“This is a major step for the Greens and their family businesses in an important fight for Americans’ religious liberty,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents Hobby Lobby.
“We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will clarify once and for all that religious freedom in our country should be protected for family business owners like the Greens.”
Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, also welcomed the court’s decision, saying that it “highlights the importance of this conflict between the federal government and people seeking to practice their faith in daily life.”
“We pray that the Supreme Court will find that the Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protect everyone’s right to religious freedom,” he continued, voicing gratitude for the “courageous actions” of those who are fighting for religious liberty in courts.
At their fall assembly earlier this month, the U.S. bishops unanimously reaffirmed their opposition to the contraceptive mandate and their commitment to religious freedom.
“The owners of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties are fighting for the most basic right to run their business according to their religious beliefs,” commented Ashley McGuire, senior fellow with The Catholic Association, a group that seeks to bring a faithful Catholic voice to the public square.
“They stand for the 200 and counting plaintiffs who should not have to choose between their faith or crippling fines,” she continued in a statement, charging that the “mandate is an egregious violation of religious freedom.”
The American Religious Freedom Program, part of the Washington, D.C.-based Ethics and Public Policy Center, argued that the mandate “fails” established legal tests protecting religious freedom in federal law, because it “picks and chooses whose religious civil rights and liberties it will protect.”
“By choosing to consider a challenge to this mandate,” the organization said in a statement, “the Supreme Court may now take a major step toward preserving America's exemplary tradition of religious freedom.”
“We are confident that the Court will ultimately decide to preserve the robust religious rights and liberties upon which this great nation was founded.”