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The Left’s New Plan to Gut Religious-Liberty Protections

In a flurry of pending court cases, liberals are arguing for a radical reinterpretation of the Constitution’s establishment clause.

On Tuesday, the New York Times ran an op-ed by Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse, “On Contraception, It’s Church Over State.” In her piece, Greenhouse bemoans the Trump administration’s recent decision to grant moral and religious objectors an exemption from Obamacare’s birth-control mandate:

The real point is that the Trump administration has outsourced a crucially important building block of national health care policy, enabling a fanatical fringe of the Republican base to exercise raw political power, clothed in religiosity under cover of the grandiloquently named Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That 1993 law, passed by overwhelming bipartisan majorities and signed by President Bill Clinton, is the object of growing buyer’s remorse on the part of liberal and moderate Americans — and should be.

Unfortunately, Greenhouse is correct that many liberal and moderate Americans now hold disdain for religious freedom, which was once widely regarded as one of our foremost freedoms. Indeed, religious liberty used to hold such bipartisan esteem in our country that when the Supreme Court curtailed the protections granted by the free-exercise clause of the Constitution, then-representative Charles Schumer sponsored that “grandiloquently named Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” or RFRA. The House passed the legislation in a voice vote and the Senate quickly followed suit, passing it by a margin of 97–3.

Conservatives are well aware of this shift in support for religious liberty, having seen recent attempts by states to pass analogous religious-freedom laws stalled or defeated. But there is a greater threat to religious liberty that, to date, has gone largely unnoticed: Liberal organizations are engaged in a concerted effort to strike down or limit religious accommodations by claiming that such laws violate the establishment clause of the Constitution.

Read more at National Review –

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