Obama’s surrogate in his attacks on Religious Liberty

This is Kathleen Sebelius, Pres. Obama’s surrogate at HHS, questioned on religious liberty.


I picked this up from Life News:

Sebelius Admits She’s Unaware of Top Religious Liberty Cases
by Jeanne Monahan

This morning in a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Education and Workforce Committee, HHS Secretary Sebelius was questioned by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on the topic of religious liberty. Specifically, Rep. Gowdy questioned Secretary Sebelius’ statement in her testimony indicating the careful consideration she undertook to “balance” religious liberty protections with preventive services in making the decision about the contraceptive mandate (which includes drugs that can cause abortions).

Rep. Gowdy asked the Secretary about the specifics of her “balance”. In doing so he explained three tests for legal balance, depending on the content and issues being weighed. He explained that because religious liberty is a fundamental right any decision that might violate it would require the strictest scrutiny.

Under oath, the nation’s HHS head stated that in making this decision and taking into consideration religious liberty issues, she relied on the expertise of HHS General Counsel. When questioned further about the counsel she received, the Secretary reported that guidance was provided entirely in discussion, and no legal memo was written on the topic. When asked further about her knowledge of the most significant cases related to religious liberty that have been decided by the Supreme Court, the Secretary responded that she was unaware/unfamiliar with these cases. It is a telling moment.

The full video is a must-see and just over five minutes:


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Dax says:

    The betting line for this match-up was Rep. Gowdy minus (-) 3o0 gazillion quadrillion.

    The gentleman from South Carolina covered the spread without breaking a sweat.


  2. disco says:

    Sebelius is full of crap. It’s patently obvious that either their sycophantic alleged catholic advisors just told them ‘no problem’ or they figured the bishops wouldn’t raise a stink as they have. Either way it’s clear that they thought that they were just going to ram this rule through and start funneling money to their friends at planned parenthood. Religious liberty be damned.

    It’s been discussed on this blog before how Obama has not a single advisor with the inclination or wherewithal to disagree with or challenge him in any meaningful way. The left has no use for a faithful Catholic who knows and lives his faith. Such a person would present reasoned arguments against such things as forced contraception, abortion even in cases of rape or incest, and homosexual “marriage”. We’ve seen it before how liberals are intolerant of dissent in a way that would make the supposed draconian hierarchy at the Vatican blush. They will go to the mattresses to uphold their dogma of death and be shocked and appalled, launching ad hominem attacks and professional retaliations whenever possible, when our bishops dare to stand up for our authentic Catholic faith.

  3. AnAmericanMother says:

    Take it from an old courthouse rat – she is lying through her teeth. Look at her face, especially when she repeats the questions. “No memo” is also probably a lie – she was saved by the bell on that point.
    She knew perfectly well that she was trampling on religious freedom. She doesn’t care. This hearing is merely an annoyance, a distasteful part of her job.
    I want to know if the censorious woman behind her (in the red dress), or the sad-looking man with the walrus moustache, is the general counsel. He at least had the grace to squirm a little and look down.
    These people have no conscience and no shame. They are extremely dangerous.

  4. Fuquay Steve says:

    Another thing that makes you go : ‘hmmmm…’.

  5. Scott W. says:

    Lying at worst. Protective stupidity at best.

  6. digdigby says:

    AnAmericanMother says:
    “Take it from an old courthouse rat – she is lying through her teeth.”

    Don’t be silly. She’s a Catholic and everyone knows that Catholics aren’t allowed to willfully lie, even for a ‘greater good’.

  7. AnAmericanMother says:

    Scott, you raise another possibility.
    Perhaps this is on the order of a religious belief in her part – and she simply can’t comprehend opposition to her belief? as a “true believer” in Moloch she sees herself as defending her faith?
    If she had been properly catechised in her youth, perhaps we would not be witnessing this shameful and degrading spectacle.

  8. traditionalorganist says:

    Has anyone else thought this?

    “Gowdy for President.”

    Don’t know much about him except that I saw him during the GSA hearing and he was awesome. He seems like a salt of the earth kind of congressman. I like that.

  9. robtbrown says:

    Of course, she’s lying. After Obama was elected, it was well known that she wanted the job at HHS. When Obama decided on Tom Daschle, she put out a statement that said that she realized her obligations lay as governor of Kansas. After Daschle was forced to withdraw his name, she realized that her previous realization was not correct, resigned, and headed to DC.

    Obamaco has revealed itself on this matter:

    1. It was willing to adopt policy that turned the US bishops, previously Obamacare supporters, into opponents. I don’t really think it was strategy to split US Catholics–there was already a divide. A simple rule is to avoid making enemies. It was simply an ideological gamble.

    2. It is about abortion, not contraception. Obamaco knows that if the govt can mandate that employers furnish health care covering contraception (which is more palatable to Americans than abortion), there is no reason that abortion could not be included.

    3. It all turns on Anthony Kennedy.

  10. PA mom says:

    Amazing. Razor sharp, he gets to the point. She could not care less if this is against the law, or against every law, everywhere. This is a personal vendetta against the Church, supported by a personal agenda of power, with loads of money going to her best friends (and ultimately back to herself) as a bonus. Does she act like someone who thinks that they answer to anyone?

  11. Jim Dorchak says:

    Mr Gowdy is a good man and I live in his district and have met him several times, but unfortunately he is a POLITICIAN.

  12. plemmen says:

    As a former con artist of long experience, I can tell you without fear of contradiction she is not only lying, peeved at having to lie or even be questioned (on her high horse) and fearful of being called out on specific challenges. Her manner, verbal pace, attempts at diverting the dialog to a tangent of her choosing and eye movement (if one uses a hi-res monitor and the full screen feature, you can slow down the speed and watch her pupils dilate when she is directly caught out). These are all “tells” to anyone who depended on reading a person to maintain his con (and his freedom) for many years. She is a lousy liar too …

  13. Julia says:

    As a retired lawyer, I have not seen such an incisive, informative take-down in a long time.
    He wasn’t even using notes. I wish this would be distributed far and wide so that people will understand what this “religious liberty” argument of the bishops is all about. Like the gentleman said it’s a legal issue and not just a policy issue. [I note that Sibelius cited “separation of church and state” which is not the language of the First Amendment.]

    Huzzah for Gowdy. The claim has always been that Durbin is the champion debater on the Hill. Perhaps Gowdy will be contesting that.

  14. keithp says:

    Wow. That as my teenager son would say “Owned!”

    No denying Gowdy had his questions and point well prepared ahead of time.

    This is just another case of “I was only following orders”. In her case, “I am not a lawyer. I was only doing what the passed law allowed me to do.”

  15. Theodore says:

    It’s inconceivable that a former state legislator and governor does not know the tests applied to a statute or regulation to pass constitutional scrutiny. How could she even take her oath of office to uphold the Constitution if she has no idea how it is to be applied. Nice takevdown by Rep Gowdy to provoke Sec Sebelius to lie under oath.

  16. Diane at Te Deum Laudamus says:

    Just as I went into Twitter I saw the Becket Fund tweeting it. That was absolutely hilarious. She really floundered around too.

    He was asking her 101 questions and she dismissed it by saying she didn’t want to “wade into Constitutional Law”.

    As I stated at my own blog, just think how much tax dollars have been lost over something that never should have happened in the first place.

  17. Clinton says:

    Secretary Sebelius asserts that there were no written memos from her legal staff, only
    ‘discussions’ regarding HHS legal rationalizations. I’d like to see her counsel make sworn
    statements regarding that– would they all be willing to put their heads in a noose for her?
    I say that because if the memos that almost certainly exist should turn up, her legal counsel
    would then face charges of perjury and probably be disbarred.

    I’m not sure which is more horrifying– the idea that such a mandate would actually be
    the product of some loose bull session without a detailed legal analysis and due diligence,
    or the notion that this administration has such contempt for us that it doesn’t mind
    pretending to be so irresponsible rather than let us see memos that reveal its actual agenda.

  18. Gaetano says:

    As a trial attorney, that’s one for the record books. About halfway through, he switched into cross-examination mode and began making statements that could only be answered with yes & no questions. Textbook cross-ex: Get the statement from the witness, lock in the statement, ask leading questions to state what you believe, get the witness to either agree or disagree with your statements then finish. Beautiful work.

  19. Laura98 says:

    So… what I’m getting from this, is that “it sounded good to her” on paper, she didn’t bother to check it with anyone except in passing on the elevator on the way to the copy room, and heck, that’s good enough. Obama signed off on it! So, yeah, I’m just following orders… er… instructions for a mandate on women’s health coverage. Yeah.

    Great video! Yes, there are a few decent politicians in Congress I think… though the longer they are there, the more likely they get influenced by the rest of the … er… mess.

  20. Samthe44 says:

    As we would say in my vernacular (teenagers in Canada [but I am a British immigrant to Canada]), Sebelius got ‘pwnd’ (pronounced ‘owned’ with a ‘p’ in front; it is a superlative of ‘ownd’ [‘owned’]).

  21. letchitsa1 says:

    Wow…clearly she feels the law should never get in the way of politics.

    I hope they bring her up on criminal charges for lying to Congress. It would serve her right.

    Anybody else have the thought that maybe part of her behavior is because she is angry that a white male “authoritarian” bishop dared to tell her she should not present herself for communion because of her stances on abortion and this is her way of “sticking it to the man”?

  22. letchitsa1 says:

    As I thought about this video and why it really bothered me, I think part of it is the huge disconnect between her testimony there and the oath she took when she was sworn in by President Obama on 1 May 2009. That oath, I believe, is worth considering.

    “I, Kathleen Sebelius, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that i will take this obligation freely without mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of which I am about to enter, so help me God.”

  23. Supertradmum says:

    Schizophrenia in Sebelius and like is caused by the separation of the soul from the body, the mind from conscience, and the personal, subjective, or individualistic, from the objective truth. She is dangerous, as are the millions of people who think like she does. Nothing matters except her own interpretation of the law, the Church, ethics, whatever. The spiritual division of such a person from even natural law has led our judicial system to the point of ruin. The Rule of Law has become whatever the Obama Administration, or any, for that matter, states it is.

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