WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (Kan.) joined U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) and U.S. Representative Randy Forbes (Va.) to fight for Americans’ First Amendment rights by filing an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius. The amicus brief was co-signed by a bipartisan group of 15 Senators and 71 Representatives. The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear oral arguments on March 25, 2014, in two cases challenging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate.
“Since our nation’s earliest days, the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently affirmed our First Amendment right to exercise our religious beliefs freely,” Sen. Moran said. “This threat to religious liberty caused by federal government overreach should be of concern for all Americans – whether or not they ascribe to a particular faith. I urge the Supreme Court to protect the principle of religious liberty upon which our country was founded.”
The amicus brief lays out three arguments:
- Congress has a long tradition of protecting religious liberty – including that of groups – and there has traditionally been strong bipartisan support for such efforts;
- Congress enacted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to ensure broad protection of religious liberty, whether or not a specific religious exemption appears in a particular law; and
- The HHS regulations do not satisfy the high bar set by RFRA. RFRA’s requirements govern the Affordable Care Act like all other statutes that do not contain an express disclaimer. Both Hobby Lobby and its owners are protected by RFRA.