Hobby Lobby Ally Invokes the 'Chick-fil-A' Defense

The 5-4 Supreme Court decision Monday was applauded by a wide swath of conservative politicians and groups.

National Journal

As conservatives celebrated Hobby Lobby's Supreme Court victory over Obamacare's contraception mandate, one group brought back a familiar player in the battle over corporations' religious expression: Chick-fil-A.

The National Center for Public Policy said in a statement the Court's decision was "a victory for freedom," and referenced the fast-food restaurant to bolster its argument.

Chick-fil-A "forgoes significant profit by closing every Sunday for religious reasons, for example," said Chairman Amy Ridenour.  "If it were not possible for a corporation to exercise religious beliefs, Chik-Fil-A would be open on Sundays."

Chick-fil-A's principal founder is a devout Southern Baptist, and the restaurant became the darling of the conservative movement — and drew ire from the Left — after its CEO spoke out against legalized gay marriage.

The restaurant reference came among a chorus of conservative reactions to the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling, which exempts certain closely held companies from the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus:

This decision protects the religious freedom that is guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment, and we're grateful the Court ruled on the side of liberty. The central issue of this case was whether the federal government can coerce Americans to violate their deeply held religious beliefs, and thankfully the Court has upheld the proper limits on the government's power.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Today's Supreme Court decision makes clear that the Obama administration cannot trample on the religious freedoms that Americans hold dear. 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).

House Speaker John Boehner

Today's decision is a victory for religious freedom and another defeat for an administration that has repeatedly crossed constitutional lines in pursuit of its Big Government objectives."¦ The president's health care law remains an unworkable mess and a drag on our economy.  We must repeal it and enact better solutions that start with lowering Americans' health care costs.

Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La.

The Court has made clear today that the Obama administration's assault on religious freedom in this case went too far — but this assault will not stop, in our courts, in our schools, and in the halls of power. It will take believers who are willing to risk their fortunes and public ridicule and the modern slings and arrows to stand up for what's right.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

I am extremely encouraged by today's Supreme Court decision to uphold the religious liberty rights of the Green family of Hobby Lobby. At its core, today's decision was about the right of individual and family business owners to be free from government mandates that force them to deny their sincerely-held religious beliefs. America was founded on the principle of religious freedom, and there is nothing more fundamental than the First Amendment. This decision represents a tremendous victory for the basic constitutional rights of every American.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.

Today's decision is a victory for religious freedom. Religious freedom is one of our most basic principles and the very first right mentioned in the Bill of Rights. I am pleased that the Supreme Court has rejected the Obama administration's attempt to limit this most fundamental of American liberties.

Family Research Council

The Supreme Court has delivered one of the most significant victories for religious freedom in our generation. We are thankful the Supreme Court agreed that the government went too far by mandating that family businesses owners must violate their consciences under threat of crippling fines.

Independent Law Center

This case isn't simply about contraception. Instead, if government could have forced Americans to violate their most deeply held convictions, no American, whatever their convictions, would have been free."

The Independent Women's Forum

The HHS mandate is bad policy. It comes with unintended consequences for women and for public health. By removing price competition from birth control markets, the mandate would have driven up the cost of drugs for women who remain uninsured, and may have discouraged condom use among those who are insured. We are thankful that the Court ruled today that closely-held corporations will not be required to follow this misguided policy. 

Southern Evangelical Seminary

This is a landmark case that will have historical significance for decades to come, and Christian business owners as well as others of all religious faith can feel secure that they can run their businesses with their faith at the center of all decisions, rather than separating their faith from their business practices and policies because the government tells them they must act counter to their core religious convictions."