The infamous “Hobby Lobby case” has finally been decided by the US Supreme Court. In its decision the Court ruled that Obamacare’s contraception mandate violated the religious freedom of the owners of Hobby Lobby (and other companies), who objected to paying to provide certain types of birth control to their employees. Read the Associated Press story here.
As a limited-government conservative, I have always opposed Obamacare, in part, because I don’t think that it’s the government’s job to determine what’s in your health plan. The entire law is a huge federal government power grab and intrusion into the private lives of all Americans.
The ruling today is a consequence of President Obama’s big-government overreach, and while I agree with the specific outcome in this case, I think that it sets the stage for future unintended consequences. Honestly, the Court’s majority opinion relies too much on reasonable people being able to apply it on a case by case basis. Not everyone is reasonable.
It’s just a matter of time before extremists begin to test this ruling in other areas. In fact, we’ve already seen some seek license to discriminate against gay people on the basis of religion. This ruling will likely embolden those efforts.
There will likely be a flood of new litigation that results from this decision. I don’t think anyone knows all the areas where we could see this case being used as a justification for who knows what.
Will this Court decision be the key that opens a Pandora’s Box to a harmful unintended consequences? I am afraid so.
Read the Supreme Court’s opinions here.