WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments today in the case Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. The case challenges the mandate in the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, that requires businesses to provide health insurance that covers abortion-inducing drugs and devices – even if those medications and devices violate the business owner’s religious beliefs.
“Forcing an individual to provide employees with health coverage that violates their religious convictions is clearly unlawful under the First Amendment,” said Congressman Jones. “It is my hope that the Supreme Court will recognize that Obamacare violates not only current law passed by Congress but also one of our nation’s founding principles – the right to religious freedom.”
In January, Congressman Jones joined a bipartisan coalition of 71 House members and 15 senators in filing an amicus curiae brief in the case, arguing that Congress has a long history of defending 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.”
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.