Marco Rubio already at work to overturn the administration’s contraception mandate

posted at 3:05 pm on January 31, 2012 by Tina Korbe

We’ve reached a new low when a senator has to present a bill to restore religious freedom — but at least we still have a senator who will introduce such legislation in the face of an overt trampling of the right to free exercise of religion. Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio today will introduce “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012,” a bill that would reverse the Obama administration’s recent confirmation of its decision to force religious employers — in conflict with their religious beliefs — to provide employees with insurance that would cover contraceptives and abortifacients.

It’s impossible to overstate just how unjust the Obama administration’s decision in this matter actually is. Catholics and non-Catholics alike recognize it. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson captures the magnitude of its meaning:

Obama chose to substantially burden a religious belief, by the most intrusive means, for a less-than-compelling state purpose — a marginal increase in access to contraceptives that are easily available elsewhere. The religious exemption granted by Obamacare is narrower than anywhere else in federal law — essentially covering the delivery of homilies and the distribution of sacraments. Serving the poor and healing the sick are regarded as secular pursuits — a determination that would have surprised Christianity’s founder.

Both radicalism and maliciousness are at work in Obama’s decision — an edict delivered with a sneer. It is the most transparently anti-Catholic maneuver by the federal government since the Blaine Amendment was proposed in 1875 — a measure designed to diminish public tolerance of Romanism, then regarded as foreign, authoritarian and illiberal. Modern liberalism has progressed to the point of adopting the attitudes and methods of 19th-century Republican nativists. …

The implications of Obama’s power grab go further than contraception and will provoke opposition beyond Catholicism. Christian colleges and universities of various denominations will resist providing insurance coverage for abortifacients. And the astounding ambition of this federal precedent will soon be apparent to every religious institution. Obama is claiming the executive authority to determine which missions of believers are religious and which are not — and then to aggressively regulate institutions the government declares to be secular. It is a view of religious liberty so narrow and privatized that it barely covers the space between a believer’s ears.

Why would Obama betray the religious leaders whose concerns he pretended to hear in this way? Shortly after the president met with the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops, Obama supporters expressed concern that any concession to Catholic leaders might cost him the votes of some liberal women in 2012. One of the readiest explanations for the president’s insistence on this is his unremitting desire to please his base, to retain votes, to win reelection.

Fortunately, Catholic bishops across the country have said they will not comply with this unjust law — and, now, Marco Rubio, too, has taken up the cause of religious liberty. His bill would expand the Obamacare religious exemption, which presently is so narrow as to exclude religiously-affiliated hospitals, schools, charities and businesses. It would ensure that no religious employer would be required to offer coverage in contradiction of the religious tenets the employer espouses. This bill undoubtedly faces an uphill battle in the Senate, but this is too important an issue to not address by every available means. My gratitude to Sen. Rubio for his prompt action on the matter.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Was he this quick to stop censoring the internet as well?

liberal4life on January 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Good for you Rubio! You are doing more where you are than saying you would be a VP, IMO.
L

letget on January 31, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Glad to see him back on the front page…..er…page 6 at least.

Trusser13 on January 31, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Something is seriously wrong when the nominally-law-writing branch of our government has to proactively vote in order to block a de facto law created by an appointed bureaucrat.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If it’s important enough to regulate, then it’s important enough to get Congress to regulate it with an actual law. The only excuse to hand law-making power to a bureaucracy is to enact unpopular (and unconstitutional) regulations without accountability.

Mohonri on January 31, 2012 at 3:10 PM

The problem is, he still needs to get Obama to sign off on it.

I know, the devil is in the details.

timberline on January 31, 2012 at 3:13 PM

I’m really hoping these kinds of naked, anti-constitutional power grabs aren’t lost on Justice Kennedy this June when deciding if the mandate is constitutional and whether it can be severed.

The Count on January 31, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Was he this quick to stop censoring the internet as well?

liberal4life on January 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Why do you care? You’re a totalitarian “liberal”. If you people had your way the government would have total control of the internet.

darwin on January 31, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Was he this quick to stop censoring the internet as well?

liberal4life on January 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM

I think the only reason you are here…is that the condom broke… at the wrong time!

KOOLAID2 on January 31, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Harry won’t let it come to the floor. Watch

cmsinaz on January 31, 2012 at 3:16 PM

The problem is, he still needs to get Obama to sign off on it.

I know, the devil is in the details.

timberline on January 31, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Well, the Senate still has to pass it and it’s full of democrat communists.

Anyway, if it does pass the Senate and Obama signs it … it’s a win for us. If Obama doesn’t sign it … it’s a win for us.

darwin on January 31, 2012 at 3:17 PM

I hope they figure out a way to get this bill to a vote. And I want to see how my Senator, Bob Casey, votes on it. Casey was elected largely because of his claim to be a pro-life Catholic. He supposedly “led the charge” on the conscience provision of Obamacare. So far, he has not made a statement on this final rule by HHS. He is running for reelection this year, and there are a LOT of Catholics in this state. The new Archbishop of Philadelphia is an ardent pro-life activist and I cannot imagine that he will not weigh in on this legislation.

rockmom on January 31, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Mohonri on January 31, 2012 at 3:10 PM

OH YEAH !

I LUV YOU, MANNNNN ! ! !

Ahem (clearing throat), what I meant to say is; very well put. : )

listens2glenn on January 31, 2012 at 3:17 PM

One looks forward to Junior Casey’s position on this bill.

Wethal on January 31, 2012 at 3:18 PM

With as much crap Obama is pulling, namely the XL Pipeline and now this, what does it take to wake the voting public up to vote this absolute narcissistic Marxist fool out of office?

timberline on January 31, 2012 at 3:18 PM

(Censored)

liberal4life on January 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Electrongod on January 31, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Harry won’t let it come to the floor. Watch

cmsinaz on January 31, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Dollars to donuts you’re right. He just won his election and doesn’t want the fresh meat of a presidential veto on the ballot for his pal this November.

The Count on January 31, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Can the congress defund these agencies that obama and other presidents have set up?
If so, let’s go for it!
Every religion should stand with the Catholics!

Good for you Rubio, and I’m still hoping for a Romney/Rubio ticket.
That would guarantee, if they win, he will be in the running for the next time a new president is voted on.

Bambi on January 31, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Was he this quick to stop censoring the internet as well?

liberal4life on January 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Obama signed ACTA.

You’d save everyone a lot of time if you’d just comment “derp” on every story. Cuz, your long ones pretty much say the same thing.

lorien1973 on January 31, 2012 at 3:19 PM

My only issue with this is that it treats ObamaCare as a fait accompli, at this point.

Once the GOP starts tinkering with what ObamaCare can and cannot do (and this is precisely the start of the tinkering, if not before now), it can be argued that implicitly grant it legitimacy and therefore immunity from a nonpartisan repeal attempt.

I would have preferred Rubio to simply laugh, state that churches never have to worry about it because it will not remain long on the books (if, indeed, this will ever be enforced)… and work like mad behind the scenes to ensure that the GOP can repeal ObamaCare.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Was he this quick to stop censoring the internet as well?

liberal4life on January 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM
Why do you care? You’re a totalitarian “liberal”. If you people had your way the government would have total control of the internet.

darwin on January 31, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Was he this quick to stop censoring the internet as well?

liberal4life on January 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM
I think the only reason you are here…is that the condom broke… at the wrong time!

KOOLAID2 on January 31, 2012 at 3:14 PM

darwin I think IT just made 10 bucks on us. How much you think they get paid per commenter reaction?

KOOLAID2 on January 31, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Well and good, but more Catholics still vote for democrats and Obama than Republicans. In the 2008 election, 53% of Catholics voted for democrats according to Gallup.

http://cara.georgetown.edu/Presidential%20Vote%20Only.pdf

they lie on January 31, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Well, the Senate still has to pass it and it’s full of democrat communists.

Anyway, if it does pass the Senate and Obama signs it … it’s a win for us. If Obama doesn’t sign it … it’s a win for us.

darwin on January 31, 2012 at 3:17 PM

My assumption, after reading your somewhat Riddler type post, is that you care less whether it gets signed or not. Do I win the prize?

timberline on January 31, 2012 at 3:22 PM

darwin I think IT just made 10 bucks on us. How much you think they get paid per commenter reaction?

KOOLAID2 on January 31, 2012 at 3:20 PM

I’m not sure they get paid. I heard they get a pat on the head and an “atta boy!”.

darwin on January 31, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Why would Obama betray the religious leaders whose concerns he pretended to hear in this way?

Because that’s what narcissistic sociopaths do.

Wethal on January 31, 2012 at 3:23 PM

I’m really hoping these kinds of naked, anti-constitutional power grabs aren’t lost on Justice Kennedy this June when deciding if the mandate is constitutional and whether it can be severed.

The Count on January 31, 2012 at 3:14 PM

While I think I understand your intent, I would hope that Justice Kennedy doesn’t use such poor logic.

The fact that the administration is prone to ‘naked, anti-constitutional power grabs’ (which is very well put, IMO) does not cause the individual mandate to be an example of such.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Thank God someone in power is doing something against this evil Obama.

chai on January 31, 2012 at 3:23 PM

How about a big round of applause for Notre Dame University and other progressive Catholics who gave Obama a pass and all the Blue Dog Anti-Abortion Democrats who found a principled way to vote for ObamaCare.

Put your hands together everyone.

SlaveDog on January 31, 2012 at 3:24 PM

they lie on January 31, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Yep, it’s a real shame that the party catholics vote for crap on them. And they’ll continue to vote the same way in the future.

I have the vapors!

lorien1973 on January 31, 2012 at 3:24 PM

My assumption, after reading your somewhat Riddler type post, is that you care less whether it gets signed or not. Do I win the prize?

timberline on January 31, 2012 at 3:22 PM

No, if it gets signed it’s great. If Obama won’t sign it, it’s a 2000lb bomb to use against Obama in the campaign … so it’s a win either way.

darwin on January 31, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Was he this quick to stop censoring the internet as well?

liberal4life on January 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Does this mean you support giving gerbils the vote?

NotCoach on January 31, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Electrongod on January 31, 2012 at 3:19 PM

haha

DHChron on January 31, 2012 at 3:27 PM

they lie: I certainly think it is a disgrace and embarrassment that many self-identified Catholics don’t know (or even don’t care) about their faith.

Of course, IME less than 1/4 of Catholics actually deserve the name, in the United States, considering their understanding of their faith. (Note that I am not saying that understanding of their faith is a prerequisite. But if you try to figure out why someone is Catholic and not, say, Protestant, it’s quite illuminating.)

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:27 PM

My assumption, after reading your somewhat Riddler type post, is that you care less whether it gets signed or not. Do I win the prize?

timberline on January 31, 2012 at 3:22 PM

No, if it gets signed it’s great. If Obama won’t sign it, it’s a 2000lb bomb to use against Obama in the campaign … so it’s a win either way.

darwin on January 31, 2012 at 3:24 PM

OK, gotcha. I do have to admit I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed sometimes.

timberline on January 31, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Why am I not surprised he would be one of the first to speak up in defense of religious liberty?

What a mensch.

rogaineguy on January 31, 2012 at 3:29 PM

My only issue with this is that it treats ObamaCare as a fait accompli, at this point.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:19 PM

It’s to make it a campaign issue, for the allegedly “pro-life” Dems in the senate and house, as well as for Obama.

The bishops, as well as a few conservative Christian colleges, are taking this to court, too. The administration will have to file answers to these lawsuits, and again, Obama and the Dems will have to to take a stand on the adminstration’s position.

The pro-life Dems are going to be put in the position of trying not to be identified with this act by Obama, as well as are those Dems who do not want to be identified with his Keystone pipeline position.

They’re going to have to criticize the top of the ticket on which they’re listed. Heh.

Wethal on January 31, 2012 at 3:29 PM

darwin: Unfortunately, it’s not a binary position.

Really, the Democratic strategy these past 4-6 years is breathtaking in its political acumen.

1) Retain control of the Senate by hook or by crook.
2) Put into place a President that runs the country by fiat.
3) Use Senatorial control to run interference for the President.
4) President’s poll numbers do not suffer due to blaming ‘Congress’ (which is always a bipartisan body).
5) President gets reelected.
6) ‘Fundamentally transform America.’

That’s what the Democrats have done since at least 2008, and arguably 2006. It has worked for them so far. I see no reason it will not continue to work.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:30 PM

What I don’t understand is how the Catholics supported this man/child when he already had held up bills in Illinois that said a Dr had to save the life of a baby born of a botched abortion.

They were putting the child in a closet, so no one was bothered with it’s cry until it died, all alone, in the dark, never being touched or loved. Doesn’t that just make you sick?

I cannot stand this idiot and yet Notre Dame invited him to come and speak and gave great reverence to him. Why couldn’t they see it? Were they so blinded by hope and change that they didn’t see the true person standing there? SHAME!

Bambi on January 31, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Why am I not surprised he would be one of the first to speak up in defense of religious liberty?

What a mensch.

rogaineguy on January 31, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Beißen Sie Ihre Zunge!

timberline on January 31, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Mohonri on January 31, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Which brings me to this point. The Constitution invests legislative power in Congress, and only in Congress. Congress has no Constitutional authority to delegate legislation. All of the regulations that have the force of law are un-Constitutional, as are the parts of agencies that issue them.

Congress can certainly institute organizations to research and advise it, but only Congress can pass laws. A lot of the agencies need to be rechartered so that they are in compliance with the Constitution.

LarryD on January 31, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Wethal: I am aware of all of that. But if that’s all coming down the pipeline anyway, why put the GOP on the map of offering a legislative ‘improvement’ (as it can be touted, successfully, by Democrats) on ObamaCare?

The proper place to fight this battle, if you’re going to fight a battle of inches, is in the courts. In the halls of Congress, go big (repeal) or go home.

Why does Rubio not sponsor a bill repealing ObamaCare, and state clearly in the bill that it is for this reason? You get the same poor optics, but you don’t go on record (even implicitly) as accepting any part of ObamaCare?

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Which brings me to this point. The Constitution invests legislative power in Congress, and only in Congress. Congress has no Constitutional authority to delegate legislation. All of the regulations that have the force of law are un-Constitutional, as are the parts of agencies that issue them.

Oh thank you esteemed legal scholar for that bit of crackpot wishcasting.

Random on January 31, 2012 at 3:37 PM

1) Retain control of the Senate by hook or by crook.
2) Put into place a President that runs the country by fiat.
3) Use Senatorial control to run interference for the President.
4) President’s poll numbers do not suffer due to blaming ‘Congress’ (which is always a bipartisan body).
5) President gets reelected.
6) ‘Fundamentally transform America.’

That’s what the Democrats have done since at least 2008, and arguably 2006. It has worked for them so far. I see no reason it will not continue to work.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:30 PM

They overplay their hands routinely. They had complete control of DC with the House, Senate and the presidency yet their greed allowed them to overplay with ObamaCare and other “initiatives”.

The result? An historic win of the House, state legislatures and governorships in 2010.

All it takes to defeat Obama and the democrats is someone willing to expose them for who and what they are. It takes big, big balls but I will guarantee if Obama is challenged on his past, his associations, his hires, his policies, his love of our enemies and hatred of our allies he will lose his cool. He cannot defend who he really is. He can only depend on the media to hide it from us, and depend on Republicans not to go there.

darwin on January 31, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Congress can certainly institute organizations to research and advise it, but only Congress can pass laws. A lot of the agencies need to be rechartered so that they are in compliance with the Constitution.

LarryD on January 31, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Not going to happen until the judiciary takes seriously the fact that Congress cannot delegate its authority. And unfortunately our top executive won’t refuse to stop enforcing regulations not explicitly mandated by Congress.

NotCoach on January 31, 2012 at 3:38 PM

The result? An historic win of the House, state legislatures and governorships in 2010.

darwin on January 31, 2012 at 3:38 PM

“SHUT YOUR POOPY FACE! WE ARE A CENTER LEFT COUNTRY!” – retard4life

NotCoach on January 31, 2012 at 3:39 PM

I was just thinking, wouldn’t a violation of religious freedom constitude a good reason to have the whole thing thrown out?

D.Mockracy on January 31, 2012 at 3:41 PM

A mandate is a mandate – pursuant to the Commerce Clause – you will buy insurance – and you will provide contraceptives and abortions, regardless of your religious status.

After all – a mandate is a mandate – and the healthcare mandate is just the beginning.

Utopia awaits!

Trust the State, Comrades!

Obey the mandates, Comrades!

OhEssYouCowboys on January 31, 2012 at 3:43 PM

The Catholics delivered obama to us. They need to live with the results.

oceansidecon on January 31, 2012 at 3:44 PM

The only way Obama will backtrack on this is when he realizes that it will cost him more votes than it buys him. Hopefully there are enough liberal Catholics who will object to make a difference. Conservative Catholics do not figure into his calculus.

xrayiiis on January 31, 2012 at 3:45 PM

I was just thinking, wouldn’t a violation of religious freedom constitude a good reason to have the whole thing thrown out?

D.Mockracy on January 31, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Another major problem with Congress delegating its legislative authority. Too often the courts end up deciding what a regulatory body can do because Congress failed to define limits or give explicit authority. You are right though, they should toss any law that grants vague powers to any regulatory authority.

NotCoach on January 31, 2012 at 3:45 PM

So, when you think about it barry is exactly the person that the Constitution of the United States of America was written to protect the people from. The Founders set up the branches of Governemt to prevent this exact type of corrupt tyranny, but are there enough true Patriots left to stop him?

keithofboston on January 31, 2012 at 3:45 PM

The result? An historic win of the House, state legislatures and governorships in 2010.

An historic win that has changed absolutely nothing since then, at least at the national level.

And all it takes to defeat Obama and the Democrats is someone willing to expose them and the voting public of this country to listen.

Of course, why is everything about ‘defeating Obama’? You need a positive plan going forward, not ‘defeating Obama’. If you make the campaign platform personal, you’re going to run right into Obama’s disturbingly-high personal approval ratings.

Yes, certainly, hammer him on every policy position. But it’s not enough to wage a campaign against a candidate. You have to have a position for your candidate, and for this country.

Again and again, here, I see the thinking that somehow short-circuits to:

1) Defeat Obama.
2) ??????
3) PROFIT!

What’s step 2? I’ll remind you that we have been at an unsustainable spending level for… what, probably 20+ years? (Depends on how you look at the Clinton era.) We cannot go back to status quo ante regarding the Obama Presidency and pretend that ‘happy days are here again’. ‘Less miserable days’, perhaps.

We need to do much more than either political party has shown themselves capable of doing in my lifetime to really ‘fix’ this country.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:46 PM

I’m beginning to think Obama, who has already topped Carter as the worst President, wants to prove it by getting beaten by a higher percentage and losing more states than Carter did.

If he keeps this up, he’ll surely have the record.

bflat879 on January 31, 2012 at 3:46 PM

The Catholics delivered obama to us. They need to live with the results.
oceansidecon on January 31, 2012 at 3:44 PM

It does become harder to give a damn what Catholics as a group think when most of them voted for the staunchly pro-abortion Obama, doesn’t it?

Random on January 31, 2012 at 3:47 PM

The Catholics delivered obama to us. They need to live with the results.

oceansidecon on January 31, 2012 at 3:44 PM

This Roman Catholic did not vote for Obama in 2008. Nor will I vote for Obama in 2012.

IIRC, the NATIONAL win % for Obama in 2008 was close to 53%. (52%, was it not?)

By your ‘logic’, the following statement is also perfectly valid.

“The Americans delivered Obama to us. They need to live with the results.”

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Random: And pursuant to my post to oceansidecon,

“It does become harder to give a damn what Americans as a group think when most of them voted for the staunchly pro-abortion Obama, doesn’t it?”

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:50 PM

“The Americans delivered Obama to us. They need to live with the results.”

Yeah, that’s also a true statement.

Random on January 31, 2012 at 3:50 PM

The Catholics delivered obama to us. They need to live with the results.
oceansidecon on January 31, 2012 at 3:44 PM
It does become harder to give a damn what Catholics as a group think when most of them voted for the staunchly pro-abortion Obama, doesn’t it?
Random on January 31, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Yes it does… And for the record … I am Catholic.

oceansidecon on January 31, 2012 at 3:50 PM

My only issue with this is that it treats ObamaCare as a fait accompli, at this point.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Agreed. And further, if we have to pass legislation to repeat the Constitution, then we are validating Obama and his interpretation that the Constitution means nothing.

The RC church should ignore it, wait for the lawsuit and/or fines, thus becoming injured. Back to the Supreme’s we go.

Obama is hoping he’ll have the court stacked by then. Who knows, maybe he will have implemented FDR’s threat and stacked the court by then. Anything is possible in a 2nd term.

Carnac on January 31, 2012 at 3:52 PM

“The Americans delivered Obama to us. They need to live with the results.”

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Actually that is always valid.

“The government you elect is the government you deserve.” – Thomas Jefferson

NotCoach on January 31, 2012 at 3:53 PM

I hope they figure out a way to get this bill to a vote. And I want to see how my Senator, Bob Casey, votes on it.

rockmom on January 31, 2012 at 3:17 PM
I think we need them to hold them accountable for more than how they vote on it. They need to be pressured to make Reid bring it to the floor.

neuquenguy on January 31, 2012 at 3:53 PM

For those who have been beating me up in other threads for pointing out that Rick Santorum is a theocrat statist, I am with Sen. Rubio on this one. Federal government has no business mandating this kind of requirement on any organization, but especially on faith-based entities.

Look Polish on January 31, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Again and again, here, I see the thinking that somehow short-circuits to:

1) Defeat Obama.
2) ??????
3) PROFIT!

What’s step 2? I’ll remind you that we have been at an unsustainable spending level for… what, probably 20+ years? (Depends on how you look at the Clinton era.) We cannot go back to status quo ante regarding the Obama Presidency and pretend that ‘happy days are here again’. ‘Less miserable days’, perhaps.

We need to do much more than either political party has shown themselves capable of doing in my lifetime to really ‘fix’ this country.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:46

Each candidate has expressed their ideas for step 2. Their websites have details. But again, to get to step 2 we have to defeat Obama.

darwin on January 31, 2012 at 3:54 PM

As Justice Scalia wrote in the majority opinion in Employment Division v. Smith:

“…if prohibiting the exercise of religion is not the object of the [law] but merely the incidental effect of a generally applicable and otherwise valid provision, the First Amendment has not been offended….To make an individual’s obligation to obey such a law contingent upon the law’s coincidence with his religious beliefs, except where the State’s interest is ‘compelling’ – permitting him, by virtue of his beliefs, ‘to become a law unto himself,’ contradicts both constitutional tradition and common sense.’ To adopt a true ‘compelling interest’ requirement for laws that affect religious practice would lead towards anarchy.”

Hard to see how religious freedom is being “trampled” when even Scalia recognizes reasonable limits to religious freedom.

RightOFLeft on January 31, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Because the likely nominee is going to be the guy who gave us Obamacare’s predecessor. *sigh*

Because Harry Reid would never let an Obamacare repeal come up for a vote. The House already passed one, IIRC, and it died in the Senate.

But focusing on the narrow issue of religious liberty and the contraceptive/aborifacient mandate makes it more difficult for the “pro-life” Dems to oppose this.

Boehner will no doubt bring up a similar bill for a vote, and all the House Dems will have to go on record on this, and run on that record. (Former House Dems and Catholics Stupak and Oberstar come to mind….)

In the Senate, Reid would have a harder time not bringing Rubio’s bill up for a vote, especially if some Senate Dems running for re-election are put in the position of criticizing Obama while running on his ticket. (Casey of PA comes to mind.)

Since the bill includes the morning-after pill and the abortifacient IUD, it also will be interesting to see what position the Mormon church and Brigham Young University take. Awkward for Mormon Reid (as well as allegeldly Catholic Pelosi.)

Wethal on January 31, 2012 at 3:56 PM

darwin: And every candidate has credibility issues when they ask people to believe them when they say something.

IOW, those websites, in terms of getting this country back to fiscal sanity, are not worth the electric bill keeping them running.

As I stated in the Green Room, people who vote for a GOP candidate in this cycle are seriously voting for “Hope and Change”. I have extreme difficulty seeing any rational basis for believing any current GOP candidate will return this country to fiscal sanity.

If we have to defeat Obama to get to that point, why say it? It’s _understood_ that if we are talking about what a candidate will do in office, we are talking as if he has already beaten Obama.

Carnac: Oh, the RCC is not fighting it legislatively. They are fighting it judicially, as is their right.

And I don’t know about you, but I certainly do not want to find holes in a law case written by Canon Law lawyers. ;) (small joke there)

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Hard to see how religious freedom is being “trampled” when even Scalia recognizes reasonable limits to religious freedom.

RightOFLeft on January 31, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Because there is no compelling state interest for the federal government to mandate contraceptive, abortifacient and sterilization in employers’ coverage?

Every government goal is not a compelling state interest. This might pass the rational-relation test, but since the Frist Amendment is invoked, one needs to use the strict-scrutiny test, and look for a compelling state interest.

Wethal on January 31, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Frist=First.

Wethal on January 31, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:35 PM
Because the likely nominee is going to be the guy who gave us Obamacare’s predecessor. *sigh*
Because Harry Reid would never let an Obamacare repeal come up for a vote. The House already passed one, IIRC, and it died in the Senate.
But focusing on the narrow issue of religious liberty and the contraceptive/aborifacient mandate makes it more difficult for the “pro-life” Dems to oppose this.
Boehner will no doubt bring up a similar bill for a vote, and all the House Dems will have to go on record on this, and run on that record. (Former House Dems and Catholics Stupak and Oberstar come to mind….)
In the Senate, Reid would have a harder time not bringing Rubio’s bill up for a vote, especially if some Senate Dems running for re-election are put in the position of criticizing Obama while running on his ticket. (Casey of PA comes to mind.)
Since the bill includes the morning-after pill and the abortifacient IUD, it also will be interesting to see what position the Mormon church and Brigham Young University take. Awkward for Mormon Reid (as well as allegeldly Catholic Pelosi.)
Wethal on January 31, 2012 at 3:56 PM

I’m not fully up to speed on the comparisons between Romneycare and Obamacare so forgive me. But did the Mass. bill include all the provisions, regulations, and intended consequences as Obama’s version? I know it had a few less pages. For the record… I am for people paying for their insurance. No one should expect to get professional services for free. (at least in my business)

oceansidecon on January 31, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Wethal: I am not throwing aspersions on the Mormon church here, but any awkwardness for Mormon legislators is also awkwardness for Romney. And they will (unfairly) ask him his religious opinion on it, as opposed to the Constitutional argument against it.

You clearly overestimate the impact of this bill, really. Who’s going to make the pro-life Democrats answer to their vote on this? The MSM? If you think ‘the voters’ will, I think you’re overlooking the electorate’s exhaustion with both parties and the entire process.

And I do not believe Boehner will run anything like this in the House.

And again, what if it succeeds? We’re right back where we were ‘before ObamaCare’, except that now, we have a ‘conservative icon’ tinkering with ObamaCare instead of repealing it outright.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 4:05 PM

The Catholics delivered obama to us. They need to live with the results.

oceansidecon on January 31, 2012 at 3:44 PM

True Catholics—and I don’t mean Nancy Pelosi—don’t support abortion and likely did NOT vote for Obama. I am a Catholic, so I know whereof I speak/write.

chai on January 31, 2012 at 4:05 PM

chai: No brush is too wide to paint with when you’re painting Catholics. ><

I thought you knew this by now.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 4:07 PM

The Catholics delivered obama to us. They need to live with the results.
oceansidecon on January 31, 2012 at 3:44 PM
It does become harder to give a damn what Catholics as a group think when most of them voted for the staunchly pro-abortion Obama, doesn’t it?
Random on January 31, 2012 at 3:47 PM

The problem with this type of statement is that (just like the polls they refer to) do not differentiate between practicing Catholics and cultural Catholics. The majority of “catholics” in this polls are people who self-identify as such because of reasons other than they faith, they do not in fact attend Mass or practice their faith in any meaningful way (many studies have corroborated that this group constitutes a majority of self-identified Catholics). On the other hand, a clear majority of Practicing Catholics voted against Obama. We cannot help it if someone chooses to call themselves Catholic simply because their family came from Ireland or Italy.

neuquenguy on January 31, 2012 at 4:08 PM

As I stated in the Green Room, people who vote for a GOP candidate in this cycle are seriously voting for “Hope and Change”. I have extreme difficulty seeing any rational basis for believing any current GOP candidate will return this country to fiscal sanity.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:59 PM

I’m not counting on any president to return us to fiscal sanity. Taking the Senate and House are equally, if not more important than the presidency.

As far as the candidates go … only one it seemed had the balls to fight to reduce entitlements and balance the budget, and compromise with a democrat president to get it. Do I think Gingrich will make the effort? Yeah, I do. Do I also think he needs a crack team to constantly keep him grounded? Yeah, I do.

darwin on January 31, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Religious organizations should be able to opt out of the mandate IF AND ONLY IF they receive no government funding for medical services. They can and are allowed to believe whatever they want, but the gov’t has the right to protect its citizenry as it sees fit. I don’t agree with mandated free contraception, but it’s the government’s right to place these rules. If religious institutions want to stick their beliefs, fine, but they can’t or shouldn’t also participate in modern medicine at the same time. It should be up to the individual to decide if they want to participate with the belief system their religion imposes on them (including contraception and abortion). They cannot and should not be forced to follow it if their medical provider just happens to hold those beliefs.

RanchTooth on January 31, 2012 at 4:10 PM

The Catholics delivered obama to us. They need to live with the results.

oceansidecon on January 31, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Now that’s painting with a broad brush!

SailorMark on January 31, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Why does anything have to be singed to practice a Constitutionally stated right?

..Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion..
Not that complicated.

Mimzey on January 31, 2012 at 4:12 PM

neuquenguy: Well put. However, it does not invalidate the statement Random makes. ‘As a group’, ‘Catholics’ vote Democrat.

Obtaining a usable poll sample of practicing Catholics is nigh-impossible.

However, the ‘reward’ for ‘cultural Catholics’ is well-documented.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Chai: I, like you I’m sure…know many Catholics. In my experience, most overlooked the abortion aspect in the last election to sock it to the evil corporations and support the “social justice” message. They bought that message hook line and sinker…ignoring the consequences. Most Catholic voters are not one issue voters. But they are now finding out now…. If you give up on one thing you believe in, you have to be prepared to give up on others.

oceansidecon on January 31, 2012 at 4:16 PM

darwin I think IT just made 10 bucks on us. How much you think they get paid per commenter reaction?

KOOLAID2 on January 31, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Hey, in this economy, ten bucks is ten bucks; and I’m sure it’s done worse things for ten bucks.

CurtZHP on January 31, 2012 at 4:17 PM

My only issue with this is that it treats ObamaCare as a fait accompli, at this point.

Once the GOP starts tinkering with what ObamaCare can and cannot do (and this is precisely the start of the tinkering, if not before now), it can be argued that implicitly grant it legitimacy and therefore immunity from a nonpartisan repeal attempt.

I would have preferred Rubio to simply laugh, state that churches never have to worry about it because it will not remain long on the books (if, indeed, this will ever be enforced)… and work like mad behind the scenes to ensure that the GOP can repeal ObamaCare.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 3:19 PM

I agree. I thot this was the entire argument made by the 25 or so A.G.’s that filed against O.C. This is on the SCOTUS docket to hear.

It’s better to not start introducing a bill here and another bill there.

Since part of this according to what I read involves HHS and an E.O. by Obama. How does that work by introducing a bill? I wasn’t aware that an E.O. could be revoked by Congress.

bluefox on January 31, 2012 at 4:17 PM

darwin: I have no faith left in the GOP, as is well-documented here. I will be spending my time building a new party, whose sole purpose is to return the country to fiscal sanity.

RanchTooth: I completely disagree with the statement that the government ‘has the right to protect its citizenry as it sees fit’. The government in the United States _has no rights at all_. It has certain powers, but it certainly does NOT have the power to do anything to protect its citizenry.

Does it have the power to kill you because it thinks you’re a threat? No.

Does it have the power to sterilize its citizens? No.

Does it have the power to do ANYTHING ‘as it sees fit’? No.

It has the power to do what the Constitution says it can do, because those who DO have rights in this system (the people) say that.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 4:05 PM

I think Boehner will go with it. Stupak and Oberstar were both “pro-life” Dems who were defeated in part because of their Obamacare votes.

Boehner has nothing left to lose. He can still say he’d repeal Obamacare through budget reconciliation in 2013 (Assuming a GOP president and GOP congress; even Romney has said he’d sign that bill), but religious liberty is so important that he has to do this now.

No, the MSM won’t report on it, but local news media will carry GOP ads. There may be local debates in which the Dem Rep or Senator has to explain his vote. All the GOP has to do is focus on the local voters and local ad markets.

Churches cannot endorse candidates, but they can distribute the candidates’ positions in an informational leaflet handed out at church. (Consider how much politicking as been done in black churches in the past.)

I agree that tinkering with Obamacare is a bad idea, because it does presume that it will be here to stay, and we just tweak the edges.

But a vote on this religious liberty issue puts Pelosi and Reid on the spot. Even if the Senate Dems don’t allow a vote, there still will GOP ads asking how they would vote, and maybe debate questions. So they are put in the spot of criticizing Obama’s judgment.

Frame it as a religious liberty issue, and not an Obamacare issue, and it looks like the Obama administration is infringing on religious liberty. Not a great position to be in in this country for congresional Dems.

Wethal on January 31, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Was he this quick to stop censoring the internet as well?

liberal4life on January 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM

SOPA and PIPA aren’t law. ObamaCare was passed years ago, and will be going into effect soon. I’m not sure how you can logically argue he’s at all faster on this issue than he was on the Internet. For that he’d still have to wait a couple more years before doing anything about SOPA or PIPA.

Esthier on January 31, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Because there is no compelling state interest for the federal government to mandate contraceptive, abortifacient and sterilization in employers’ coverage?

The HHS is mandating that “all insurance providers cover the full range of FDA-approved drugs and devices.” Yes, there is a compelling state interest for that. Otherwise, insurance providers could concoct flimsy religious exceptions in their coverage as a cost-cutting tool.

Every government goal is not a compelling state interest. This might pass the rational-relation test, but since the Frist Amendment is invoked, one needs to use the strict-scrutiny test, and look for a compelling state interest.

Wethal on January 31, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Is preventing insurance providers from defrauding their customers a compelling state interest?

RightOFLeft on January 31, 2012 at 4:20 PM

RanchTooth on January 31, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Right now religiously affiliated hospitals that receive federal funds are not legally required to offer abortion or sterlization services or contraceptives if it is contrary to its religion. And that applies even if the religious hospital is the only one in town.

Wethal on January 31, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Was he this quick to stop censoring the internet as well?

liberal4life on January 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM

You have a valid point. Rubio was for the PIPA(Senate bill) He only backed off by the pressure of the “blackout”. The Senate and the House are still working on this, trying to find a “consensus”

If you don’t stand for Freedom in one area, I’m not too impressed with any “selective” stands.

bluefox on January 31, 2012 at 4:21 PM

It’s strange to see all this concern about the “religious freedom” of bishops. What about the freedom of lunch ladies at Catholic schools, nurses at Catholic hospitals or other women employees to have the same access to family planning coverage as employees of secular institutions?

These women may or may not be Catholic. Even those women employees who self-identify as Catholic are bound to be among the 90-plus percentage of Catholic women who choose to ignore the pope’s strictures on contraception.

One can argue –as HA writers and commenters have done and will no doubt continue to do– that the principles of the “free market” should keep the Affordable Care Act from compelling ANY insurance provider to cover no-copay contraception. But I see no compelling moral argument that would account for discriminating against any employee just because the company’s owners’ religious beliefs.

Question for Tina Korbe: if a Muslim-owned charitable organization decreed that all its female employees must scarves while at work, would it be a violation of “religious freedom” for an employee to refuse to wear the scarf?

Drew Lowell on January 31, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Is preventing insurance providers from defrauding their customers a compelling state interest?

RightOFLeft on January 31, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Not when it conflicts with a First Amendment right. There is a rational relation test that it might pass, but when one examines First Amendment challenges, the burden is on the government to prove that it cannot achieve the goal it seeks in an alternative way that does not infringe on First Amendment liberty.

There are different levels of scrutiny, depending on the right being affected. When the First Amendment is involved, there is a eavy burden on the government to show why this law must prevail over a fundamental right.

Wethal on January 31, 2012 at 4:24 PM

The HHS is mandating that “all insurance providers cover the full range of FDA-approved drugs and devices.” Yes, there is a compelling state interest for that. Otherwise, insurance providers could concoct flimsy religious exceptions in their coverage as a cost-cutting tool.

RightOFLeft on January 31, 2012 at 4:20 PM

It’s not the insurance providers who would raise the religious exemption, it’s the religious institutions.

The religious institutions are just saying they want different kinds of policies offered, including ones that don’t conflict with their religious values. The carriers would just offer a variety of policies and coveraage, rater than Sebelius’ mandated.

Sebelius is saying the carriers cannot offer alternative coverage for religious institutions. She could allow alternatives, but she won’t.

Wethal on January 31, 2012 at 4:28 PM

It is the most transparently anti-Catholic maneuver by the federal government since the Blaine Amendment was proposed in 1875 — a measure designed to diminish public tolerance of Romanism, then regarded as foreign, authoritarian and illiberal

Wow, that sure was successful, considering the anti Catholic bigotry that still exists in the US today.

dukecitygirl on January 31, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Drew Lowell:

It’s strange to see all this concern about the “religious freedom” of bishops. What about the freedom of lunch ladies at Catholic schools, nurses at Catholic hospitals or other women employees to have the same access to family planning coverage as employees of secular institutions?

Please indicate the area of the Constitution that guarantees equal access to family planning coverage in your employer’s insurance?

They are also not discriminating against anyone, in any case. They do not offer ANY of their employees, male or female, contraceptive costs as part of their health insurance coverage. Please explain the discrimination accusation you give.

I find it interesting that you even paint ‘insurance coverage’ as something a company mandates their employees have.

Your views on this are quite backward.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 4:32 PM

think we need them to hold them accountable for more than how they vote on it. They need to be pressured to make Reid bring it to the floor.

neuquenguy on January 31, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Agreed, and I will be calling and emailing Sen. Casey to demand that he co-sponsor the bill and ask Harry Reid to bring it to a vote.

rockmom on January 31, 2012 at 4:34 PM

“The Americans delivered Obama to us. They need to live with the results.”
Yeah, that’s also a true statement.

Random on January 31, 2012 at 3:50 PM

I agree and this issue affects ALL Americans, not just the Catholics.

bluefox on January 31, 2012 at 4:34 PM

These women may or may not be Catholic. Even those women employees who self-identify as Catholic are bound to be among the 90-plus percentage of Catholic women who choose to ignore the pope’s strictures on contraception.

Drew Lowell on January 31, 2012 at 4:24 PM

First, let me clarify that it is not “the pope’s strictures on contraception”, it is the constant moral teaching of the church and a pope cannot change it. If catholic women and men chose to ignore it they do it at their own peril (they are free to live in a state of grave sin if they so chose). Second, these organizations cannot be part of providing free contraception because that puts them in a position of materially collaborating in the commission of a grave sin, so they do not have a choice here, they simply cannot do it.

neuquenguy on January 31, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Otherwise, insurance providers could concoct flimsy religious exceptions in their coverage as a cost-cutting tool.

God forbid insurance providers have some say over what they will provide to the public.

Is preventing insurance providers from defrauding their customers a compelling state interest?

RightOFLeft on January 31, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Seriously? Defrauding them of what, $10 – $20 bucks a month? Abortions and pregnancy are significantly more expensive to insure. This is a total straw man.

Esthier on January 31, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Drew Lowell on January 31, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Contraception is not very expensive, in fact it is available for free at most community clinics. It’s a canard to suggest that any working women “lack sufficient access” to contraceptives or that they cannot afford them or any other alternatives that are free. It’s reallllllly easy to not get pregnant if you don’t want to, and it doesn’t cost a dime to anyone.

This regulation is nothing but a blatant move to (a) buy votes of young, single women by promising them, “free” birth control, and (b) take a deliberate slap at the Catholic Church and continue the Democratic Party’s efforts to de-legitimize the Church as a positive force in society.

rockmom on January 31, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Agreed. And further, if we have to pass legislation to repeat the Constitution, then we are validating Obama and his interpretation that the Constitution means nothing.

Great point & true. Not very smart either. I would prefer to allow the Catholic Church and other Churches and Organizations apply pressure and have B.O. withdraw this E.O. & dictate that HHS has issued. Nice & clean and not trying to acknowledge that this is in any way Constitutional and only needs another bill. What legislation has been passed by this Congress that was FOR Liberty?

I’m not sold on Rubio by the way. Still evaluating him.

bluefox on January 31, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Not when it conflicts with a First Amendment right. *snip* Wethal on January 31, 2012 at 4:24 PM

The Supreme Court has ruled that exactly those kinds of conflicts be settled in the favor of compelling state interests. Since the law doesn’t even apply to Catholics specifically, but to insurance providers, the case is even stronger that the Obama administration hasn’t violated the constitution.

I’m not quoting the rest of your post because I don’t quite follow your argument, which is probably my own fault. I think there’s at least enough of a gray area that Korbe should be careful about making grand pronouncements like “an overt trampling of the right to free exercise of religion.” That’s not only inaccurate, it’s insulting to the religious minorities in this country whose religious freedom actually is threatened. For instance, employees of nominally religious organizations that might find their health care gutted without the new HHS requirement in place.

RightOFLeft on January 31, 2012 at 4:41 PM

bluefox: To me, Rubio is a Tea-drinking RINO.

He sounds good. He looks good. He doesn’t impress.

He was better than the alternative last election, but that doesn’t say much, and it certainly doesn’t say he’s good.

Scott H on January 31, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Also I am tired of the obfuscating argument that “90% of Catholic women use birth control.” So what? in fact, that argues AGAINST requiring all isnurance plans to cover it with no copays. If that many women are already paying for birth control, they don’t need insurance coverage for it at all.

Don’t people realize this is going to increase insurance premiums for everyone? I am no longer of childbearing age, so why should I pay more for my health insurance so that younger women can get free birth control? I never used oral contraceptives or IUDs because I tried them and did not like what they did to my body. I took some dumb chances, but that was my decision. After I was married I had two children exactly when I wanted to.

rockmom on January 31, 2012 at 4:44 PM

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