Human Events Blog

Hobby Lobby chooses between tyranny and ruin

Reuters reports that craft store Hobby Lobby has just about exhausted its hopes for rescue, as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor decided not to block the $1.3 million daily fine they will soon be expected to pay… unless they violate their religious conscience and submit to the tyranny of ObamaCare.

In an order issued on Wednesday, Sotomayor said two for-profit companies controlled by Oklahoma City billionaire David Green and his family did not qualify for an injunction while they challenge the requirement in court.

Hobby Lobby Stores Inc, an arts and crafts chain with more than 500 stores, and Mardel Inc, a chain of 35 Christian-themed bookstores, said it violated their religious beliefs to require that their group health plans cover treatments that could induce abortions.

They said they face possible fines of $1.3 million a day if they disobey the mandate, which takes effect on January 1.

Sotomayor, who hears emergency appeals from the 10th Circuit, said it was not “indisputably clear” that Hobby Lobby and Mardel deserved an injunction, noting that lower courts have been divided in similar cases on whether temporary relief is proper.

“Even without an injunction pending appeal, the applicants may continue their challenge to the regulations in the lower courts,” and following a final judgment ask the Supreme Court at that time to consider their appeal, she said.

So, by all means, you folks at Hobby Lobby can keep fighting for the religious liberty that was ratified in 1791 and taken away in 2009… provided you’re willing to pony up a million bucks a day, beginning this Tuesday.  It’s reminiscent of those EPA lawsuits where you can fight the sudden designation of your backyard as a wetland, as long as you don’t mind thirty thousand dollars in fines piling up every day as the cost of your defiance.  Submission is so much cheaper!  It frankly boggles the mind that you refuseniks would even contemplate resistance.  Maybe you need some government-subsidized mental counseling.

Hobby Lobby lost its appeal in the federal 10th Circuit Court last week, so its legal battle is headed for its inevitable climax in the Supreme Court… where Barack Obama’s former Solicitor General, along with the same Justice who just denied the injunction against the ObamaCare fines, will be waiting for them.  The Administration seems to have successfully assigned itself the power to determine which businesses are “religious” in nature, and therefore worthy of conscience exceptions.  The conscience of religious people who own “secular” companies, on the other hand, is judged insignificant against the “interests” of the State.

You know how the Constitution talks about “inalienable” rights?  Well, this is what it looks like when a “right” is alienable.  It becomes meaningless in practical terms, once the State decides to charge you a million dollars a day for exercising it.

As it happens, Hobby Lobby isn’t even completely opposed to the mandatory provision of contraceptives, which some other people find offensive to their religious faith.  CEO David Green explained in a statement that his objections lie with the “morning-after pill.”

“These abortion-causing drugs go against our faith, and our family is now being forced to choose between following the laws of the land that we love or maintaining the religious beliefs that have made our business successful and have supported our family and thousands of our employees and their families.  We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate,” wrote Green.  “By being required to make a choice between sacrificing our faith or paying millions of dollars in fines, we essentially must choose which poison pill to swallow.”

And if you decide to swallow this poison pill, Mr. Green, just wait until ObamaCare expands to cover things you find even more toxic!  You know it’s coming.  Alienable rights always grow more alienable over time, until we reach the collectivist utopia where no demand of the State or its clients is considered insane, but all resistance is.

 

 

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