10 Feb 2012 Obama Compromise Infringement of the First Amendment Guarantee of Freedom of Religion is Still Unconstitutional, Experts Say
Washington, D.C. – Officials at the National Center for Public Policy Research are responding today to President Obama’s “compromise” infringement of the First Amendment guarantee of Freedom of Religion in the matter of the HHS “free” contraception/early abortifacient mandate.
Horace Cooper, author of the National Center paper “The Birth Control Mandate is Unconstitutional,” adjunct fellow at the National Center and a legal commentator who taught constitutional law at George Mason University in Virginia, said:
This isn’t a real compromise. Religious organizations will ultimately pay in higher premiums for the services their employees receive. And secondly even this exemption fails to accept that the government may not force citizens to choose between their faith or obeying the law regardless of where they work or who they employ.
Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center, said:
If this “compromise” First Amendment infringement were accepted, would it not be a huge hole in the tent through which HHS could then decide that the churches themselves must also provide this coverage?
As insurance companies would build the cost of “free” coverage into the pricing of the contraception/early abortifacient packages that would be offered alongside the other policies, under the compromise, wouldn’t the religious-affiliated institutions be paying for the contraception/early abortifacient coverage anyway, just indirectly? Isn’t the compromise just a big spin and an insult to churches, because it implies that they just want an “out” to permit them to pretend that they aren’t providing coverage they believe is immoral?
The HHS mandate is an unconstitutional infringement of the First Amendment. The compromise is, too.
President Obama noted in his announcement that “we live in a pluralistic society.” Too bad “pluralism” to him means my way or the highway.
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank with over 100,000 recent supporters. Contributions to it are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.