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Supreme Court still to rule on religious freedom for corporations and abortion clinic buffer zones
June 25, 2014 - Andrea Johnson
The Supreme Court told cops today to "get a warrant" if they want to look at someone's cell phone, but there are still some other cases that could have a major impact on the way we live our lives.
The cases that I find most interesting involve religious liberties for employers and free speech rights for anti-abortion protesters. Employees of the chain store Hobby Lobby could end up paying higher prices for prescription birth control if the Supreme Court rules that a requirement to fund health insurance that includes birth control coverage violates an employer's right to religious freedom. If the Supremes do side with employers, theoretically other employers with strong religious convictions could refuse to do things that the law now requires of them. The possibilities are probably as numerous as are the requirements of the world's many religions.
Women and employees entering abortion clinics stand to have a far more unpleasant experience if the Court rules as unconstitutional a Massachusetts law requiring protesters to keep back 35 feet from abortion clinics, but anti-abortion protesters would gain the right to try to influence those people from a closer vantage point.
Personally, I oppose a law granting corporations religious freedom but tend to side with those who favor limiting the abortion clinic buffer zone. There are probably other laws in place that would make it possible to charge anti-abortion protesters who get too far out of line.
How do you hope the Supreme Court will rule?
The Supreme Court struck down Massachusetts' abortion clinic buffer zone law this morning. The Supreme Court Justices said the law is too restrictive and the state can enforce law and order at the site using less restrictive means. Police would be able to prevent clinic patients from being harassed by using the state's other laws. The opinion can be found at: www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-1168_6k47.pdf
The Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of Hobby Lobby and in favor of religious freedom for corporations. The opinion can be found at www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/13-354_olp1.pdf
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