Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Wednesday,
Aug 27th
Home News National Mixed Jewish reaction to Hobby Lobby ruling

Mixed Jewish reaction to Hobby Lobby ruling

E-mail Print PDF

WASHINGTON — The US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that a privately held business may refuse to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives to employees.

Jewish groups had closely watched the case that Hobby Lobby, a crafts chain, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a cabinet maker, had brought against requirements in the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, because it is the president’s signature first-term legislation.

The act mandated extending contraceptives coverage to employees of private firms, although it had a range of exceptions for nonprofits and religious institutions. The owners of the two businesses, devout Christians, said mandating the provision of contraceptive coverage violated their religious freedoms.

Jewish groups lined up on both sides of the issue, with Orthodox groups likening the law to mandates overseas banning ritual slaughter and liberal Jewish groups saying its reversal would impinge on the rights of women and could set a precedent allowing employers to deny a range of services for religious beliefs, for instance blood transfusions and other medical interventions.

Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the decision delivered Monday, June 30, said the ruling would not apply to potentially life-saving interventions, including vaccinations and blood transfusion.

“This decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to hold that all insurance-coverage mandates, e.g., for vaccinations or blood transfusions, must necessarily fall if they conflict with an employer’s religious beliefs,” he wrote.

Jewish Women International said Monday’s decision coupled with a decision last week that disallowed buffer zones for protesters at abortion clinics “sent women’s rights backwards.

“This is about every woman’s right to life, to safety of body and mind, and to safety and access to health care. The Supreme Court has failed to protect the women of this country. We deserve better.”

The OU said the ruling balances government’s requirement to provide “valuable” services with Americans’ religious freedoms.

“The Court’s ruling stands for the proposition that — even when the government seeks to implement valuable policy goals — it must do so without trampling upon the conscientious beliefs of American citizens,” the umbrella body said in a statement, “especially, as is the case here, when there are many other ways to meet the policy goals without infringing on religious liberty.”

 

IJN e-Edition

This is only a taste! Get full access to the IJN via our e-Edition, only $14.04 for IJN Print subscribers.

E-Edition subscribers get access to a complete digital replica of the IJN, which includes all special sections.

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Palestinian indicted for assisting escape of accomplice in teen’s murder

Marcy Oster A Palestinian resident of eastern Jerusalem was indicted for assisting the escape of an alleged accomplice in the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens. ... [Link]

City hall in Sweden to play ‘Schindler’s List’ theme for neo-Nazis meeting

Marcy Oster The town hall of a Swedish city will play the theme from the Holocaust film “Schindler’s List” before and after a public meeting of a neo-Nazi party. ... [Link]

Cease-fire marks end to Israel’s longest, bloodiest war in Gaza

Ben Sales After 50 days of missiles, airstrikes, ground operations, tunnel incursions, truce talks, cease-fire proposals, death and destruction, Israel and Hamas agreed to an open-ended truce. ... [Link]

Kerry to Israel and Palestinians: Comply completely with cease-fire

Marcy Oster U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on Israel and the Palestinians to “fully and completely” comply with the terms of their latest cease-fire. ... [Link]

Using seismic vibrations, Israeli tech firm aims to detect Gaza tunnels

Ben Sales The Israeli defense firm Elpam Electronics says its system of sensors can detect underground activity and identify its location. ... [Link]

Employer-managed retirement funds ruled ineligible for Madoff restitution

Julie Wiener Individuals who lost money from employer-managed retirement funds invested with Bernard Madoff are not eligible to receive money from the liquidation of the Ponzi schemer’s firm. ... [Link]

Unraveling the mystery of a watery headstone

mbrodsky An unlikely find along a Long Island, N.Y., beach, sparks intrigue and a search for answers. ... [Link]

Yiddish tango links time, space and musical styles

Anthony Weiss Yiddish Tango Club is taking a music with deep roots and making it new again. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942
email@ijn.com • larry@ijn.com • lori@ijn.com