Companies claim ACA infringes upon 'religious freedoms'
(WJLA) - It’s setting the stage for a supreme audience. On Monday, justices received written arguments from two companies, whose owners are claiming that the Affordable Care Act is infringing upon their religious freedoms – forcing them to provide four types of drugs or devices to terminate pregnancy or face $1.3 million a day in fines.
Lori Windham is an attorney for company Hobby Lobby.
"That's always a daunting thing to do," she says. "The Green family didn't want this fight, they didn't pick this fight, but they felt that they had no choice -- they were put between their faith and their livelihood."
The Green family points to a long list of companies and groups who have filed friendly briefs in support of their fight – roughly 3-to-1 – as a testament that the government must find ways to be more accommodating.
"It would be a very bad thing if the SCOTUS ruled you can restrict religious freedom when you go into business; it would have impacts well beyond the Green family and Hobby Lobby - -it could affect kosher butchers, halal food companies, religious publishers..." says Windham.
But the government calls it hypocrisy, stating in its own briefs that were the Supreme Court to side with Hobby Lobby, it would actually deny access to health benefits for thousands of employees who may not share the Greens’ religious beliefs.
So who is really imposing what? As these nine ultimately decide, millions will watch. Windham says:
"It comes down to a core religious freedom. Do you give up your religious freedom when you go to work? Can the government force you to do something that violates your faith?"