2109 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), a veteran member of the House Judiciary Committee and one of the leaders in the fight for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993, released the following statement in response to today’s Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Wood cases and RFRA:
“Today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court is a defeat for women throughout our country and for the religious liberty that is enshrined in our Constitution. Bosses should not be able to make health care decisions about the reproductive choices of their employees. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was intended to be used as a shield, not a sword. No matter how sincerely held a religious belief might be, for-profit employers – like Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood – should not be allowed to wield their beliefs as a means of denying employees access to critical preventive health care services. 99% of all American women use birth control at some point in our lives. Their interests cannot be ignored and must not be cast aside.
“When we passed RFRA in 1993, we sought to restore – not expand – protection for religion. We kept in place the core principle that religion does not excuse for-profit businesses from complying with our laws. Religious belief did not excuse restaurants or hotels from following our civil rights laws in the 1960s or an Amish employer from paying into the Social Security system in the 1980s.
“Today’s ruling will unfortunately mean that for-profit companies will be free to impose their beliefs on others – their employees and patrons – who may not share their beliefs and who will be harmed as result. I am disappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court for today’s ruling. I still believe that these sort of discriminatory actions by for-profit companies are neither protected by RFRA nor the First Amendment.”