How would you like to be the attorney who is directed to sue the Little Sisters of the Poor? Not a fun assignment and it’s interesting that Obama’s Attorney General has chosen this particular organization as the opponent in the enforcement of the mandate for abortion and contraception coverage under ObamaCare. I think it illustrates the arrogance of this crowd, who want to roll back the principle of religious liberty that is firmly embedded in the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. It is an old objective of progressivism to want to dissolve the “little platoons” of voluntary organizations embodied in religious institutions that have been the backbone of social services since the founding in favor of government monopoly of delivery of these services and to have the state completely engulf the public square of community life.
The first sign of trouble in this administration came in 2009 when then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in narrowing the definition of religious liberty, spoke not of “religious freedom”, but of “freedom to worship” in describing U. S. human rights policy. This characterization of religious liberty and freedom of conscience is more like a privacy right, or something that one does for an hour on Sunday, as opposed to a life’s calling.
The administration is offering “accomodation” here and is saying that the nuns’ claims have no legal basis, but the Little Sisters are not buying it. Let’s hope they hang tough, because this issue reaches far beyond ObamaCare implementation and goes to the heart of one of the most fundamental rights in our Constitution.