ERLC Files Amicus Brief in Support of Religious Freedom in U.S. Supreme Court Cases
WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 28, 2014—The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention filed an amicus brief today petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood and other family-owned businesses that have conscientious objections to a regulation that requires employers to provide abortion-causing drugs for their workers.
The brief, written by religious liberty scholar, Douglas Laycock, will apply to the cases, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius and will address the question whether the public meaning of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act covers for-profit corporations and their owners.
ERLC President Russell D. Moore, commented on the brief:
“The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission is proud to stand with a broad coalition of allies committed to religious liberty. Our participation in the Laycock brief signals our confidence that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was designed to protect everyone—including those operating businesses.
“We’re in this because religious liberty isn’t a government grant, but a human right grounded in the image of God. Our Baptist forefather John Leland wasn’t content to trust politicians with tyranny over the conscience. We are his sons and daughters and we will carry the banner of soul freedom to the Supreme Court and beyond.”
The ERLC joined the Christian Legal Society, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, World Vision, Inc. and other diverse organizations in filing for the brief.
On Oct. 21, 2013, the ERLC filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to review lower rulings on the Obama administration’s abortion/contraception mandate for the purpose of striking down the controversial rule.
For-profit companies are not currently exempt from the HHS Mandate. The Supreme Court will issue its decision before the end of the Summer 2014 term.
The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest non-Catholic denomination with more than 15.8 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Washington, D.C.
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