01 Mar 2012 Senate Amendment to Protect Faith-Based Institutions from Intrusive ObamaCare Regulations “Protects Everyone,” Legal Expert Says
Washington, D.C. – Calling it a valuable safeguard of religious freedom in America, National Center for Public Policy Research Adjunct Fellow Horace Cooper says an amendment up for a vote in the Senate Thursday is necessary to protect the First Amendment against new regulatory mandates included in ObamaCare.
“Religious liberty is an individual right that applies to all Americans. There should never be a popularity contest or any other restriction on free people being able to exercise their faith,” said Cooper. “Forcing people to choose between honoring God or falling down to honor idols mandated by the government is fundamentally wrong and violates the First Amendment.”
On March 1, a vote is expected on a bipartisan amendment offered by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) to the highway bill (S. 1813) that would amend ObamaCare regulations to stop regulations from forcing church-supported soup kitchens, schools and other charities to provide coverage for contraception, sterilization procedures and early abortifacients to all employees as part of their insurance plans.
“The Blunt Amendment recognizes that the First Amendment protects everyone,” said Cooper. “Today’s majority view can easily become tomorrow’s minority. Freedom of conscience is precious and a right that all Americans must be vigilant to defend.”
Cooper, a legal commentator who taught constitutional law at George Mason University, is the author of the recently-released “The Birth Control Mandate is Unconstitutional” published by the National Center.
In his paper, Cooper notes that a unanimous decision of the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed relevant religious freedom protections only a few weeks ago in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. EEOC.
Cooper explains that religious schools, charities and health care providers will be forced to choose between the moral dictates of their conscience and creed, or following the President’s health care mandate-of-the-month. Such a choice is antithetical to the freedom of religion rooted in our constitutional tradition, and the fundamental protections of the First Amendment.
Cooper is also a spokesman for the Project 21 black leadership group. He was a senior counsel to U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey.
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.