Compilation of reactions to Supreme Court ruling in Hobby Lobby case by Florida politicians

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A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that some companies with religious objections can avoid the contraceptives requirement in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, the first time the high court has declared that businesses can hold religious views under federal law.

Here is a compilation of reactions to the ruling from Florida’s elected officials and politicians:

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio:

“A key part of the American Dream has always been the ability of our people to freely practice their faiths without government interference. ObamaCare’s mandates have threatened to change this and, in doing so, erode the American Dream as we know it and our people’s ability to live it. The Supreme Court has correctly recognized that ObamaCare’s trampling of religious liberty in the Hobby Lobby case should not stand.

“ObamaCare was written and passed with a clear disregard for the reality that millions of Americans are inspired by their faiths in all aspects of their lives, including the way entrepreneurs manage their businesses. In America, no one should be forced to violate their religious beliefs if they wish to run a business.

“The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision is a re-affirmation of America’s commitment to religious freedom and a reminder of why ObamaCare is such a flawed law that needs to be entirely repealed and replaced.”

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings:

“I believe that every woman should be able to make her own health care decisions. Unfortunately, the Court’s ruling has set a very dangerous precedent. We must continue to protect women’s rights in the face of these new threats to reproductive health services, and ensure that companies not be allowed to impose their views, religious or other, on their employees.”

U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross:

“The President’s health care law goes beyond overreaching.  The Supreme Court has ruled today that the agency tasked with implementing Obamacare can’t coerce family-owned businesses to violate core tenets of their religious faith. It’s a shame that the First Amendment’s protections for freedom of religion needed to be validated by the Supreme Court. Today’s decision was a victory for religious freedom and another example of why Obamacare must be replaced.”

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz:

“I am disappointed and deeply concerned by the Supreme Court’s decision today in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans have gained access to preventive services without out-of-pocket costs, including birth control. However, this decision takes money out of the pockets of women and their families and allows for-profit employers to deny access to certain health care benefits based on their personal beliefs. Nearly sixty percent of women who use birth control do so for more than just family planning.”

U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland:

“The Supreme Court’s ruling today is a victory for religious freedom and yet another blow to the President’s ill-conceived health care law. As a man of faith, I believe the American people should never be forced to choose between violating their religious beliefs or violating the law. While I am pleased the court stood strong on the side of liberty, the fight to protect our constitutional rights continues against an administration that’s proven all too willing to ignore them.”

Former Governor Charlie Crist:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision inserts an employer into a decision that women should be able to make without interference. And it will make healthcare more expensive and less available for Florida women. As bad as this decision is, if Rick Scott had his way, not only would contraception not be covered in Florida, but hundreds of thousands of women would lose their health insurance. Unlike Rick Scott, I trust women to make decisions about their health.”

CFO Jeff Atwater:

“Today’s decision represents more than just a narrow interpretation of prevailing law.  It reaffirms a fundamental truth of our great republic, that religious rights are of profound significance to Americans, and deserve at least the same level of protection as any of our founding principles.  I am gratified that the Supreme Court has chosen to uphold this cherished freedom, and not permitted over reaching government involvement in matters of personal faith.” 

Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant:
“Today, the Supreme Court took women’s rights backward, deciding that a woman’s boss can interfere in her most basic health care decisions. The fact is that access to affordable contraception is a basic right and a vitally important part of women’s health care — and is none of an employer’s business. It is unbelievable that in 2014 we are still fighting for women’s most basic rights, and that politicians like Rick Scott want to turn the clock back even further.”
ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon:
“We all have the right to our religious beliefs, but religious freedom does not mean the freedom to impose your beliefs on others or force others to conform to your beliefs. That is what today’s unfortunate ruling by the Supreme Court now allows. The court’s decision today was a huge step in the wrong direction, but the fight for women’s right to reproductive healthcare and against religion being used as a license to discriminate is far from over.”
2nd Vote’s Chris Walker:
“Today’s decision is a major victory for religious liberty in the U.S. 2nd Vote will continue to monitor the link between corporate activity and religious freedom as the repercussions of this case will continue to have ripple effects in the coming months.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.