Trump SCOTUS Win Protects Religious Liberty And Little Sisters Of The Poor

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By: Daniel John Sobieski

Reports of Trump’s SCOTUS picks failing to produce wins while Chief Justice John Roberts leads us straight to perdition by the chicken littles of the right apparently have been greatly exaggerated judging by the Supreme Court’s 7-2 supermajority decision upholding President Donald J. Trump’s executive order finally and totally freeing that group of charitable nuns known as the Little Sisters of the Poor from the atheistic deep state abortion and contraceptive mandate that came with ObamaCare. Not only is Trump’s conservative and originalist makeover of the federal judiciary proceeding apace, even at the highest level, but also it appears to be winning over the hearts and minds of those who were once hard-core liberal opponents. As Steven Ertelt at LifeSiteNews.Com reports:

The Supreme Court issued a ruling today upholding a pro-life order from President Donald Trump that protected the Little Sisters of the Poor from being forced to pay for abortion-causing drugs under their health insurance plan. Abortion advocates have spent years trying to force the Catholic nuns to fund the destruction of unborn babies in abortions.

Justices voted 7-2 to uphold the pro-life order from the president with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the four conservatives on the court along with liberal Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, both abortion advocates, dissented….

In Little Sisters of the Poor v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Sisters asked the Supreme Court to put a stop to Pennsylvania’s attempt to take away their hard-earned religious exemption from the HHS contraceptive mandate, and end their seven-year legal battle once and for all….

In 2017, pro-abortion attorneys general in Pennsylvania, California and several other states filed lawsuits to overturn new religious protections issued by the Trump administration. The new rules protect the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious employers from having to pay for birth control drugs and devices that may cause abortions in their employee health care plans.

The Little Sisters won an initial victory against the mandate in 2016 at the U.S. Supreme Court, but the new lawsuits pushed them back into court.

The Little Sisters of the Poor, and many Americans, didn’t quite get this assault on religious liberty by the Obama administration as part of its “fundamental transformation” of America. Neither did Sister Loraine Marie McGuire, Mother Provincial for the Little Sisters of the Poor, who said in a statement:

…now we find ourselves in a situation where the government is requiring us to include services in our religious health care plan that violate some of our deepest held religious beliefs as Little Sisters.

We don’t understand why the government is doing this when there is an easy solution that doesn’t involve us—it can provide these services on the exchanges.  It’s also hard to understand why the government is doing this when 1/3 of all Americans aren’t even covered by this mandate, and large corporations like Exxon, Visa, and Pepsi are fully exempt, yet the government threatens us with fines of 70 million dollars per year if we don’t comply.

The litigation filed by the Little Sisters of the Poor reflects the view that the religious liberty guaranteed by the First Amendment is not limited to one hour on a weekend but includes acting on one’s faith in our daily lives. That was the motive behind the suit by the owners of Hobby Lobby, lost by the Obama administration. As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized:

The Little Sisters contend ObamaCare not only violates the First Amendment’s religious guarantees, but also the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That requires the government to implement its policies in ways that do not impose an unnecessary burden on the free exercise of religion….

If the Little Sisters lose their case, they’ll either have to violate their religious conscience or face fines of around $2.5 million a year, or about 40% of what they beg for annually to care for the dying poor. Their ministry would be severely crippled, as would the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty.

The Obama administration’s hostility to the free exercise of religion was seen in the Hobby Lobby case in which the government argued that acting on your religious beliefs in your personal and business life was illegal. The courts ruled otherwise and in the Hobby Lobby case agreed that this was an attempted infringement of the free exercise of religion:

So do scores of Catholic and non-Catholic institutions and businesses who argue either that the way they run their private businesses is an extension of their faith or that a church, something the federal government seeks to redefine, is not something that happens one hour a week on a Sunday but 24/7 through the hospitals, schools, soup kitchens and charities they may operate. They argue that acting out their faith through their works should not be illegal.

After the Hobby Lobby loss, the Obama administration crafted an “opt-out” provision. Organizations could file a religious objection to the ObamaCare mandate being included in their insurance coverage using a form to authorize contraceptive coverage being provided for and paid for by others. To the Little Sisters, this was an unacceptable distinction without a difference. They would be condoning contraception even if not paying for it directly:

The case of the feisty nuns challenges a bizarre “accommodation” offered by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS). Under its proposal, the Little Sisters can fill out a government form that notes their objection but that also gives the government authority to have someone else provide that coverage.

After their case was heard before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in December of 2018, an attorney representing them made this observation, the Catholic News Agency reported:

“What the government has done, and it’s a strange thing to do, is say, ‘The only way we’ll accept our objection is if on the same piece of paper saying ‘I object’ you modify the plan to give someone else the authority to give out contraceptives on the plan,” Mark Rienzi, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said at a press conference following the oral arguments.

As the late Francis Cardinal George of Chicago, former head of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, once observed, President Obama’s idea of religious liberty differs little from Josef Stalin’s:

Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union,” Chicago’s Francis Cardinal George recently wrote.

“You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship — no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. We fought a long Cold War to defeat that vision of society.”

The Little Sisters of the Poor were once maligned by President Obama and lumped with those he called “less than loving Christians” at an Easter Prayer Breakfast, of all places. This victory by President Trump and a group of elderly Catholic nuns against the atheistic deep state hopefully ends their seven-year struggle for their constitutional rights.

Trump remains firmly committed to the U.S. Constitution, as written, to religious liberty and the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception to natural death. It is unfathomable to me how Joe Biden’s support of black genocide by Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood could hold sway among those touted suburban women and college-educated independents. Stop your whining and doomsaying, Trump doubters, and instead of throwing up your hands, roll up your sleeves and fight the good fight for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as Trump is.

Trump recently marched for life against Joe Biden’s party of death, becoming the first U.S. President to attend the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., a match he previously addressed via video, a march sure to be ignored by the lamestream media or downplayed as a gathering of white supremacists. It reflects his belief that every human life begins at conception and is a gift from God and reflects the fear, an unspoken motive for impeachment, that Trump will get to appoint more Supreme Court justices forming a majority to overturn the wrongly decided Roe V. Wade, another SCOTUS decision like Dred Scott which declared an entire class of people as less than human. As LifeSiteNews reported:

March for Life officials told LifeNews.com they were delighted President Trump is demonstrating his commitment to pro-life values by appearing in person –joining half a million or more Americans demonstrating their resolve to ending abortion.

Jeanne Mancini, President of March for Life, told LifeNews, “We are deeply honored to welcome President Trump to the 47th annual March for Life. He will be the first president in history to attend and we are so excited for him to experience in person how passionate our marchers are about life and protecting the unborn.”…

Last year, Trump told thousands of pro-life advocates at the March for Life that he plans to veto any bill that would promote abortion.

“Today I have signed a letter to Congress to make clear that if they send any legislation to my desk that weakens the protection of human life, I will issue a veto,” Trump said. “And we have the support to uphold those vetos.”

“We know that every life has meaning and that every life is worth protecting, as president I will always defend the first right in our Declaration of Independence, the right to life,” he said.

“As president, I will always defend the first right in our Declaration of Independence, the right to life,” Trump said in remarks recorded in the Oval Office, a right he said extended to “unborn children.”…

Trump has repeatedly called out the Democratic Party’s extreme position on abortion. During his state of the union address this year, Trump slammed the governors of New York and Virginia for promoting abortion up to birth and infanticide. He also called for Congress to pass a ban on late-term abortions on babies who are capable of feeling pain.

The media will no doubt minimize the crowd size and characterize it as part of a racist president’s war on women. Never mind that a disproportionate percentage of abortions are of black babies and that Planned Parenthood is arguably responsible for more black deaths than the KKK. Never mind that the Democrats make war on unborn women in their mother’s womb. Equal rights for unborn women, anyone?

Certainly, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is Catholic like Judas was an Apostle, won’t go for that and neither will her abortion-until-birth-and-even-after Democrats. As LifeSiteNews reported during a recent  abortion-funding battle:

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi blasted Catholics for fighting for the right not to perform or fund abortions, describing their abhorrence for supporting abortions as “this conscience thing,” in remarks to the Washington Post.      

Last month, during a debate in the House over a bill to stop abortion funding in the health care bill and to strengthen conscience rights on abortion, Pelosi had described the bill as “savage,” claiming that it would allow doctors to let women “die on the floor” because they could refuse to perform an abortion.

In her remarks to the Post, Pelosi, who says she is Catholic, defended her statements against the Protect Life Act. While some “may not like the language,’’ she said, “the truth is what I said.”

“They would” let women die on the floor, she said. “They would! Again, whatever their intention is, this is the effect.’’

“I’m a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it … but they have this conscience thing [about abortion],” added Pelosi.

Apparently this “conscience thing” may be invoked in the name of open borders, sanctuary cities and states coddling murderers of American citizens, and enforcing lawful deportation orders, but not when you are someone who believes life begins at conception and ends at natural death and not at the point of an abortionist’s scalpel.

Heaven, as some have suggested, is a place with high walls and extreme vetting. And, we are told, once you have been judged, you are cast out, uh, deported. There is a big gate, which could be called a “port of entry,” but you do not get to climb over it or sneak around it.

Yes, Nancy Pelosi has children, but according to her, she had the right to snuff out every one of their lives right up to the moment of birth, perhaps even after, as the Democrat governor of Virginia said he was fine with. You cannot serve the Catholic Church and Planned Parenthood:

Speaker Pelosi’s attempt at claiming the moral high ground here is the peak of hypocrisy from a career politician. Our individual faith and beliefs are our own forces to reckon with, but Speaker Pelosi is far from a shining example of a strict follower of the church’s teachings, especially given her spineless rhetoric on abortion as the issue moves to the center of the ideological divide.

As her party moves further to the left each day, especially on the issue of abortion, Speaker Pelosi has simultaneously remained silent while still claiming to be a moderate and a faithful Catholic. The mainstream Democratic Party, fueled by young progressives and far-left interest groups, has embraced unlimited, late-term abortion with open arms. The Speaker refuses to condemn the abhorrent abortion laws implemented in New York and Virginia, which both go even further than third-trimester abortions. She also turns a blind eye to the harmful rhetoric pushed by groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL, both of which provide substantial monetary donations to the Democratic Party, as they encourage American women to “shout their abortions.”

Roe V. Wade was decided in an era when you could argue that the fetus was a soulless clump of cells and get away with it. There was no ultrasound and, no way to monitor the fetal heartbeat, or even to perform fetal surgery. Premature babies are able to be saved at earlier and earlier dates. Should our right to life be determined by technology? What kind of right is that?

Viability was and still is a determining factor in limiting abortions. Many states have added restrictions on when abortions can be performed based on the ability of the unborn to save birth. As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized when Texas passed a late-term abortion ban, the humanity of the unborn was even grudgingly acknowledged by one of the majority justices in Roe V. Wade:

The 20-week benchmark wasn’t pulled out of a hat. The respected University of Utah expert Maureen Condic recently testified before Congress that at 20 weeks a fetus can feel pain and has “an increase in stress hormones in response to painful experiences” along with other reactions that “reflect a mature, bodywide response to pain.” It is her view that fetuses “deserve the benefit of the doubt regarding their experience of pain and protection from cruelty under the law.”…..

Thanks to medical science, the time it takes for a baby in the womb to become viable is shrinking. It’s been said that if the Supreme Court in 1973 had seen ultrasound pictures of the unborn, as is routinely done today, Roe v. Wade would have been decided quite differently.

Indeed, writing the majority opinion back then, Justice Harry Blackmun said: “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins.”

He also wrote that if the unborn life was proved to be a person, “the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed.”

We may be only one or two more Supreme Court justices away from the right of the unborn to life being guaranteed in law. When President Trump issued an executive order restoring the Mexico City policy on funding of organizations that provide abortions, we got a clear message on his view of the humanity of the unborn.  As The Hill reported:

President Trump on Monday reignited the war over abortion by signing an executive order blocking foreign aid or federal funding for international nongovernmental organizations that provide or “promote” abortions.

The so-called Mexico City policy, established by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1984, blocks federal funding for international family planning charities that provide abortions or actively promote the procedure….

I think the president, it’s no secret, has made it very clear that he’s a pro-life president,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his first briefing Monday afternoon.

“And I think the reinstatement of this policy is not just something that echoes that value, but respects tax payer funding as well, and ensures that we’re standing up not just for life of the unborn, but for also taxpayer funds that are being spent overseas to perform an action that is contrary to the values of this president.”

On the wall of the Jefferson Memorial are the words: “God who gave us life gave us liberty.” The two are inseparable. Slaves were once considered something less than human, as the unborn currently are. The Supreme Court, which gave us Roe V. wade, once gave us the Dred Scott decision. A Trump court may soon correct another gross injustice.

* Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

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