Ted Cruz, Liberty Counsel file amicus briefs in Hobby Lobby case
posted at 12:24 pm on January 28, 2014 by Ed Morrissey
Rather than make this an update on my earlier post, let’s let this ride on top a bit instead. It’s not just Cruz in the Senate, but also John Cornyn, Mike Lee, and David Vitter who have signed onto an amicus brief on behalf of Hobby Lobby in their Supreme Court argument against the HHS contraception mandate:
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, joined by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Mike Lee, R-Utah, and David Vitter, R-La., filed an amicus brief today in support of the challenge by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties against Obamacare’s contraception mandate.
“The First Amendment guarantees every American the right to free exercise of religion,” said Sen. Cruz. “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.”
In the brief, the senators document the numerous ways in which the Obama Administration has unilaterally ignored the text of the law, while at the same time failing to protect Americans’ religious liberties.
“The various delays and exceptions that the Administration has announced all have one effect: exempting even more health care plans from the requirements of the ACA,” the brief says. “In each instance, the beneficiaries of these exemptions are the politically powerful and well-connected. The Administration, however, refuses to grant the same leniency to those for whom the contraception mandate violates their sincere religious beliefs.”
Specifically, the senators point to the Administration’s unilateral decision to delay the health insurance requirements, the cap on out-of-pocket costs, the expansion of the employer mandate penalty, and the granting of health subsidies to Members of Congress and Congressional staff as examples of how the Administration has ignored the text of the law.
“We will not stand by as President Obama continues to skirt the law, selectively enforcing Obamacare and hand-picking winners and losers to satisfy his political agenda,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I join in filing this brief to protect the rights of all Texans and all Americans to practice their religious beliefs without obstruction from the federal government.”
“The ability to practice the faith we choose is one of our great Constitutional rights. The Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate stomps on that right,” added Sen. Vitter.
Liberty Counsel has also filed an amicus brief in this case. The Becket Fund, which represents Hobby Lobby and a number of other clients against the HHS mandate, reports that the Supreme Court will receive more than 50 amicus briefs opposing the mandate and urging the court to invalidate it:
At midnight tonight over 50 briefs will be filed in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Hobby Lobby Stores and the Green family, supporting their challenge to the HHS mandate. The Becket Fund represents Hobby Lobby and the Greens and is the leading resource on all HHS mandate cases.
The Becket Fund will continue to update its website as the briefs are filed. As of 11:00am today:
Three Congressional briefs will be filed by members of Congress from both parties.
- 107 members of the House and Senate asked the Supreme Court to protect the Greens’ religious freedom.
- Fifteen original signers of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act submitted a bicameral brief arguing that the civil-rights law at the core of the case was intended protect the religious exercise of business owners like the Green family.
- More than 85* members of the House and Senate joined a bipartisan brief asking the Court to protect religious freedom.
- The signers are both Republicans and Democrats, men and women, and represent 34 states.
Twenty states filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to protect Hobby Lobby.
It’s going to be a fun case to watch.