Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 13, 2015

Democrats, GOP File Dueling Contraception Briefs With SCOTUS

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats and Republicans have filed opposing amicus briefs in a landmark case the Supreme Court will hear in March challenging a requirement in the Affordable Care Act that employers provide free contraception services.

At issue is whether the mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

The act states that the government cannot substantially burden someone’s exercise of religion unless that burden is the least restrictive means to further a compelling governmental interest.

Nineteen Democrats, led by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., argue in their brief that the health care mandate does not violate the religious freedom law and that employers should not be able to decide whether an employee should have access to contraception services, which they argue are preventive.

“Allowing a woman’s boss to call the shots about her access to birth control should be inconceivable to all Americans in this day and age, and takes us back to a place in history when women had no voice or choice,” Murray said in a release.

“What’s at stake in this case before the Supreme Court is whether a CEO’s personal beliefs can trump a woman’s right to access free or low-cost contraception under the Affordable Care Act,” Murray continued. “Every American deserves to have access to high quality health care coverage regardless of where they work. And each of us should have the right to make our own medical and religious decisions without being dictated to or limited by our employers. Contraceptive coverage is supported by the vast majority of Americans who understand how important it is for women and families.”

But a group of 15 Republicans led by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, argue that the mandate does violate the religious freedom law.

“It’s unfortunate but not surprising that the Obama Administration continues to trample on the religious freedoms Americans hold dear, and the contraceptive mandate is a sad example of that,” Hatch said in a release. “Just last week the Supreme Court ruled that some religious organizations are exempt from the mandate, but why not all? Religious freedom should not be a political issue. It is one of our country’s founding principles, and I’m hopeful that the Supreme Court will reconfirm that our country will not stand for forcing one’s beliefs onto others who may morally object to them.”

Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, also today filed a separate amicus brief in the case.

“The First Amendment guarantees every American the right to free exercise of religion,” Cruz said. “Yet, the Obama Administration has chosen repeatedly to break the law by giving breaks to big business and Congress, while refusing to grant those same waivers to people with sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Another group of 15 Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and 71 House members also filed brief arguing that the healthcare law violates the religious freedom law.

In the case — the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments March 25 — the religious owners of a Midwest crafts retail chain, Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., is challenging the requirement.

The chain consists of more than 500 stores and has more than 13,000 full-time employees, according to court filings.

The GOP has been intensely critical of the Affordable Care Act, the president’s signature domestic policy accomplishment.

In 2012 the court upheld the individual mandate, the main source of funding for the Affordable Care Act, after several Republican state attorneys general sued that requiring citizens to buy health insurance was unconstitutional.

Comments (33)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    4:55 p.m.

    I’ve recently started a site, the info you provide on this website has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work. “There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.” by Homer.

  2. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    8:12 a.m.

    Hello my friend! I wish to say that this post is awesome, nice written and include almost all vital infos. I would like to see more posts like this.

  3. Anonymous

    July 8, 2015
    12:20 a.m.

    I have been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or blog posts in this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this website. Studying this information So i am glad to show that I have a very just right uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I most without a doubt will make certain to do not put out of your mind this site and provides it a glance on a relentless basis.

  4. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    8:47 a.m.

    I believe this site holds some really wonderful information for everyone :D. “As ill-luck would have it.” by Miguel de Cervantes.

  5. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    6:30 a.m.

    This really answered my problem, thank you!

  6. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    6:54 a.m.

    The root of your writing while appearing reasonable at first, did not really work properly with me personally after some time. Someplace within the paragraphs you actually were able to make me a believer unfortunately only for a while. I still have a problem with your jumps in assumptions and you would do well to help fill in all those breaks. In the event that you actually can accomplish that, I will definitely be fascinated.

  7. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    12:19 p.m.

    Your style is so unique compared to many other people. Thank you for publishing when you have the opportunity,Guess I will just make this bookmarked.2

  8. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    4:13 p.m.

    This web site is really a walk-through for all of the info you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll definitely discover it.

  9. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    8:40 a.m.

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your blog. You have some really good posts and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please send me an e-mail if interested. Many thanks!

  10. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    4:19 a.m.

    I keep listening to the news bulletin speak about receiving free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the top site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i acquire some?

  11. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    9:05 a.m.

    I’ve been surfing on-line greater than three hours as of late, yet I by no means found any fascinating article like yours. It?¦s beautiful value sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content material as you probably did, the net might be a lot more useful than ever before.

  12. Anonymous

    Aug. 9, 2015
    6:53 p.m.

    Fantastic site. Lots of useful information here. I am sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you on your effort!

  13. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    11:17 a.m.

    hello!,I love your writing so so much! share we be in contact extra approximately your article on AOL? I require a specialist on this house to resolve my problem. Maybe that is you! Taking a look ahead to peer you.

  14. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    7:05 a.m.

    F*ckin’ tremendous things here. I’m very happy to look your article. Thanks a lot and i’m looking ahead to touch you. Will you please drop me a mail?

  15. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    1:33 p.m.

    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  16. Anonymous

    Aug. 26, 2015
    4:02 a.m.

    What i don’t understood is in fact how you’re no longer actually a lot more smartly-preferred than you might be right now. You are so intelligent. You know therefore significantly relating to this topic, made me personally consider it from numerous various angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be interested except it?¦s one thing to do with Woman gaga! Your individual stuffs great. Always maintain it up!

  17. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2015
    6:52 p.m.

    This blog is definitely rather handy since I’m at the moment creating an internet floral website – although I am only starting out therefore it’s really fairly small, nothing like this site. Can link to a few of the posts here as they are quite. Thanks much. Zoey Olsen

  18. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    3:14 a.m.

    This web site is really a walk-through for all of the info you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll definitely discover it.

  19. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    10:16 p.m.

    Deference to website author, some good information .

  20. Anonymous

    Sept. 7, 2015
    4:24 p.m.

    What i don’t realize is in fact how you’re no longer really much more neatly-preferred than you might be right now. You’re very intelligent. You understand thus significantly relating to this subject, made me personally consider it from numerous numerous angles. Its like women and men don’t seem to be fascinated except it is one thing to do with Woman gaga! Your individual stuffs excellent. Always care for it up!

  21. Anonymous

    Sept. 8, 2015
    10:33 a.m.

    Great post, you have pointed out some fantastic points, I likewise believe this s a very excellent website.

  22. Anonymous

    Sept. 13, 2015
    10:18 a.m.

    Very interesting topic, appreciate it for putting up.

  23. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    7:30 p.m.

    I have read some good stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you put to make any such magnificent informative website.

  24. statefarm insurance quote

    Sept. 20, 2015
    5:23 p.m.

    Get auto and home insurance policies, combine, compare and save on quotes. Get cheapest policies from top companies.

  25. amica mutual insurance claims

    Sept. 22, 2015
    3:13 a.m.

    Get quotes by zip code and save up to 505 annually.

  26. Anonymous

    Sept. 22, 2015
    8:58 a.m.

  27. Anonymous

    Sept. 23, 2015
    4:22 a.m.

    I’ve read some just right stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how so much attempt you place to make one of these excellent informative web site.

  28. federated national insurance rating

    Sept. 23, 2015
    11:27 a.m.

    We offer you huge discounts, just enter your zip code

  29. Anonymous

    Sept. 23, 2015
    5:24 p.m.

    Valuable info. Fortunate me I found your website by chance, and I am shocked why this accident did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

  30. Anonymous

    Sept. 26, 2015
    11:08 a.m.

    Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  31. Anonymous

    Oct. 1, 2015
    11:34 a.m.

    Excellent post. I am going through a few of these issues as well..

  32. acuity home insurance quotes

    Oct. 1, 2015
    3:58 p.m.

    Compare quotes to save more on auto and home insurance here.

  33. Anonymous

    Oct. 2, 2015
    3:22 p.m.

    *When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...