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Chairman Goodlatte Statement on Religious Freedom Cases in the Supreme Court
Washington, D.C. - House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the following statement on the Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius religious freedom cases in the Supreme Court, which center around the government mandate that businesses provide insurance coverage that includes contraceptives that could end human life after conception, despite their religious beliefs.
Chairman Goodlatte: "Our nation's laws have long-protected the rights of people to freely exercise their religious beliefs and recognized their convictions as valuable and nonnegotiable. The Obamacare mandate at issue in the Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius cases in the Supreme Court signifies a growing willingness for federal bureaucrats and President Obama to blatantly disregard the consciences of people of faith.
"As an original co-sponsor of the broad, bipartisan Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), I filed an amicus brief with other original co-sponsors in support of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga earlier this year. The RFRA, an enacted law for over a decade, clearly provides free exercise protection in that the 'government shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion.' Corporations led by people of faith, such as Hobby Lobby and Conestoga, are included in this definition. However, Obama Administration officials at HHS ignored the requirements of RFRA.
"In Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court will determine whether the HHS mandate is consistent with RFRA or whether it is yet another example of the Obama Administration substituting its policy preferences for the requirements of the law. After hearing arguments from both parties yesterday, I hope the Supreme Court justices will affirm our nation's legacy of protecting religious freedom."