Constitution Expert: Obama Admin Argued Churches No Different than Bowling Clubs
A panel of constitutional experts appeared before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday to testify on the ways in which President Obama may have abused his constitutional power.
Regarding the issue of overreach of the constitutional authority of the office of president, committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) said, “The administration has repeatedly put its partisan agenda above the rule of law. In doing so, it has eroded the constitutional and legal foundation that have kept America prosperous and free for over 200 years.”
Lori Windham, senior counsel to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has filed lawsuits on behalf of religious organizations and groups against the Obama administration’s HHS contraception mandate, was a panel member. Windham testified that the administration’s decision to require, under penalty, religious organizations to provide free contraceptives, sterilization procedures, and abortion-inducing drugs to its employees through their health insurance plans was part of a longer tradition by Obama of dismissing religious matters.
During the case Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, heard by the Supreme Court, Windham observed, “I was not alone in my shock when the Obama administration’s lawyers opposed our position by arguing that churches are no different than bowling clubs, and that our First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom does not protect religious organizations.”
Though the high court ruled in favor of the religious organizations, Windham said a dangerous precedent had been set by the administration. “If the government can trample First Amendment freedoms, then none of our fundamental rights are secure,” she said.