7 States Challenge Birth Control Mandate

It’s not just the Catholic Bishops seeking to challenge the Obama administration’s rule that employers that offer health insurance to their employees must also provide coverage for birth control unless they are a religiously-exempt organization.

Thursday seven states asked a federal judge to block the contraception mandate on the ground that it violates the First Amendment rights of groups that object to the use of contraceptives. The lawsuit, filed by Republican attorneys general from Nebraska, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas is the first legal challenge filed by the states.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning is leading the charge for the states and is sure to leverage this issue as part of his campaign for U.S. Senate. The Obama administration’s rule “forces of millions of Americans to choose between following religious convictions and complying with federal law.”

“We will not stand idly by while out constitutionally guaranteed liberties are discarded by an administration that has sworn to uphold them,” he said.
Well, there’s your stump speech.
The lawsuit claims the rule will force religious employers to drop insurance coverage which will raise enrollment in state Medicaid programs. This argument ignores the fact that many religious employers already offered contraceptive coverage available prior to the rule or that true religious employers are exempt from the mandate.
But Bruning, like most Republicans on this issue, isn’t afraid to let the facts get in the way of an opportunity to play the politics of professional ambition with women’s lives. The legal challenge here is thin, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise by now. Even Justice Scalia doesn’t believe that religious practices get to be exempt from laws of “general applicability” which is, in a nutshell, Bruning’s entire argument.

There’s also significant question whether the mandate violates the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a federal law that says any law that burdens religious exercise must only “incidentally burden” that exercise. Since religious non-profits can opt out of providing coverage and insurance companies cover the gap, it’s hard to see how the mandate is anything but an incidental burden on religious liberty.

Related Stories:

Idaho Republicans Push For No Insurance Coverage For Contraception

Bishops Declare War On Government. Is A SuperPAC Next?

Photo from brains the head via flickr.


Kristen H.
Kristen H.4 years ago

Please remember that flaming is not allowed on these boards and will be flagged as inappropriate.

Kristen H.
Kristen H.4 years ago

Fire the idiots. They are not doing the job they were hired to do. They're just wasting taxpayer time and money dreaming up new ways to confound real progress in this nation. Fire them.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin4 years ago

USA is NOT a christian state. Period. No religion have power over the people in the USA. We're not Iran. Yet.

LD B.4 years ago

Apparently Dent doesn't realize that Ra has well rebutted Dent's giving standing to those who would deny public secular services to others based on religious objections.

LD B.4 years ago

Obviously Darryl either doesn't understand Science, or choses to accept that which well comports with his desired conclusions and rejects the rest.

Evolution long ago ceased to be an hypothesis and became a demonstrable Theory - note the uppercase "T" - just as has been both t Special and General Theories of Relativity.

Apparently Darryl also hasn't gotten the word that it is only a minority of religious believers who reject evolution; or, that even Hebrew scholars acknowledge that the creation as described in Genesis is not literal, but allegorical. Those who claim to better understand the Torah than those who still employ it in its original form are arrogant fools.

Dent H.
Dent H.4 years ago

Nice post Ra, great topic!

Darryll Green
Darryll Green4 years ago

Apearintly Ra, doesn't understand the constitution, amendment 1 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. correct me if i'm wrong, but don't they teach evolution as fact, yet they haven't proven it, the first law of science is that an experment has to be repeatable with the same outcome everytime. the can't because the twist facts to suit them. so Ra, what is your comment to that

Ra Sc
Ra Sc4 years ago

Ah, apparently some people do not understand what the first amendment means. I understand, civics courses appear to be out of fashion with our education. The meaning of the first amendment is that there can be no laws that make special laws that affect religion - either positively or negatively. That is, there must be one law for all people, regardless of religion. This is meant to prohibit laws such as the idea that it is legal to say a prayer in one religion publicly, but not in another. If one religion is targeted as acceptable then all religions must be allowed to pray equally. If one religion is not allowed to be taught as correct in our public schools, then no religion may be taught as correct in our public schools. Any law that gives special privileges to some people because of their religion is a violation, just as any law that takes away someone's privileges because of their religion is a violation. No law may say that you are allowed to walk around freely unless you belong to one particular religion. That would be a violation of the first amendment.

There are numerous examples of people having to follow the law, regardless of their religion. The best analogy I have seen is that Quakers have to pay taxes that support wars, even though they are religiously opposed to war. They do not have to serve in active combat, but they do have to pay taxes to support the wars. I had moral objections to the Iraq war, but I did not have the right to opt out of paying my fair sha

LD B.4 years ago

Translation, you're in a logical bind of your own making; and, rather than admit such, you're going to attempt to deflect by way of ad hominem.

If it walks like a sophist, and talks like a sophist, ...

Dent H.
Dent H.4 years ago

LDB, I don’t have the time to sit at this thing like you 24-7. I'm still waiting to see if you ever have anything intelligent to say. I wonder how someone like you can take something so overtly rhetorical and spin it into something to bitch about. LDB you are an asshole! It is so easy to set back and chastise people when all you do is make up BS on the fly. Just once try to engage your brain before you run your mouth. All you want to do is fight with someone. It is the only way you can bolster your inflated ego I guess. Yea, me better and smarter and bla, bla bla. You are truly a legend in your own mind.

I get so sick of cowards like you. You cower behind your PC hiding from everyone you chastise. I know for a fact you don't have the stones to talk like that to someone's face or you would be seriously crippled or dead by now. Few people I have met in life would tolerate you. We are all entitled to our opinions without having some douche bag spewing disrespectful comments every time they post. I will give you one thing you are an equal opportunity hater. Sadly the Internet has given cowards like you a new way to bully others and stay safe. Now you go full tilt attack because that is what you live for, but that is your right as a citizen in the USA. So you do what you do and I will move on and do something fun, like chuckle at your lame attempts at being an Internet intellectual and tough guy.