House GOP to propose religious-conscience protection bill today

posted at 9:21 am on March 5, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

In a little under an hour, three members of the House Republican caucus will announce a new legislative effort to undo the HHS contraception mandate’s infringement on freedom of religious practice, and prevent the next incursion as well.  The Catholic Association sent out a press release hailing the introduction of the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (HCCRA), which should face little opposition … at least in the House (via Frank Weathers):

House Representatives Diane Black (R-TN), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), and John Fleming, M.D. (R-LA) will hold a press conference tomorrow, Tuesday, March 5th at 10am EST in Rayburn House Office Building Room B-318 regarding the introduction of the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (HCCRA) that would protect Americans’ First Amendment rights and would stop the Obama Administration’s assault on religious freedom. HCCRA offers reprieve from ongoing violations of our First Amendment, including full exemption from the Obama Administration’s Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate and conscience protection for individuals and health care entities that refuse to provide, pay for, or refer patients to abortion providers because of their deeply-held, reasoned beliefs.

Under the health care coverage mandate issued on August 3, 2011, widely known as the HHS mandate, organizations and their managers are now facing potentially ruinous financial penalties for exercising their First Amendment rights, as protected by law. Hobby Lobby, a family business that was denied injunctive relief from the mandate and faces fines of up to $1.3 million dollars a day, unless its owners agree to fund potentially abortion-inducing drugs. If Hobby Lobby is forced to close its doors, some 25,000 jobs nationwide may disappear. The Obama Administration’s HHS mandate exemption only includes houses of worship and does not account for the thousands of religious and non-religious affiliated employers that find it a moral hazard to cover sterilization, contraception and potentially abortion-inducing drugs on their employer-based health insurance. Ultimately, the so-called “accommodation” does not protect anyone’s religious rights, because all companies and organizations will still be forced to provide insurance coverage that includes services which conflict with their religious convictions. The HCCRA would address this violation of our First Amendment rights by providing a full exemption for all those whose religious beliefs run counter to the Administration’s HHS mandate.

It’s not just about the HHS mandate on contraception, either.  The HCCRA would block efforts to force health-care providers with religious principles in opposition to abortion to participate in or facilitate such activities, too:

The HCCRA also protects institutions and individuals from forced or coerced participation in abortion. In recent years there have been several examples of nurses being told they must participate in abortions. There have also been efforts to require Catholic Hospitals to do abortions, and a Catholic social service provider was denied a grant to assist victims of human trafficking on the basis of their pro-life convictions. The HCCRA codifies and clarifies the appropriations provision known as the Hyde‐Weldon conscience clause. This is accomplished by adding the protections for health care entities that refuse to provide, pay for, or refer for abortion to the section of the Public Health Service Act known as the Coats Amendment. It also adds the option of judicial recourse for victims whose rights have been violated under the HCCRA, Coats, or the conscience clauses known as the Church amendments.

The true offense in the HHS mandate is the presumption that the government can define the free exercise of religion, which is expressly protected in the First Amendment.  The Obama administration thinks it can define religious exercise as only limited to worship activities within a church, temple, mosque, synagogue, meeting hall, etc.  Even its most recent “accommodation” on the mandate makes that assumption by granting certain “exemptions” to the mandate for non-profit groups affiliated with religious organizations.  It doesn’t recognize an individual right to express one’s faith or the First Amendment bar on infringing on individual exercise of religion, which is why the USCCB categorically rejected that latest condescension from the White House.

The HCCRA doesn’t quite dismantle that arrogance, but it will do the next-best thing, which is to prevent the White House from being able to impose it on others.  However, that’s only going to happen if the Senate passes the HCCRA and Barack Obama signs it.  That’s unlikely, especially in stand-alone form, although it might have a slightly better chance as an amendment on some legislation that Democrats really want.  The most effective method would be to attach it to the continuing resolution, but John Boehner has already said that the House will produce a “clean” bill for the CR, so that path is out.

We’ll see if the trio can find a good vehicle for a bill that deserves to win on its own merits, and whose inability to do so says much more about its opponents than it does about the bill itself.


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That sound you are about to hear will be liberal heads exploding.

D-fusit on March 5, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Thbis should get very interesting, to say the least.

kingsjester on March 5, 2013 at 9:32 AM

House GOP to propose religious-conscience protection bill today

And I thought the Constitution covered this.

Oh well.

Electrongod on March 5, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Barry and The Progs will oppose because it will set precedent that can hold beyond abortion, coughSSMcough…

budfox on March 5, 2013 at 9:33 AM

So many other conscience provisions I wish we’re included.
And we thought the constitution was clear enough.
Silly us.

pambi on March 5, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Good call on the house’s part.

Force a vote in the senate. It will never pass the senate but if it did then Bark has to actually vote other than present.

acyl72 on March 5, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Isn’t our religious conscience already protected by the constitution? There’s too much extra protection given to too many diverse groups nowadays that is already spelled out in our founding documents.

Kissmygrits on March 5, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Isn’t our religious conscience already protected by the constitution? There’s too much extra protection given to too many diverse groups nowadays that is already spelled out in our founding documents.

Kissmygrits on March 5, 2013 at 9:35 AM

I agree. So when parts of the government does not follow said documents, what can we do?

astonerii on March 5, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Let’s face it. Religious Freedom IS protected in our Constitution, which was written by Godly men. However, considering the rapid descent into socialism that our nation is experiencing, thanks to the Far Left ideology of our Chief Executive and the rest of his Administration, it will not do any harm to reinforce our existing right to worship our Creator and practice our faith, not just on Sunday morning as those in power seem to want us to, but 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

kingsjester on March 5, 2013 at 9:40 AM

May as well stomp and scream “I’ll hold my breath”.

Obama will never sign a bill that reduces his control over the individual. Ever. Mostly because the Senate will never send such a bill to him.

Whats next? A GOP bill that imposes a $10,000 tax on abortions?

BobMbx on March 5, 2013 at 9:42 AM

We’ll see if the trio can find a good vehicle for a bill that deserves to win on its own merits, and whose inability to do so says much more about its opponents than it does about the bill itself.

So sad that a bill that essentially upholds the religious freedom clause of our civil rights only has three sponsors. Every single member of the House GOP should be standing up in support of this effort.

As Ed Morrissey writes, the presumption that the rat-eared bastard and his administration gets to define what individual religious freedom means is beyond arrogant.

Happy Nomad on March 5, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Lets see. What if we allowed the many states the ability to impeach and dismiss with prejudice any government official from Presidential appointments to supreme court justices including House of Representatives and Senators based on actions against the constitution?

Then we would not need these extra carve outs of protection?

astonerii on March 5, 2013 at 9:43 AM

The most effective method would be to attach it to the continuing resolution, but John Boehner has already said that the House will produce a “clean” bill for the CR, so that path is out.

I am sure Boehner is just doing what Tip O’Neill or Nancy Pelosi would do if the situation was reversed….

Bruno Strozek on March 5, 2013 at 9:43 AM

So when parts of the government does not follow said documents, what can we do?

astonerii on March 5, 2013 at 9:40 AM

This administration put women parts ahead of the parts of the Constitution that precludes them from pandering to the greedy stupid women who only care about “women’s issues.”

Just shows you there really isn’t anybody on the left who cares about religious issues.

Happy Nomad on March 5, 2013 at 9:45 AM

The most effective method would be to attach it to the continuing resolution, but John Boehner has already said that the House will produce a “clean” bill for the CR, so that path is out.

Do what the enemy does all the time. Make declarations of wanting a clean bill but then lard it up with other stuff anyway. It isn’t disreputable when these are the rules that the enemy put into place.

Happy Nomad on March 5, 2013 at 9:48 AM

conscience protection for individuals and health care entities
Glad they didn’t forget individuals instead of just religious organizations.

Also, how is this different, in practice, from the RFRA?

cptacek on March 5, 2013 at 9:50 AM

The true offense in the HHS mandate is the presumption that the government can define the free exercise of religion, which is expressly protected in the First Amendment. The Obama administration thinks it can define religious exercise as only limited to worship activities within a church, temple, mosque, synagogue, meeting hall, etc.

When it cannot do so through the ballot box and through the normal mechanisms of representative government the fascist Orwellian Left routinely tries to get its way be redefining words and terms and pounding away at it through repetition.

Semi-automatic rifles become “assault weapons”.

Big government spending is “investment”.

Spending Medicare tax revenue on Obamacare “strengthens” Medicare.

Opposing Comrade O’s big government socialist spending policies, programs, and proposals is “racist”.

And so on and so forth.

farsighted on March 5, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Good call on the house’s part.

Force a vote in the senate. It will never pass the senate but if it did then Bark has to actually vote other than present.

acyl72 on March 5, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Reid won’t even pretend to consider it.

cptacek on March 5, 2013 at 9:50 AM

This administration put women parts ahead of the parts of the Constitution that precludes them from pandering to the greedy stupid women who only care about “women’s issues.”

Just shows you there really isn’t anybody on the left who cares about religious issues.

Happy Nomad on March 5, 2013 at 9:45 AM

All very true. But we have no power.
Too many Americans have abdicated their duty to vote for good government.
All three branches of government have chosen to collude in order to gather more power to the Federal Government.
The many states abdicated their duties to reign in the federal government, at least as far back is 1913 when they voted to allow popular vote for Senators and allow the federal government to directly tax the labor of their citizens as well as toss that whole apportionment concept out the window.

So, what power do we have to control the beast?

astonerii on March 5, 2013 at 9:52 AM

they are trying to play the Dems game, of getting the other side on record, voting against something so pure in name no one in their right mind could vote against it, ala the Violence against women act.

Poorly executed though. The name isn’t obvious enough. It should have been the Religious Freedom Act.

carson53 on March 5, 2013 at 9:55 AM

The true offense in the HHS mandate is the presumption that the government can define the free exercise of religion, which is expressly protected in the First Amendment.

Are religious institutions also Constitutionally guaranteed federal funding? Look if you want to suck off the government teat you have to follow government regulations. Period, end of story.

libfreeordie on March 5, 2013 at 9:55 AM

The bill is obviously biased because it offers no protection to atheists, or some other nonsense the Dems can devise to vote against it. Then Chrissy Matthews will fume and spittle spittle all over the TV cameras, with his face red full of self-righteous and Obama-adoring anger, claiming this is just another example of right-wing Christian thuggery that disenfranchises all the Jewish and Muslim people who voted for Obama.

Liam on March 5, 2013 at 9:58 AM

offense

jake-the-goose on March 5, 2013 at 9:59 AM

So when parts of the government does not follow said documents, what can we do?

astonerii on March 5, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Pass a law./

Are religious institutions also Constitutionally guaranteed federal funding? Look if you want to suck off the government teat you have to follow government regulations. Period, end of story.

libfreeordie on March 5, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Only if you count tax exemptions as “federal funding.” But then you’re getting into equal protection issues, and we haven’t had equal protection under the law in America since at least 1913.

gryphon202 on March 5, 2013 at 9:59 AM

The bill is obviously biased because it offers no protection to atheists, or some other nonsense the Dems can devise to vote against it. Then Chrissy Matthews will fume and spittle spittle all over the TV cameras, with his face red full of self-righteous and Obama-adoring anger, claiming this is just another example of right-wing Christian thuggery that disenfranchises all the Jewish and Muslim people who voted for Obama.

Liam on March 5, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Since it defends and individual’s freedom, that includes every religious choice, including atheism.

astonerii on March 5, 2013 at 10:00 AM

So, what power do we have to control the beast?

astonerii on March 5, 2013 at 9:52 AM

The same power that the colonists had in 1776.

gryphon202 on March 5, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Since it defends and individual’s freedom, that includes every religious choice, including atheism.

astonerii on March 5, 2013 at 10:00 AM

You know that, and I know that. The Dems won’t support this bill, and I can see them easily using ‘exclusions’ to justify their opposition. It’ll be sheer demagoguery that has no basis in truth.

Liam on March 5, 2013 at 10:02 AM

And I thought the Constitution covered this.

Oh well.

Electrongod on March 5, 2013 at 9:33 AM

This is the position we’re in, that he’s put us in: to propose bills that backfill in our basic rights, but never completely or without concession or corrupting legislative language. We are petitioning our government not for a redress of grievance but for restoration of our inalienable rights it robbed. And in this process the fine point and force of our outrage will be blunted in “debate” and then turned into slander against us by the Left and media. We shouldn’t be drawing up bills to get back what is ours but articles of impeachment for taking it away at all.

rrpjr on March 5, 2013 at 10:04 AM

King Barry and Her Highness of Health Care could not be reached for comment.

GarandFan on March 5, 2013 at 10:04 AM

The head moocher in the White House voted a number of times to kill babies that survived an abortion. Do you think that he or any other left wing baby killer has one? Me thinks their hearts and souls are very dark places.

crosshugger on March 5, 2013 at 10:06 AM

We shouldn’t be drawing up bills to get back what is ours but articles of impeachment for taking it away at all.

rrpjr on March 5, 2013 at 10:04 AM

+1000

Liam on March 5, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Force a vote in the senate. It will never pass the senate but if it did then Bark has to actually vote other than present.

acyl72 on March 5, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Pocket veto, anyone?

BobMbx on March 5, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Silly peasants – rights are for free people.

Midas on March 5, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Poorly executed though. The name isn’t obvious enough. It should have been the Religious Freedom Act.

carson53 on March 5, 2013 at 9:55 AM

There is one already named that, named Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed by voice vote in the House, 97-3 in the Senate, and signed by President Clinton, that even though was overturned with regards to states, is still in effect for Federal Law.

cptacek on March 5, 2013 at 10:23 AM

This bill just addresses the issues that rise from the ACA. What about the orphanages the homofascists closed when states “legalized” gay unions?

StubbleSpark on March 5, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Obama’s greatest victory and you think that he’ll tolerate signing it away in any amendment?

The faux messiah will never capitulate an inch in his battle with the real Messiah and His Church here on earth.

Don L on March 5, 2013 at 10:44 AM

This is but a GOP “photo-op” moment. The hypocrites hardly blinked when Sebilius dropped the diabolical nuke on God’s Church.

Don L on March 5, 2013 at 10:45 AM

And I thought the Constitution covered this.

Oh well.

Electrongod on March 5, 2013 at 9:33 AM

It does. Consider this enabling legislation — with teeth.

unclesmrgol on March 5, 2013 at 10:46 AM

And I thought the Constitution covered this.

Oh well.

Electrongod on March 5, 2013 at 9:33 AM

It does. Consider this enabling legislation — with teeth.

unclesmrgol on March 5, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Exactly, it’s one thing to ‘cover’ something, it’s quite another for that coverage to have any real oomph behind it. Currently there isn’t any, hence this proposal.

MelonCollie on March 5, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Hobby Lobby’s funded by the federal government? Who knew?

Oh, I forgot my scripture.

0bama 3:16. “You didn’t build that!”

CurtZHP on March 5, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Only if you count tax exemptions as “federal funding.” But then you’re getting into equal protection issues, and we haven’t had equal protection under the law in America since at least 1913.

gryphon202 on March 5, 2013 at 9:59 AM

In the socialist worldview all income and property is really owned by the state/collective (“you didn’t build that”). If the state/collective decides to let you keep more of “your income” because you are doing something the state/collective wants you to do or permits you to do then you are taking money from the state/collective and sucking at the state/collective tit. When the state/collective “lets” you keep more of “your income” it is “subsidizing” you.

Similarly, private property ownership rights are illusory and conditionally granted by the true owners, the state/collective. And they can be taken away at the whim of the state/collective.

This is how socialists think. Though they refuse to put it this way it is the essence of the attitude and it is how state/collective confiscation of income and personal property is justified and rationalized.

This is also how class warfare is fueled and how the socialists divide and conquer.

farsighted on March 5, 2013 at 10:51 AM

The bill is obviously biased because it offers no protection to atheists, or some other nonsense the Dems can devise to vote against it.

Liam on March 5, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Yeah, atheists are a pretty intolerant lot of perpetual victims. Because they don’t believe in God than any mention of a higher being by others is somehow offensive and a personal attack on their (non)belief.

Locally, an atheist group made the usual objection to opening town council meetings with a prayer by one of the local clergy on a rotating basis. Their solution, of course, was that these prayers were utterly offensive and should be banned immediately. You should have heard the sputtering when one of the protesters was asked about a solution where a moment of silence or non-prayer session was included into the rotation to recognize people like her while still respecting the beliefs of others. She was having none of that!

Happy Nomad on March 5, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Are religious institutions also Constitutionally guaranteed federal funding? Look if you want to suck off the government teat you have to follow government regulations. Period, end of story.

libfreeordie on March 5, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Liberals will never persecute religious institutions that refuse to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, right?

These organizations do what the federal government tries to do, only many times better.

And why should funding to Planned Parenthood be protected?

BuckeyeSam on March 5, 2013 at 11:01 AM

The most effective method would be to attach it to the continuing resolution, but John Boehner has already said that the House will produce a “clean” bill for the CR, so that path is out.

Do what the enemy does all the time. Make declarations of wanting a clean bill but then lard it up with other stuff anyway. It isn’t disreputable when these are the rules that the enemy put into place.

Happy Nomad on March 5, 2013 at 9:48 AM

You beat me to the punch. The hell with a “clean” bill. You know the Dems would do the same thing in a heartbeat.

PatriotGal2257 on March 5, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Are religious institutions also Constitutionally guaranteed federal funding? Look if you want to suck off the government teat you have to follow government regulations. Period, end of story.

libfreeordie on March 5, 2013 at 9:55 AM

You are nothing, if not a reliable mentally deficient cockroach.

Midas on March 5, 2013 at 11:18 AM

House GOP to propose religious-conscience protection bill today

And I thought the Constitution covered this.

Oh well.

Electrongod on March 5, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Your point was my understanding of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, too.

The attacks on our fundamental rights and freedoms from government intrusion go on unabated by the Left. They threaten free speech, religious practice, gun rights, property rights, etc.

When I was a youngster in school, albeit with a Catholic education, we learned that there were three legs to societal framework: the family, the church, and the state. The Left continue to attack and undermine the first two in order to give power to the last.

There is something wrong with granting Obysmalcare waivers to practicing Amish and Muslims (who view having insurance as a form of gambling just as they do the Western form of banking that gives interest for savings or charges interest for borrowing). There is not equal protection under such a coercive law.

onlineanalyst on March 5, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Look if you want to suck off the government teat you have to follow government regulations.

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume this doesn’t apply to illegal aliens.

CurtZHP on March 5, 2013 at 11:21 AM

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume this doesn’t apply to illegal aliens.

CurtZHP on March 5, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Or Democrat ‘mothers’ on welfare.

MelonCollie on March 5, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Or Democrat ‘mothers’ on welfare.

MelonCollie on March 5, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Hence the Left’s demolition of the family and marriage.

onlineanalyst on March 5, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Does anyone seriously think the Senate or the guy residing in the WH would ever pass this or any single piece of it, even if it’s stealthily attached to a blanket amnesty bill?

Come on people. The Senate and Prez would have the appearance of ‘losers’ when the Prez could have appeared as the ‘winner’ by making accommodations at any time since O care was passed. He’s had ample opportunity and he and they love looking beneficent and reasonable.

Abortion is the left’s golden calf. They want the practice of it ubiquitous through forcing it on everyone in any manner according to their dictates. They want control over how we think about abortion, how we think about access to abortion and how we think about those who oppose the entitlement and ‘rightness’ that they believe is abortion.

Passage of this bill or anything like it would be the loss of that control.

LetsBfrank on March 5, 2013 at 11:31 AM

I agree. So when parts of the government does not follow said documents, what can we do?

astonerii on March 5, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Tar and feathers or lampposts and hemp come to mind.

chemman on March 5, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Are religious institutions also Constitutionally guaranteed federal funding? Look if you want to suck off the government teat you have to follow government regulations. Period, end of story.

libfreeordie on March 5, 2013 at 9:55 AM

The stupidity is strong in this one.

chemman on March 5, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Are religious institutions also Constitutionally guaranteed federal funding? Look if you want to suck off the government teat you have to follow government regulations. Period, end of story.

libfreeordie on March 5, 2013 at 9:55 AM

They are guaranteed federal funding to the exact same extent that a non-religious institution doing work identical to the given mission would be. That’s part and parcel of the First Amendment.

Also, the reason religious institutions are not taxed in the same way as non-religious institutions is rooted in that same First Amendment. An organization whose mission is religious is shielded from taxes which might harm the organization.

As for “sucking off the Government teat”, my church distributes food to all comers (or, rather, people holding coupons given by the county). We receive surplus food, bag it, and give each bag to anyone who shows up with a coupon — no questions asked. Some of that surplus food comes from the Government, some from private parties. Now, should we as a result be required to offer contraception or abortions as well to those packing the food, even though they might not be Catholic — just because our mission here (feeding the poor) corresponds to one the Government also wants performed?

Again, it’s that pesky First Amendment, saying that the Government cannot put undue restrictions on the practice of one’s religion. Now, undue restrictions is kind of weaselly, but I would expect that a restriction which hasn’t been present for over 200 years, and which some Democrats who weren’t even elected think ought to be in place, certainly is, prima facie, undue. Obamacare was found Constitutional on the basis of the commerce clauses — for that was the only argument against it made by its foes the first time around. Now comes the First Amendment argument, and we shall see how that goes.

unclesmrgol on March 5, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Force a vote in the senate. It will never pass the senate but if it did then Bark has to actually vote other than present.
acyl72 on March 5, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Pocket veto, anyone?
BobMbx on March 5, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Exactomundo – if the bill gains traction and public support, the prez can get Harry to pass it less than 10 days before adjournment (summer break, etc?). Then the prez ‘forgets’ to sign it because he’s busy in Hawaii or something… POCKET VETO!

Marcola on March 5, 2013 at 12:36 PM

The Constitution does cover this but that doesn’t stop the Statists like King Obama now does it?

Dismantling the Protections of the Constitution at the State Level and the Federal Level.

Look what’s happening in MN…and What does other public resources mean?

That’s H.F. No. 826, which requires schools — including private schools that get any “public funds or other public resources” — to ban, among other things, “bullying” at school, defined as

use of one or a series of words, images, or actions, transmitted directly or indirectly between individuals or through technology, that a reasonable person knows or should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of interfering with the ability of an individual, including a student who observes the conduct, to participate in a safe and supportive learning environment. Examples of bullying may include, but are not limited to, conduct that:

1. places an individual in reasonable fear of harm to person or property, including through intimidation;
2. has a detrimental effect on the physical, social, or emotional health of a student;
3. interferes with a student’s educational performance or ability to participate in educational opportunities;
4. encourages the deliberate exclusion of a student from a school service, activity, or privilege;
5. creates or exacerbates a real or perceived imbalance of power between students;
6. violates the reasonable expectation of privacy of one or more individuals; or
7. relates to the actual or perceived race, ethnicity, color, creed, religion, national origin, immigration status, sex, age, marital status, familial status, socioeconomic status, physical appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, academic status, disability, or status with regard to public assistance, age, or any additional characteristic defined in chapter 363A of a person or of a person with whom that person associates, but the conduct does not rise to the level of harassment.

First, what does interfering with “the ability of an individual … to participate in a … supportive learning environment” mean, exactly? Say that students are talking over lunch about how a classmate committed a crime, cheated, said racist things, treated his girlfriend cruelly, or whatever else,, which causes people to feel hostile towards the classmate. That interferes with his ability “to participate in a … supportive learning environment.” Presumably that’s now forbidden, right?

Second, what on earth does “creat[ing] or exacerbat[ing] a real or perceived imbalance of power between students” mean? What kind of power? Social power? Financial power? Power within student-run institutions, such as clubs or businesses that students set up?…”

http://www.volokh.com/2013/03/04/minnesota-bill-to-ban-k-12-speech-that-denies-fellow-students-a-supportive-environment/

workingclass artist on March 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Are religious institutions also Constitutionally guaranteed federal funding? Look if you want to suck off the government teat you have to follow government regulations. Period, end of story.

libfreeordie on March 5, 2013 at 9:55 AM

1 in 6 Hospital Beds in this country are in Catholic Charity Hospitals.

Many of these service rural areas where they are the only medical service institution.

End of Story.

workingclass artist on March 5, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Does anyone seriously think the Senate or the guy residing in the WH would ever pass this or any single piece of it, even if it’s stealthily attached to a blanket amnesty bill?

Come on people. The Senate and Prez would have the appearance of ‘losers’ when the Prez could have appeared as the ‘winner’ by making accommodations at any time since O care was passed. He’s had ample opportunity and he and they love looking beneficent and reasonable.

Abortion is the left’s golden calf. They want the practice of it ubiquitous through forcing it on everyone in any manner according to their dictates. They want control over how we think about abortion, how we think about access to abortion and how we think about those who oppose the entitlement and ‘rightness’ that they believe is abortion.

Passage of this bill or anything like it would be the loss of that control.

LetsBfrank on March 5, 2013 at 11:31 AM

The case is heading to SCOTUS.

Whether this bill passes or not this issue will be a factor in both upcoming elections and cases headed to SCOTUS.

workingclass artist on March 5, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Freedom of Religion is guaranteed.

What the left is doing is under the table dismantling of our rights.

We shouldn’t need a bill to exempt anyone because of their beliefs, but since the left doesn’t ‘honour’ the Constitution and does everything it can to undermine it, we have to have new legislation to protect our protected rights.

Meanwhile, what else is going on elsewhere?

I am glad these R’s are taking this on…

I hope we win this one.

0bama cares nothing but about himself his agenda and who won/wins.

Scrumpy on March 5, 2013 at 1:10 PM

The case is heading to SCOTUS.

Whether this bill passes or not this issue will be a factor in both upcoming elections and cases headed to SCOTUS.

workingclass artist on March 5, 2013 at 1:02 PM

As it should. Back when life was more ‘normal’ I would not have worried. But given how SCOTUS ruled on O-Care, it’s safe to say a completely wacked decision might come from on high.

LetsBfrank on March 5, 2013 at 1:11 PM

House GOP to propose religious-conscience protection bill today

And I thought the Constitution covered this.

Oh well.

Electrongod on March 5, 2013 at 9:33 AM

My thought exactly.

Hasn’t this already been done? How many times does it take?

avagreen on March 5, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Are religious institutions also Constitutionally guaranteed federal funding? Look if you want to suck off the government teat you have to follow government regulations. Period, end of story. libfreeordie on March 5, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Huh, I’m just a lowly Christian who doesn’t suck on any govt teats, I just don’t want to pay for Sandra Fluke’s rubbers. Am I allowed not to do that? Pretty please?

Akzed on March 5, 2013 at 2:13 PM

The stupidity is strong in this one.

chemman on March 5, 2013 at 11:40 AM

I guess every forum needs a fool to provide entertainment, much like the medieval courts of olde.

avagreen on March 5, 2013 at 2:18 PM

AUL Files Seventh Brief Supporting First Amendment Freedom of Conscience

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest announced that AUL filed its seventh amicus curiae brief defending First Amendment Freedom of Conscience against the Obama Administration’s “HHS mandate,” which forces employers to provide insurance coverage for life-ending drugs and devices in violation of the employers’ consciences and religious beliefs…

Akzed on March 5, 2013 at 2:35 PM

However, that’s only going to happen if the Senate passes the HCCRA and Barack Obama signs it. That’s unlikely, especially in stand-alone form, although it might have a slightly better chance as an amendment on some legislation that Democrats really want.

I would like to outlaw the practice of mash-up legislation altogether.
Despite its “usefulness” in passing good (and bad) laws, it muddies the water of accountability, since it is not immediately transparent (especially to the not-politically-active-voters) as to which part of a multiple-subject bill a particular representative or senator is voting for or against.

AesopFan on March 5, 2013 at 3:22 PM

I just love that picture of Obama with that Benito Mussolini pose.

MCGIRV on March 5, 2013 at 3:22 PM