By Laura Ingraham
Late yesterday, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied an appeal to temporarily delay the Obamacare contraception mandate. It requires workers health benefit plans to cover the morning after pill and other emergency contraception.
In September, Hobby Lobby, it's a chain of more than 500 arts and crafts stores and its sister company of Christian themed book stores sued the government claiming that the HHS mandate violated the religious rights of the company's owners, the Green family. The Greens are Evangelical Christians.
The Oklahoma base company requested emergency relief from the emergency contraception mandate after a lower court denied their request for a religious exemption. The new rule goes in to effect on New Year's day. Although Sotomayor didn't rule on the merits of the case her refusal to grant a temporary stay of the HHS contraception in abortifacient rule is onerous.
So starting next week the company will either have to pay a daily fine of $1.3 million dollars or stop offering their employees' healthcare, or abide by the rule and violate their religious conscience. Now, it's worth noting that when she sat on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Sotomayor ruled in favor of the religious rights of a Muslim inmate who was denied a Ramadan meal in prison.
Now, she was asked about that case and the religious liberty issue at her confirmation hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SONIA SOTOMAYOR, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: It is a very important and central part of our democratic society that we do give freedom of religion, practice of religion, that the Constitution restricts the state from establishing a religion and that we have freedom of expression in speech as well. Those freedoms are central to our Constitution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: I agree and don't religious people who own companies also have religious rights? It turns out as many feared the President's religious exemption to the contraception mandate is so narrow as to be meaningless. Unless you employ and serve only those of your same religious faith you don't receive an exemption.
So under that standard, Jesus himself would not qualify. The Little Sisters of the Poor, a saintly order of nuns who give beautiful care and housing to our nation's indigent seniors have already warned that due to this Obamacare mandate they may have to shutter their homes all across the United States, which would be a tragedy. This is unconscionable and unconstitutional.
The President can and must step in to stop this madness.
And that's "The Memo."