Never mind that the case brought by the Little Sisters of the Poor is, as Michael Hiltzik at the LA Times explained, absurd, that didn't stop Fox's Judge Jeanine Pirro from opening her show this Saturday with a long rant which ended with her accusing the President of the United States of trying to put the organization out of business.
But first blushes can be deceiving. In the first place, the injunction was good only until Friday--Sotomayor required that government attorneys file a reply brief before the clock strikes noon, as they did. Their brief is here. Second, it applies only to the plaintiffs, who are the Little Sisters of the Poor, and their insurance administrator, Christian Brothers Services.
Third--and as a federal judge and two appellate judges in Denver have already ruled--the plaintiffs' arguments are absurd. What they're objecting to, when you boil it down, is to signing a form stating (truthfully) that they're exempt from providing contraceptive coverage to their employees.
Somehow that bit of information seemed to be missing from Pirro's rant. Imagine that!
PIRRO: I want a government that respects religious freedom.
Mr President, now that you’re back from your Hawaiian vacation, how’d you hit 'em? How’s that handicap? You come back, and you try to take away from the Little Sisters of the Poor, a 175 year old religious organization that cares for low income elderly who are dying, their right to exercise their 1st Amendment freedom of religion.
You promised the Catholic church you would not, under Obamacare, force those with religious objections to provide contraception to employees, which of course is contrary to their fundamental beliefs and their exercise of their religion.
In spite of your promise, you are spending millions in legal fees to force the Little Sisters of the Poor, who spend their lives serving the sick and the elderly, to provide contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients to their employees.
Pray tell Mr. President, might you have lied to the Catholic church? And now you're going to court to sanction one home $6700 a day! What don't you understand about the Little Sisters of the Poor? Now I don't care if you're pro-choice or you're pro-life, you have a fundamental right to practice your religion. You have a fundamental right to the 1st Amendment, freedom of religion.
And yet, you, as a former constitutional professor, refuse to exempt them from the contraception mandate. You! The same guy who grants exemptions and waivers left and right to unions, political buddies, bundlers, but not to the women who devoted their lives to God and caring for the sick?
Hell, even a convicted Muslim felon in federal prison can exercise their freedom of religion. They can't be punished for exercising their religion, and you go after these nuns to force them to violate their religion or put them out of business! Am I asking for too much? We're only talking about your word, religious freedom, the 1st Amendment!
Mr. President, it’s 2014, and we are not getting off to a good start.
Fox sure is getting off to a fine one, lying like usual to their viewers. Pirro followed up with Fox regular Fr. Gerald Murray, who accused Obama of sending a message that "if you like your religion, you can’t keep it” -- because we all know asking someone to sign a waiver so they can deny their employees health benefits is exactly the same as them being denied the right to practice their religion.