Washington D.C., Jun 28, 2016 / 23:11 pm
The Supreme Court's refusal to hear a conscience rights case raised by pro-life pharmacy owners came with a stark warning from the three dissenting justices who voiced concerns about the future of religious liberty in the U.S.
"This case is an ominous sign," said Justice Samuel Alito. "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."
Justice Alito wrote a dissent – joined by Justice Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts – after the Supreme Court denied an appeal to hear a conscience rights case on June 28. The case challenged Washington state rules that required pharmacies to dispense abortion-causing drugs and prevented those who object to abortion from referring customers elsewhere.
Justice Alito said the rules could make a pharmacist unemployable if he or she has religious objections to dispensing certain prescriptions. Alito said there are "strong reasons" to doubt the regulations were adopted for a legitimate purpose.