It's been a bad year for the Obama Administration at the U.S. Supreme Court. Just last week the Court released opinions striking down three of the President's recess appointments and nullifying a law that prevented pro-life protests in certain spaces around abortion clinics. On Monday, the Court handed down its long awaited decision in the Hobby Lobby case and ruled in favor of the company, 5-4.
In Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, Inc., Hobby Lobby and two other closely held for-profit corporations joined in suing the government on the grounds that the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act required the owners to violate their religious beliefs in providing these products to their employees. Hobby Lobby, et. al, were not seeking an exemption as to all forms of contraception, rather, just four types out of the 20 approved by the FDA. Notably, the government had already provided religion-based exemptions of this exact nature to certain non-profits, but argued that the exemption should not extend to for-profit corporations.
The plaintiff corporations sued under the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA) which required the Court to determine whether or not the government's contraceptive mandate "substantially burdened" an individual's exercise of religion; if so, the mandate could only be allowed to stand if it were shown to be the least restrictive, or narrowest, means to further a "compelling governmental interest." more >>
Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Hobby Lobby, an Alabama-based Catholic television network was given relief from the federal government's "preventive services" mandate.
Within hours of the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby Inc. on Monday, Eternal Word Television Network was granted relief from having to pay fines for refusing to comply with the HHS mandate to provide various birth control pills.
In addition to EWTN, five other groups based in Wyoming were given emergency relief. They were the Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne, Catholic Charities of Wyoming, St. Joseph's Children's Home, St. Anthony Tri-Parish Catholic School, and Wyoming Catholic College. more >>
President Barack Obama said that he will continue fighting for immigration reform on his own after House Republicans refused to vote on a bipartisan bill this year. House Speaker John Boehner, who has been urged by Christian groups to allow such a vote, has called Obama's decision "sad and disappointing."
"If Congress will not do their job, at least we can do ours," Obama said on Monday, according to The Associated Press.
Boehner, R-Ohio, said that he informed Obama last week that the House would not be taking up immigration legislation this year, for which he blamed the White House. more >>
The Obama administration has responded to Monday's Supreme Court decision to allow for-profit corporations with certain religious convictions like Hobby Lobby to opt-out of part of the "Obamacare" birth-control mandate, by arguing that it jeopardizes women's health.
"President [Barack] Obama believes that women should make personal health care decisions for themselves rather than their bosses deciding for them," White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.
"Today's decision jeopardizes the health of women who are employed by these companies. As millions of women know firsthand, contraception is often vital to their health and wellbeing. That's why the Affordable Care Act ensures that women have coverage for contraceptive care, along with other preventative care like vaccines and cancer screenings." more >>
Ed Klein's damning new book, Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas, claims that while she was in office, former U.S. Secretary of State and vaunted presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton fought with President Barack Obama over Benghazi and got physical with him at one point, forcing him to complain to First Lady Michelle Obama about it.
In salacious highlights from the book published by The Blaze Wednesday, Klein noted that Hillary was miffed over Obama's handling of the 2012 Benghazi attack and resisted his line on it.
"'[Hillary] was stunned when she heard the president talk about the Benghazi attack,' according to a member of her team of legal advisers who was interviewed for this book. 'Obama wanted her to say that the attack had been a spontaneous demonstration triggered by an obscure video. … Hillary told Obama, 'Mr. President, that story isn't credible; among other things, it ignores the fact that the attack occurred on 9/11.' But the president was adamant. He said, 'Hillary, I need you to put out a State Department release as soon as possible,'" noted an excerpt from the book. more >>
Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, met with Sudanese Ambassador to the United States Maowia Khalid on Wednesday to discuss the efforts to free Meriam Ibrahim, a Christian woman who was imprisoned due to allegations of apostasy. Ibrahim, whose husband is a U.S. citizen and who recently gave birth to their second child while in prison, was freed but then detained again at an airport in Sudan with her American husband when they tried to leave the country.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Perkins said that he felt the meeting at the embassy over the status of Ibrahim and her family went well.
"I met with him for about an hour. I think the ambassador is a very reasonable man, understands the issue here," said Perkins. more >>