Kane No Crutch for ObamaCare
July 30, 2012 - Monday
The Supreme Court may have botched its ruling on ObamaCare, but U.S. District Judge John Kane refused to. His Colorado courtroom became an historic site on Friday when the Judge issued the first injunction against the President's anti-conscience mandate. Because of the ruling, at least one family-owned business, Hercules Industries, won't feel the sting of Health and Human Services' (HHS) war on religious liberty when the order takes effect this Wednesday. Thanks to our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the Newland family has three months to take its lawsuit to the next level before the administration's mandate, requiring it to offer abortion pills, contraception, and sterilization to the company's 265 employees, takes effect.
As devout Catholics, the Newlands argued that they should have the freedom to operate their business according to their beliefs. Even the company's articles of incorporation make it clear that Hercules Industries would prioritize "religious, ethical, or moral standards" over profitability. That goal will become next to impossible on August 1st, when U.S. businesses (other than Hercules Industries) have to choose between their convictions and their livelihood. Judge John Kane rejected the administration's argument that an injunction harms its ability to improve health care, writing that those interests "are countered, and indeed outweighed by the public interest in the free exercise of religion."
In keeping with the President's support of the narrow freedom of worship, versus the freedom of religion, the government's attorneys argued that men and women who enter the marketplace must leave their faith behind. "As a for-profit, secular employer, Hercules cannot engage in an exercise of religion." I'm sure that would come as quite a shock to our founding fathers, who never envisioned a country where citizens would have to forfeit their beliefs as a condition of public enterprise. For now, Judge Kane's ruling gives the Newland family temporary protection from the administration's twisted logic.
Gov. Mitt Romney was one of many leaders cheering Judge Kane's decision. "Today's injunction preventing the federal government from forcing one family business from having to choose between keeping its doors open and violating its faith is a step in the right direction. But it is only a step, not the end of the struggle. We must ensure that the same freedom to live according to one's faith is available to all Americans."
While the ruling is a victory, it is limited to the Newland family--which underscores why Congress should act to protect every family. Conservatives like Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) have pushed for a vote but met nothing but resistance. "It's in the leadership's hands," the Pennsylvania Congressman said. Will they let the August 1st deadline come and go without a fight? Call them and ask. In the meantime, check out Ken Klukowski's op-ed on the Herculean win and what it means for the battle going forward.
Hens Forth, Chick-fil-A Has Law on Its Side
The controversy over Chick-fil-A is still sizzling, which has given more public officials the opportunity to say things they'll regret. In Philadelphia, one city councilman was incensed enough to offer a resolution condemning Chick-fil-A for beliefs that a majority of the country shares. He bragged about sending CEO Dan Cathy a letter that told him to "take a hike and take his intolerance with you." Then, in what can only be described as irony, he told reporters that he was determined to fight "hatred, bigotry, and discrimination."
Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray was a little more colorful, tweeting that he wouldn't support Chick-fil-A's "hate chicken" and warned that the company wouldn't be welcome in the nation's capital (where, interestingly enough, the documents protecting Cathy's rights to free speech are on public display). Liberal GOP Senator Scott Brown (Mass.) also entered the fray against Cathy but declined to resort to threats like San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, who announced that the closest Chick-fil-A to San Francisco is "40 miles away, and I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer."
Meanwhile, the overreaction of the Left is looking more desperate as a growing number of media and legal experts come to Chick-fil-A's defense. Even Time criticized the mayors' bullying as abuses of power. The common consensus is that if Chick-fil-A ever sued, these politicians wouldn't have a chicken leg to stand on! Until then, the intolerance of same-sex "marriage" activists is on full display--which, for many Americans, may be the first time they have seen just how intolerant and hate-filled homosexual activists can be. Let's hope this will be a wakeup call to the majority of Americans who thought the call for tolerance was genuine rather than a smoke screen for intimidation and government-forced acceptance. As Gov. Tim Pawlenty said over the weekend, "It's chilling... it's stunning, it's jaw-dropping. And so I think strong people who see this need to stand up and say, 'No, we don't do that in the United States.'"
Bakery Won't Sugar-Coat Marriage Views
If the Chick-fil-A firestorm has accomplished anything, it may have emboldened business owners who agree with Dan Cathy. As difficult as it's been for the popular franchise, Chick-fil-A has been an example of unshakable faith to proprietors like Jack Phillips. The owner of Colorado's Masterpiece Cake Shop says he isn't about to waver from his belief in marriage as the union of a man and woman--not even when a homosexual couple is trying to destroy his business for it. When two men visited his store looking for a wedding cake this summer, they said the meeting "only lasted a few seconds." Jack was kind--but firm--in his conviction that he would not bake for events he disagrees with. The local News Channel 5 reports Phillips as saying, "If the state won't recognize gay marriage, neither will [I]." Stunned, Dave Mullin and Charlie Craig took to Facebook, launching a campaign to force Phillips into submission.
The chances of that look slim. Jack says he feels so strongly about the issue that he'd be willing to sacrifice his business over it. "If it came to that point, we would close down the bakery before we would compromise our beliefs. That may be what it comes to... we'll see." Our hats go off to Jack and business owners like him who politely but firmly stand their ground when the bullies come calling. There is no appeasing the other side on marriage--and the sooner Americans learn that, the better.
Holy Land Wholly Important to Romney
At a time when America's commitment to Israel is being questioned by many, Governor Mitt Romney left no doubt about where he stands on that issue in his recent speech in Jerusalem. To begin with, he recognized Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, an issue that the current administration seems to be confused about. This speech could be a major policy statement from a man who could be the next President of the United States. Furthermore, the Governor spoke of the "moral imperative" for the U.S. to prevent Iran from following through on its malevolent intentions of destroying Israel. And finally, he was unequivocal in his priorities as he stated that preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon should be America's "....highest national security priority." The Governor was bold and passionate in his speech, making it clear that he understands the seriousness of the threat that Iran poses to Israel's security as well as to the security of America and the rest of the world.
** The FRC staff will be filling in for me the rest of this week, as I take a break from the Update to enjoy some father-son time. Enjoy these last few days of July, and I'll check back in on August 6!