Hobby Lobby Ally Invokes the ‘Chick-fil-A’ Defense

The 5-4 Supreme Court decision Monday was applauded by a wide swath of conservative politicians and groups.

National Journal
Matt Vasilogambros
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Matt Vasilogambros
June 30, 2014, 7:30 a.m.

As con­ser­vat­ives cel­eb­rated Hobby Lobby’s Su­preme Court vic­tory over Obama­care’s con­tra­cep­tion man­date, one group brought back a fa­mil­i­ar play­er in the battle over cor­por­a­tions’ re­li­gious ex­pres­sion: Chick-fil-A.

The Na­tion­al Cen­ter for Pub­lic Policy said in a state­ment the Court’s de­cision was “a vic­tory for free­dom,” and ref­er­enced the fast-food res­taur­ant to bol­ster its ar­gu­ment.

Chick-fil-A “for­goes sig­ni­fic­ant profit by clos­ing every Sunday for re­li­gious reas­ons, for ex­ample,” said Chair­man Amy Riden­our.  “If it were not pos­sible for a cor­por­a­tion to ex­er­cise re­li­gious be­liefs, Chik-Fil-A would be open on Sundays.”

Chick-fil-A’s prin­cip­al founder is a de­vout South­ern Baptist, and the res­taur­ant be­came the darling of the con­ser­vat­ive move­ment — and drew ire from the Left — after its CEO spoke out against leg­al­ized gay mar­riage.

The res­taur­ant ref­er­ence came among a chor­us of con­ser­vat­ive re­ac­tions to the 5-4 Su­preme Court rul­ing, which ex­empts cer­tain closely held com­pan­ies from the Af­ford­able Care Act’s con­tra­cep­tion man­date.

Re­pub­lic­an Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee Chair­man Re­ince Priebus:

This de­cision pro­tects the re­li­gious free­dom that is guar­an­teed to all Amer­ic­ans by the First Amend­ment, and we’re grate­ful the Court ruled on the side of liberty. The cent­ral is­sue of this case was wheth­er the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment can co­erce Amer­ic­ans to vi­ol­ate their deeply held re­li­gious be­liefs, and thank­fully the Court has up­held the prop­er lim­its on the gov­ern­ment’s power.

Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell, R-Ky.

Today’s Su­preme Court de­cision makes clear that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion can­not trample on the re­li­gious freedoms that Amer­ic­ans hold dear. Obama­care is the single worst piece of le­gis­la­tion to pass in the last 50 years, and I was glad to see the Su­preme Court agree that this par­tic­u­lar Obama­care man­date vi­ol­ates the Re­li­gious Free­dom Res­tor­a­tion Act (RFRA).

House Speak­er John Boehner

Today’s de­cision is a vic­tory for re­li­gious free­dom and an­oth­er de­feat for an ad­min­is­tra­tion that has re­peatedly crossed con­sti­tu­tion­al lines in pur­suit of its Big Gov­ern­ment ob­ject­ives.”¦ The pres­id­ent’s health care law re­mains an un­work­able mess and a drag on our eco­nomy.  We must re­peal it and en­act bet­ter solu­tions that start with lower­ing Amer­ic­ans’ health care costs.

Gov. Bobby Jin­dal, R-La.

The Court has made clear today that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s as­sault on re­li­gious free­dom in this case went too far — but this as­sault will not stop, in our courts, in our schools, and in the halls of power. It will take be­liev­ers who are will­ing to risk their for­tunes and pub­lic ri­dicule and the mod­ern slings and ar­rows to stand up for what’s right.

 Rep. Michele Bach­mann, R-Minn.

I am ex­tremely en­cour­aged by today’s Su­preme Court de­cision to up­hold the re­li­gious liberty rights of the Green fam­ily of Hobby Lobby. At its core, today’s de­cision was about the right of in­di­vidu­al and fam­ily busi­ness own­ers to be free from gov­ern­ment man­dates that force them to deny their sin­cerely-held re­li­gious be­liefs. Amer­ica was foun­ded on the prin­ciple of re­li­gious free­dom, and there is noth­ing more fun­da­ment­al than the First Amend­ment. This de­cision rep­res­ents a tre­mend­ous vic­tory for the ba­sic con­sti­tu­tion­al rights of every Amer­ic­an.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.

Today’s de­cision is a vic­tory for re­li­gious free­dom. Re­li­gious free­dom is one of our most ba­sic prin­ciples and the very first right men­tioned in the Bill of Rights. I am pleased that the Su­preme Court has re­jec­ted the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s at­tempt to lim­it this most fun­da­ment­al of Amer­ic­an liber­ties.

Fam­ily Re­search Coun­cil

The Su­preme Court has de­livered one of the most sig­ni­fic­ant vic­tor­ies for re­li­gious free­dom in our gen­er­a­tion. We are thank­ful the Su­preme Court agreed that the gov­ern­ment went too far by man­dat­ing that fam­ily busi­nesses own­ers must vi­ol­ate their con­sciences un­der threat of crip­pling fines.

In­de­pend­ent Law Cen­ter

This case isn’t simply about con­tra­cep­tion. In­stead, if gov­ern­ment could have forced Amer­ic­ans to vi­ol­ate their most deeply held con­vic­tions, no Amer­ic­an, whatever their con­vic­tions, would have been free.”

The In­de­pend­ent Wo­men’s For­um

The HHS man­date is bad policy. It comes with un­in­ten­ded con­sequences for wo­men and for pub­lic health. By re­mov­ing price com­pet­i­tion from birth con­trol mar­kets, the man­date would have driv­en up the cost of drugs for wo­men who re­main un­in­sured, and may have dis­cour­aged con­dom use among those who are in­sured. We are thank­ful that the Court ruled today that closely-held cor­por­a­tions will not be re­quired to fol­low this mis­guided policy. 

South­ern Evan­gel­ic­al Sem­in­ary

This is a land­mark case that will have his­tor­ic­al sig­ni­fic­ance for dec­ades to come, and Chris­ti­an busi­ness own­ers as well as oth­ers of all re­li­gious faith can feel se­cure that they can run their busi­nesses with their faith at the cen­ter of all de­cisions, rather than sep­ar­at­ing their faith from their busi­ness prac­tices and policies be­cause the gov­ern­ment tells them they must act counter to their core re­li­gious con­vic­tions.”

What We're Following See More »
Obama Commutes Another 98 Sentences
14 minutes ago

President Obama commuted the sentences of another 98 drug offenders on Thursday. Most of the convicts were charged with conspiracy to distribute drugs or possession with intent to distribute. Many of the sentences were commuted to expire next year, but some will run longer. Others are required to enroll in residential drug treatment as a condition of their release.

DOJ Busts More Than 50 for Call Center Scam
40 minutes ago

The Department of Justice announced today it's charged "61 individuals and entities for their alleged involvement in a transnational criminal organization that has victimized tens of thousands of persons in the United States through fraudulent schemes that have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. In connection with the scheme, 20 individuals were arrested today in the United States and 32 individuals and five call centers in India were charged for their alleged involvement. An additional U.S.-based defendant is currently in the custody of immigration authorities."

Johnson on Ballot Everywhere, Followed by Stein, McMullin
2 hours ago
Is McMullin Building the GOP in Exile?
4 hours ago

Evan McMullin, the independent conservative candidate who may win his home state of Utah, is quietly planning to turn his candidacy into a broader movement for principled conservatism. He tells BuzzFeed he's "skeptical" that the Republican party can reform itself "within a generation" and that the party's internal "disease" can't be cured via "the existing infrastructure.” The ex-CIA employee and Capitol Hill staffer says, “I have seen and worked with a lot of very courageous people in my time [but] I have seen a remarkable display of cowardice over the last couple of months in our leaders.” McMullin's team has assembled organizations in the 11 states where he's on the ballot, and adviser Rick Wilson says "there’s actually a very vibrant market for our message in the urban northeast and in parts of the south."

Clinton Up 9 in USA Today Poll; Up 3 According to Fox
4 hours ago

A new USA Today/Suffolk University poll finds Clinton leads Trump by 9 points nationwide, 47% to 38%. A Fox News national poll has Clinton up just three points, 44% to 41% over Trump.


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.