Judge Kavanaugh Will Help the Church in the Battle for Religious Freedom
By Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life
7/11/2018 (1 week ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court could not have come at a better time for the Church in America. Religious leaders, including the USCCB, have been promoting the protection of religious freedom for quite some time now, and numerous dioceses and Catholic entities have been battling in court — including the Supreme Court — to defend that freedom. If the Kavanaugh nomination is confirmed, it will ensure a Supreme Court Justice that fights for our First Amendment rights. In short, it will ensure a Justice who protects our religious freedom.
We, at Priests for Life, know firsthand what it felt like to have our religious rights threatened by a government overreach in Obama’s HHS mandate. That mandate required that our Catholic prolife organization offer abortifacients and contraceptives in our healthcare package to our own employees. As our case made it up the ladder of the Court system, it eventually came before Judge Kavanaugh in the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.
Thankfully, because of Judge Kavanaugh’s approach to religious freedom, he sided with us, clearly and vigorously. Notably, Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and full-time associate with Priests for Life, was one of the petitioners in the Priests for Life case. The case was called Priests for Life v. HHS (2015). In it, Judge Kavanaugh expressed perfectly our position regarding why the Obama administration’s efforts to force us to violate our consciences by being complicit in providing abortifacient and contraceptive coverage to our employees was unconstitutional. Judge Kavanaugh found it ‘crystal clear that’ when the Government forces someone to take an action contrary to his or her sincere religious belief . . . the Government has substantially burdened the individual’s exercise of religion.”
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