Washington, D.C. — Black activists with the Project 21 black leadership network are cheering today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that frees employers with strong religious beliefs from being forced to pay exorbitant fines to practice their faith.
“Today, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the fundamental principle that government may not impose undue burdens on the free exercise of religion,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, a legal commentator who taught constitutional law at George Mason University and also served as a leadership staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives. “The Obama Administration clearly over-reached in this case. Being so fixated on maintaining a political wedge issue to frighten women voters in America, they were willing to trample on religious freedom in the process. Fortunately, through our system of checks and balances, today’s ruling has overcome this dogmatic left-wing effort by the White House.”
In the joined cases of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Burwell, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to respect the religious rights of employers.
Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties sought relief from ObamaCare under the auspices of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a protection signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993 that states that “[g]overnment shall not substantially burden a person’s expression of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.”
The companies involved in the case, whose owners are devout Christians, opposed only four of 20 forms of contraception the mandate required employers to offer to employees for free under ObamaCare because they believe these select few items “end human life after conception.” The Obama Administration was unwilling to compromise, even to the limited extent it had for religious institutions.
“Thankfully, the Supreme Court came down on the right side of the Constitution’s foundational guarantee of religious expression and liberty. The justices voted in favor of religious business owners having legal protections if they conscientiously object to providing access to life-ending services to their employees that violate sincerely-held beliefs,” said Project 21’s Derryck Green, a doctoral candidate in ministerial studies. “President Obama diligently persisted in the ideological fight to force those of strong beliefs to violate their faith. It indicates to me Obama’s own apparent deeply-held belief is in the power of government rather than, and at the expense of, submission and obedience to God. The Court was right to restrain such a dangerous cultural and political precedent.”
Project 21 has participated in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding race preferences and voting rights (including this term’s case of Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action) and defended voter ID laws at the United Nations. In 2014, Project 21 members have been interviewed or cited by the media over 800 times — including TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and 50,000-watt talk radio stations such as WBZ-Boston and KDKA-Pittsburgh — on issues that include civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, race preferences, education and corporate social responsibility. Its volunteer membership comes from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org)