Hobby Lobby Lawyer: Owners Not Trying to Force Beliefs on Others

Monday, 30 Jun 2014 01:32 PM

By Melissa Clyne

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The lawyer for arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby told Newsmax TV that her clients were not trying to dictate how others should live but just want to be afforded the basic right to practice their religious beliefs.

"It's not that they want to control what their employees do with their money, their time, or their medical decisions. It's just that they don't want to have to pay for it. And what the court found today in a very narrow and a very balanced decision was that, you know, the government in this case has a vast range of other ways to get contraceptives out," said Adele Keim, counsel at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented Hobby Lobby.

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The federal government spends $300 million annually to distribute free and low-cost contraceptives to women, so it doesn’t need to force Hobby Lobby or other similarly situated business owners to pay for it, Keim said on "America's Forum."

"They don’t need to force the Little Sisters of the Poor or Mother Angelica's Catholic TV network to pay for it, either, so I'm very hopeful that the administration will get the message and call off this war on them."

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling on Monday found that limited for-profit businesses can cite a religious exemption from an Obamacare mandate to provide healthcare coverage for contraceptives. In the court’s majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that Hobby Lobby’s religious freedoms would be "substantially burdened" by potential fines of up to $475 million for not complying with the mandate.

Liberal radio talk show host Ari Rabin-Havt characterized the high court’s decision as "an anti-contraceptive movement … that is dangerous to women."

"This will continue our point about conservatives and their policies toward women," he said on "America’s Forum." "I'm thankful that the decision was seemingly a narrowly tailored one, and the judges gave instructions in the decision saying, telling the Obama administration here's how you provide these women with birth control."

The evangelical Christian owners of Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby object to 4 of 16 contraceptive methods "that may cause the death of embryo," according to Keim. Providing insurance coverage for those contraceptives – such as the "morning after pill" – violates their religious beliefs.

Hobby Lobby teamed with Pennsylvania-based furniture maker Conestoga Wood, which is owned by Mennonite Christians.

The court made clear that the ruling "applies only to corporations that are under the control of just a few people in which there is no essential difference between the business and its owners," according to Fox News.

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