The assault on religious liberty continued today at SCOTUS

The assault on religious liberty, indeed on the first two Amendments, continues today with another SCOTUS decision.

From LifeSite:

Just one day after issuing a major ruling striking down a portion of a pro-life law in Texas saving thousands of babies from abortion and closing unscrupulous abortion clinics, the Supreme Court has made a second anti-life decision.

Today, the nation’s highest court refused to hear an appeal from pro-life pharmacists in Washington state who are challenging a state law forcing them to sell the morning after pull and abortion-causing drugs that violate their conscience as Christians instead of allowing them to refer customers to nearby pharmacies.

A pro-life family that runs pharmacies in Washington State has been at the center of an epic battle over religious rights for years. In 2007, abortion activists convinced the Washington Board of Pharmacy to pass regulations that force pharmacists in the state to dispense abortion causing drugs. This caused a major dilemma for the Stormans family, owners of a third-generation pharmacy. Their religious convictions prevented them from selling drugs that destroy innocent human life. Yet the State insisted they do so.


Justice Samuel Alito, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas, dissented from the denial and would have agreed to hear the case. They wrote:

“This case is an ominous sign. At issue are Washington State regulations that are likely to make a pharmacist unemployable if he or she objects on religious grounds to dispensing certain prescription medications. [“unemployable” That’s indeed ominous.  “And he shall make all, both little and great, rich and poor, freemen and bondmen, to have a character in their right hand, or on their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, but he that hath the character, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”] There are strong reasons to doubt whether the regulations were adopted for—or that they actually serve—any legitimate purpose. And there is much evidence that the impetus for the adoption of the regulations was hostility to pharmacists whose religious beliefs regarding abortion and contraception are out of step with prevailing opinion in the State. Yet the Ninth Circuit held that the regulations do not violate the First Amendment, and this Court does not deem the case worthy of our time. If this is a sign of how religious liberty claims will be treated in the years ahead, those who value religious freedom have cause for great concern…. Ralph’s has raised more than ‘slight suspicion’ that the rules challenged here reflect antipathy toward religious beliefs that do not accord with the views of those holding the levers of government power. I would grant certiorari to ensure that Washington’s novel and concededly unnecessary burden on religious objectors does not trample on fundamental rights.”

Read the rest there.

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  1. Packrraat says:

    This is indeed more bad news. They WILL NOT stop at anything. They are adamant about silencing our voice, any voice that opposes theirs. So much for tolerance. Those who proclaimed tolerance are the most intolerant of all people.

  2. MWindsor says:

    In my youth, I swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic, and to bear true faith and allegience thereto. We never thought, 35 years ago, that the enemy would be domestic; that they would be our own government.

    I felt honor-bound by that oath even after I was no longer subject to UCMJ. But today there appears to be little means to defend a document that’s already viewed as dead by so many within a government that’s theoretically bound to act within its constraints. How do we bear true faith and allegience to the Constitution today?

    I feel like a foreigner in my own home.

  3. WVC says:

    As one wag put it, the Constitution is a Living Document. It’s name is Anthony Kennedy.

  4. Christopher Meier says:

    There’s that phrase again, “undue” or “unnecessary burden”.

    According to the modern-day Molochites inhabiting black robes in our courts, it is an “undue burden” to require that abortion mills be at least as clean as restaurants with A ratings, but it is not an undue burden to force people to choose between violating their consciences by participating in objectively evil acts or practicing their chosen profession.

    The column has tipped past its center of gravity. The fall is slow at present, but it is gaining speed. Now all we’re doing is waiting for the inevitable crash to earth. At least those of us that are looking can see which direction the column is tipping, and are moving out of the fall line as best we can.

  5. JesusFreak84 says:

    And one day, (hopefully from the Beatific Vision,) we will watch students read of “The Fall of America” the same way they and we read of “The Fall of Rome.”

  6. Mike says:

    As long as faithful Catholics, clerical and lay, allow themselves to be shamed into a posture of largely impotent tsk-tsking and a fortnight a year of hand-wringing, the tyranny will continue. To be sure, the cultural-Marxist stranglehold on the narrative needs to be exposed and discredited and its effects reversed, if such is still possible at this late hour. But at this point there may not be much that can alter the situation short of adopting a posture of active defiance, and preparing for its attendant consequences. (Naysayers, if you really believe what the Church teaches, then you’re smart enough to know it won’t get easier later.)

  7. pannw says:

    I feel like a character in The Lord of the Rings, wondering in amazement that I should live to see such times. It’s all happening very fast, isn’t it, really speeding up? I’m wondering if there is something to the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady’s warnings at Fatima and the 100 years of Pope Leo XIII (not to mention the removal of the prayer to St. Michael from Mass). My teenaged children laugh at me and roll their eyes because they think I’m hysterical and paranoid. It is very difficult raising children in this culture when history is warped and thrown out, even by the Supreme Court, the media distorts and hides the truth, too many shepherds in the Church downplay or reject the supernatural, and everyone around them is telling them their mother is a medieval superstitious lunatic and ‘bigot’. I do my best not to go full ‘endtimer’ on them, and try to just throw out the facts of things like Fatima, and Romans 1 without getting ‘preachy’ and predicting the ‘end of the world!’ etc… Because I have no idea if it is or if we just have a chastisement coming, but I don’t really care if they think I’m a religious nut case, as long as they recognize things as they get worse, because they have been warned. I pray they will start to see where the world is going and will follow the straight path that I try my best to show them. “Eyes on Jesus!” as my wonderful priest says. I pray that God will grant me the faith and strength to persevere, no matter how bad things get. Considering the nearly unimaginable evil that we, as a nation, have embraced, the Chastisement we have due should be spectacular. One look at the headlines on Drudge or Spiritdaily on any given day lately is like a checklist of ‘the signs of the times’. God help us.

  8. Joseph-Mary says:

    This is already me, a former pharmacist. I worked for some years with a conscience clause. And I worked in home health which was not unethical. When I moved, no one would hire me. There is a cost to following your conscience but absolutely this is what one must do in order to be a true disciple. Especially if a certain person is elected president, there will be NO religious freedom in years to come. Whether it is dispensing abortifacients, baking cakes for unlawful ‘marriage’ or whatever it may be….not wanting ‘diversity training’ or ‘sex ed’ for your little child in school…as Catholics we may well have to have it in mind that following Christ and His true teachings will not be comfortable. There will be a cost.

  9. The Masked Chicken says:

    How we got this way is a fascinating study in judicial history. Radiolab, the famous NPR podcast show, has started a spin-off called, More Perfect, which is examining historical topics about Scotus. A few weeks ago, they hit it out of the park with an episode about the most crucial case in the last sixty years, which few have heard of – Baker v. Carr. This 1962 case concerned whether re-districting of states for voting purposes was legal. It was this case that lead directly to the Scotus getting involved in politics. For 150 years prior, there was an unwritten understanding that they would not get involved. This case was so contentious that one Justice had a nervous breakdown and it virtually killed another. Because the Justice resigned before the case was decided (he was a moderate) President Kennedy could appoint a liberal to replace him and with liberal Earl Warren the Chief justice and a liberal Executive branch, the case was decided in favor of political activism and the Court never looked back,championing liberal cause after liberal cause using,or misusing, as Justice Thomas points out, the Due Process clause of the 14 the Amendment. This lead directly to Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade.

    In the 1950’s, most on Scotus were New Deal liberals, appointed by Roosevelt or Truman, but they felt constrained to not act politically by the unwritten code. After Baker v. Carr, all bets were off. We have our current mess because, as Mary said at Fatima, we did not deal with our underlying selfishness that led to two World Wars. The spirit of liberalism, coming from Germany, invaded every political body after both WWI and WWII. It is this principle of private judgment and a misunderstanding of the nature of civil rights (which should derive from Natural Law) that has lead to the mess we are in. Only a return to an impartial, non-personalist view of reality will save us – we desperately need a resurgence of Thomism and scholasticism, in general.

    Do give the Radiolab episode a listen. It is called, The Political Thicket, and may be found, here:

    Then, look up the Warren Court on Wikipedia and chase the links to read up on Due Process. You will be flabbergasted at the overreach of the concept. Liberalism rears its ugly head in prosperity and goes underground in poverty. The rise of an unbridled technology has made liberalism inevitable unless we learn to master ourselves with wisdom and become truly poor in spirit. I am afraid that for the better part of a century, however, the poor and the simple have been used to advance an agenda of lusts and sin. Well, the poor will have their day, if current politics is giving any hints, but first, there will be war, because we have not, yet, put down the human hunger for self-wants that are fighting against our better selves. The Old Man of sin must be slain, so that we can truly be free. If we will not fight that war from within ourselves and conquer, by grace, our own demons, then we shall, surely, fight it from without, man-against-man and there goes our illusion of peace.

    The Chicken

    P. S. Sorry for any spelling errors. Typing on a phone.

  10. steve51b31 says:

    I wonder when Zyklon B will be mandated by the 9th Circus ?

  11. SKAY says:

    A Harvard professor is celebrating the victory.

    “They WILL NOT stop at anything. They are adamant about silencing our voice, any voice that opposes theirs. So much for tolerance.”

    You are right Packrraat.

  12. Kerry says:

    On our 2.09 acres, we have too many ducks. Consequentially, more eggs that we can eat. Forty miles north is a small monastery of Discalced Carmelites to whom we give eggs. A voice I recognize from the readings she gives from behind the grate at the 7AM Latin mass, (Father C’s slightly Italianate Latin is beautiful) said on Sunday, “We love the eggs”. As we talked a bit about ducks, she asked if I had any drakes, as the Carmelites in Hague, ND, to whom, per the Emmons County paper wrote, “The sisters in Alexandria, SD donated the sisters”, need a drake or two. Hague, ND has a population of 71. The sisters’ “artist’s rendition” of their building looks very much like those coffee wrangling Carmelites in Wyoming. Recently the Catholic Church in Hague was restored by an outfit in St. Paul,MN, (Henning Church and Historical Restoration), who, in the last many years “Have restored some 1000 churches, many in North Dakota”. (Don’t miss seeing Hague’s restored church, lovely brickwork.)
    The above writing is the long way around the barn, but, one takes great encouragement and hope when small groups of Discalced Carmelites, (at the invitation of the Bishop, by the way) set about with great plans, depending solely upon “the Providence of God”. Perhaps other readers here can help either group of sisters; we are sending eggs and ducks.
    “Yea Lord, I believe, help my unbelief”.

  13. Semper Gumby says:

    MWindsor raises an interesting point about the oaths taken by military and federal personnel. Two observations:

    -The enlisted oath contains the phrase “…obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me…”. This phrase is not in the officer’s oath.

    -During 2013-14 there was a debate in the Dept. of Defense about removing or making optional the phrase “so help me God” from the end of both enlisted and officer oaths. I’m not sure where that debate stands now.

    The recurring anti-Christian hostility of the Executive and Judicial branches, and of numerous radical groups, is indeed ominous.

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