WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, a current member and former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a lead author of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, issued the following statement Tuesday after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on challenges to the Health and Human Services’ contraception mandate on the grounds that it violates RFRA:
Congress could not have been clearer in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that the religious liberty of all Americans, individually or collectively, must be equally protected. The Obama administration has admitted that they did not even consider the impact of Obamacare on religious liberty, and their arguments today in the Supreme Court showed that they still don’t care about it. But most Americans believe in both religious liberty and equal treatment, and I expect that the Supreme Court will uphold both principles in this case.
Sen. Hatch was the lead Republican sponsor of RFRA when it passed Congress in 1993 – by a 97-3 vote in the Senate, and unanimously in the House – and was signed into law by President Clinton. The law provides that the government may not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion unless it is the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling government purpose. In February 2013, Hatch led a group of Members of Congress in filing an amicus brief in support of Hobby Lobby’s rights under RFRA when the case was before U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, and led a second group in submitting a legal brief in the case currently before the Supreme Court.
Submitted by the Office of Sen. Orrin Hatch
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