Hobby Lobby decision affirms religious liberty

July 8, 2014 • Dear Editor

Jonathan Rauch had this take after the U.S. Supreme Court struck a blow for religious liberty with its Hobby Lobby decision last week.

“The bottom line is nobody should hyperventilate about this ruling,” said Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “It’s the beginning of a conversation about where to draw these lines, not the end of a conversation.”
We agree. This case is neither the disaster that the left has made it out to be nor the grand victory the right has claimed. It was not a First Amendment case but rather an opinion on a federal statute, which could be changed by Congress. The court reached a reasonable decision here that protected the religious freedom of a specific, narrow class of people while suggesting a way for the government to achieve its goal. While we do not share the beliefs of the Green and Hahn families, who brought the case, the right to freely practice religion is broad and firmly established. It is a founding principle of this republic. Maintaining such fundamental rights requires vigilance and vigorous protection. We share a concern forcefully expressed in Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent: There will be other claims under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the Login to read more

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