November 28, 2023

Constitutional Scholar Comments on Supreme Court’s Newest ObamaCare Case

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Washington, DC – With the U.S. Supreme Court set to address whether businesses can obtain a conscience exemption from ObamaCare’s contraception mandate, a constitutional scholar with the Project 21 black leadership network is “pleased” the Court is addressing a “fundamental principle of religious liberty” that the Obama Administration has turned into “a political wedge issue.”

In taking up the case, the justices are expected to decide on an issue that has divided the lower courts in the face of dozens of legal challenges from for-profit companies seeking ObamaCare exemptions based on constitutional protections of religious freedom. These lawsuits ask for the businesses to be spared from having to cover some or all forms of contraception, including abortifacients that effectively terminate unborn babies.

“I am pleased to see that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear this case,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, a former professor of constitutional law and former leadership staff member with the U.S. House of Representatives. “The Obama Administration clearly over-reached in this case. Being so fixated on maintaining a political wedge issue to frighten women voters in America, they were willing to trample on religious freedom in the process.”

This latest legal challenge to the President’s signature policy initiative comes from the consolidation of two of 40 similar cases.

One case involves Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., an Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain with 13,000 full-time employees. The owner of Hobby Lobby says he runs his business on Biblical principle and is opposed to the contraception mandate found in ObamaCare. Hobby Lobby won in lower courts. In the other case, the Mennonite-owned Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation lost on a similar religious challenge.

The cases will likely be argued in March of 2014, with a decision rendered by the end of June. Arguments will undoubtedly touch on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the previous Court ruling in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

Project 21’s Cooper added: “This case need never have gone forward if the White House would have simply accepted the counsel of people of faith both within and without the Obama Administration that its contraception mandate went too far. Just as the President refused to listen to those urging a go-slow approach on the ObamaCare web site and the overall roll-out, the Obama Administration pushed forward with disastrous and disruptive results for many Americans. Apparently, only the U.S. Supreme Court can force this White House to put the fundamental principle of religious liberty ahead of its dogmatic left-wing ideology.”

In 2012, Cooper authored a National Policy Analysis paper for the National Center for Public Policy Research about the unconstitutionality of ObamaCare’s contraception mandate. That paper can be found here.

During the last term of the U.S. Supreme Court, Project 21 was involved in the race preferences case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin and the voting rights case of Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder. It will also be involved with the re-hearing of the Fisher case at the lower court level. Project 21 legal experts and other members have discussed these cases in media interviews this year on MSNBC, Fox News Channel, HBO, Glenn Beck’s Blaze TV, the nationally-syndicated Jim Bohannon radio show, Florida Public Radio, the Christian Science Monitor and Reuters.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated .