WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) joined a bipartisan coalition of 71 House members and 15 senators in filing an amicus curiae brief in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., a case in which the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the mandate in the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, that requires corporations to provide health insurance that covers contraceptives – even if those contraceptives violate the corporation owner’s religious beliefs. The brief argues that Congress has a long history of bipartisan efforts to defend against attacks on religious freedom, with the most notable example being the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA). Hobby Lobby and its owners should be protected from Obamacare’s infringing on their First Amendment rights by the RFRA, which states that the government “shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion.”
“Forcing an individual to provide employees with health coverage that offends their religious convictions is clearly unlawful under the First Amendment,” said Congressman Jones. “It is my hope that the court will recognize that the Obamacare law violates not only the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but one of our nation’s founding principles – the right to religious freedom.”
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. on March 25, 2014. Congressman Jones voted against Obamacare each time it was considered in the House, and he has cosponsored every bill aimed at repealing all or part of the law.
A copy of the brief is available at the link below.