By Ferdous Al-Faruque - 06/30/14 11:51 AM EDT
Republican lawmakers hailed Monday’s Supreme Court ruling that allows craft retailer Hobby Lobby to reject a federal contraception mandate as a major win for religious freedom.
The 5-4 decision undermines the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that companies offer contraceptive services to workers as part of their insurance coverage, stating companies cannot be compelled to offer their employees birth control if they object to the provisions on religious grounds.
Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzHouse approves funding for DC school voucher program Poll: Trump leads Indiana by 9 points Fiorina rips Boehner: He 'accomplished nothing' MORE (R-Texas) called the decision a “landmark victory.”
“The decision affirms that Americans, contrary to what the Obama Administration attempted to impose, have a right to live and work in accordance to their conscience and can’t be forced to surrender their religious freedom once they open a business,” the Texas junior senator said in a statement.
Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulCarter pledges probe of sex assault testimony Rand Paul wants to legalize cooperation Dem fears Iran nuke deal gives license to back Saudis MORE (R-Ky.) said Monday’s ruling means Americans won’t have to worry about “big government intervention and punishment,” for following their religious conscience.
"Our nation was founded on the principle of freedom, and with this decision, America will continue to serve as a safe haven for those looking to exercise religious liberty," he said in a statement.
Both senators are potential 2016 presidential contenders.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellOvernight Finance: House rejects financial adviser rule; Obama rebukes Sanders on big banks Senators roll out changes to criminal justice bill Sanders is most popular senator, according to constituent poll MORE (Ky.), who is facing a tough reelection campaign in November, also praised the Supreme Court for protecting corporations’ religious rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which he voted for in 1993.
“Obamacare is the single worst piece of legislation to pass in the last 50 years, and I was glad to see the Supreme Court agree that this particular Obamacare mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA),” he said in a press release.
The RFRA creates a test that can find religiously neutral laws unconstitutional if they impose religious burdens on people and thus violate their religious freedom under the First Amendment.