonable explanations for them.

    Now excuse me while I search online for an arsenol weapons to choose from to defend myself against the next criminal who targets my house….

  2. Dee says:

    I live in OKC where hobby lobby HQ is. I think Mr. Green is a good man at heart, but I feel he is trying to impose his moral beliefs on his female employees. Hobby lobby has a 3.4 million sq ft manufacturing and warehouse site with thousands of employess that DO NOT get Sundays off. I applaud him for giving his retail employees Sundays off but if it's just the retail employess and not ALL employess it's just window dressing., so the world thinks he's a good christian and he may be.

    Let's talk about what plan B (the morning after pill) is and isn't. First if a woman is 3 minutes pregnant then the plan B pill has no affect at all. Pregnancy is when a fertilized egg attaches to the uteral wall. What plan b does is stop eggs from being released.If there are no eggs, then sperm that can live for 3 days cannot find a mate. LOOK it up at any real medical site. The reason David keeps losing in court is because he is going on a lie repeated over and over again. The lie is that plan B is abortion. IT IS NOT. It merely stops a woman from producing viable eggs.Behind the lie is really the same old desire to keep women from having sex without having the fear of pregnancy. It is about moral control and not about abortion. I object to abortion but I believe that women should have a right to birth control, even if it is birth control the very next day as long as there is no risk to a fetus. I am sure that lots of people will SCREAM that I am wrong but you need to go to a medical website that has no right or left wing agenda and research what plan b is and isn't because this whole case is about plan B. Actually this whole case is about women shouldn't be having sex unless they are married in Mr. Greens opinion.

  3. Dee says:

    AND secondly, If condoms were only available with a prescription via health insurance, would Mr. Green object to that? I don't know, but the question is SHOULD he as your employer have the right to deny men access to condoms? That is the other side of the "MORAL COIN", because neither condoms nor plan "B" are an abortion.

  4. mike says:

    My Question is why is it Mr Green or anybody else for that matter responsible for another individuals stupid decisions! people want their cake and eat it to. The whole concept is flawed, and will only lead to more problems, but no one wants to hear that. No they want to do whatever they want, whenever they want and have someone else fix it for them. I'm done, I'm picking up my toys and going home. peace out.

  5. MickeyG says:

    It is no wonder this nation is so messed up. The very women here proclaiming their right to abortion should at least understand this. You own your body, therefore it is your right. The owners of Hobby Lobby own Hobby Lobby, therefore it is thier right. Legal rights pertain to ownership. You have no legal right to demand Hobby Lobby do anything. Understand?

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