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  • VIDEO: Rep. Gowdy's Religious Liberty Lesson for Secretary Sebelius

    Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made yet another embarrassing admission about the lack of constitutional analysis that went into the HHS anti-conscience mandate on Thursday.

    At a full committee hearing of the House Education and Workforce Committee Secretary Sebelius was repeatedly questioned by Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) on whether she had consulted Supreme Court precedent or any official legal memo before publishing a rule that burdens religious liberty of employers. Under the mandate, almost all employers are forced to provide and pay for coverage of abortion-inducing drugs and contraception — regardless of any moral or religious objections to such services.

    Referring to Secretary Sebelius’ statement earlier this year that promised an accommodation that “strikes an appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services,” Rep. Gowdy sharply questioned the Secretary’s understanding of a constitutionally permissible “balance.”

    “There are only three balancing tests that I am aware of when it comes to matters of constitutional significance. There is the rational basis balancing test for economic legislation, there is the intermediate or mid-level scrutiny for gender-related constitutional issues and then there is the heightened or strict scrutiny when fundamental rights are involved. And given the fact that I am sure you can see that religious liberty is a fundamental right, which of those three constitutional balancing tests were you making reference to when you said you balanced things?”

    Secretary Sebelius, claiming ignorance of “nuances of the constitutional balancing tests,” was unable to provide answer.

    Nor could the Secretary answer that she had relied on an official legal memo. As she previously admitted to Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) at an Senate hearing a few weeks ago, it seems the Secretary did not even enlist the legal advise of the Department of Justice on whether it is constitutional to force religious employers to subsidize abortion and contraception services against their moral or religious beliefs.

    The inability to adequately defend legal reasoning behind the HHS mandate does not bode well for the Secretary. There are currently seven lawsuits filed against Secretary Sebelius and other applicable department heads by organizations and businesses that are placed in an untenable situation by the mandate. Forced to either discard their deeply held beliefs or cease providing health insurance to their employees – and face a fine after 2014 for doing so – these organizations and countless others are standing up for religious liberty.

    The lack of forethought or constitutional analysis on the part of the Obama Administration is already beginning to rear its ugly head. In response to the legal complaints filed by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty on behalf of Belmont Abbey College and Colorado Christian University, the Department of Justice has relied on a smoke and mirrors argument that the administration’s future plans to devise an “accommodation” for religious employers should justify dismissal of the legal complaints.

    That so-called “compromise” has not been finalized. The only rule that has been finalized and holds the force of law is the original, offensive mandate that tramples on employers’ conscience rights.

    Today’s hearing confirms what many already suspected. Little thought was given to the constitutionality of the HHS mandate by the Obama administration before it promulgated a rule that will profoundly and adversely affect many employers – religious or not – and the people they serve. The fact that Secretary Sebelius was unable to answer some of the questions today may haunt the future of the HHS mandate if Rep. Gowdy’s warning comes true that “this mandate will end up in the Supreme Court.”

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to VIDEO: Rep. Gowdy's Religious Liberty Lesson for Secretary Sebelius

    1. Don Hesprich says:

      I guess it just slipper her mind that any law promulgated by her department should be first vetted for possible interference with any of the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States!!! She should be held personally liable for all costs associated with deposing a mandate that never should have been made!!!

    2. Seems a little backward. US citizens have to sue our government to enforce our rights under the Constitution. The oath of office for all federal employees requires THEM to "support and defend" the Constitution, not to trample it regularly and/or thoughtlessly!

    3. allen says:

      "ANOTHER REASON FOR OBAMA TO GO' "THE CZARS'. These People Walk Amogst us.

    4. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Does everyone not yet understand that, like every member of Obama's administraiton, Sebelius is just another shill trouted out to do Obama's bidding? Sebelius is either completely incompetent or part of Obama's ideology. Either way, like all the other Obama's ilk, she in in her position because of who and what she is.

    5. Bobbie says:

      I really like this guy! He's straight forward, determined for truth and holds people accountable! Another protector and defender of we the people! Sebelius -I don't know the constitution, I work for Obama…
      democrats continue to be trouble, wastes and danger of America(ns) time!

      …wish there wasn't a time limit on getting to the whole truth when someone is caught in their own ignorance!

    6. gladys w hurtis says:

      Representative Gowdy would certainly have my vote if he was from my State. Looks like Kathleen Sebelius needs to go back to school to get a basic education on the constitution of the United States, which she is sworn to uphold. In my opinion, Ms. Sebelius would not be able to pass a basic citizenship test . Apparently you new she would try to filibuster her way out of answering your questions in the allotted time frame, therefore you placed the most important questions first. Good job.

      • Roger S. says:

        Hear, hear! The DIShonorable Ms. Sibelius; an uneducated, stonewalling, almost stuttering Admin shill when pressed on the 1st Amendment issue — deferring to the "lieawyers" at Holder's DOJ !!! LOL if it were not so utterly corrupt and disingenuous. Her kind must really believe Americans are so completely dumbed down as to suffer from terminal stupidity, and will miss this! INCREDIBLE !

    7. Joia says:

      BRAVO for this man. He is clear and concise and clearly believes in the law. I hope and pray that "O" is not re-elected or doesn't steal the election with Acorn's help. Our freedom is being erode on a daily basis by this lying left-wing group of anarchists.

    8. BOngo says:

      Sebelius is nothing other than a non-elected, political hack. This hack is making laws, and unconstitutional ones at that. And this hack administration is supporting this!! When is this madness going to end???!!! It's "do or die" in November, folks…..I feel very bad times a-coming if the Communists are re-elected…mark my words!

    9. John Newell says:

      WOW! Trey Gowdy is the MAN! I had scarcely heard of him but started finding out after his encounter with the moron Sebelius. THIS is the kind of man we need as president, someone who cares more about the constitution and the nation than the party. As long the Republican Party has the weight that it does they will oppose a true patriot like Gowdy. He makes me proud to be a conservative.

    10. Kahr50 says:

      Constitution. Constitution!

      We don't need no stinking Constitution…

    11. peoples of earth pls pls watch this video from start to finish (put your blinders on and push ALL partisan hackery aside! how on gods green earth are we as an nation to educate our citizenstry when we have retards like this sitting in thee highest public postions in the land. i had to sport my mother-in-laws depends when i watch it for the third time!

    12. FreeManWalking says:

      I thought I heard her say they didn't teach the constitution in tie-dye-101.

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