Supreme Court Backs Hobby Lobby in Contraceptive Mandate Challenge

WASHINGTON, D.C. (FOX News) - The Supreme Court ruled Monday that certain "closely held" for-profit businesses can cite religious objections in order to opt out of a requirement in President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law to provide free contraceptive coverage for their employees. 

The 5-4 decision was one of two final rulings to come down on Monday, as the justices wrapped up their work for the session. The other reined in the ability of unions to collect dues from home health care workers. 

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U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (News release) - “This nation was founded on the right to freely practice one’s religious convictions. Americans shouldn’t have to abandon those protections simply because they own a business. And yet, that is exactly what the Obama Administration tried to force on businesses like Hobby Lobby and Conestoga under this mandate. Thankfully, the Justices thought otherwise and preserved the right for business owners to object to overbearing government mandates that would violate their religious beliefs,” Boozman said. 

Boozman, a strong opponent of Obamacare, has long argued that the Obama Administration overstepped its authority by trying to force employers with religious objections to comply with a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate that runs counter to their beliefs.  

In October 2011, Boozman joined 27 other Senators in asking HHS to redraft the Required Health Plan Coverage Guidelines for Women's Preventative Service to make them consistent with the principles of respect for human life, individual liberties, and personal conscience. 

On February 8, 2012, Boozman requested HHS take immediate action to reverse that decision. Additionally, he cosponsored S. 1467, the "Respect for Human Rights of Conscience Act," and S. 2043, the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," in the 112th Congress, which would have protected freedom of conscience and prohibited the government from imposing mandates on religious employers. 

Earlier this year, Boozman and U.S. Representative Randy Forbes (R-VA) authored a joint op-ed in the National Review that argued the HHS mandate violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

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