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