WASHINGTON D.C. (Worthy News)– The Supreme Court will be issuing opinions in 17 cases over the next two weeks including the religious rights of corporations, abortion clinic buffer zones, the right to criticize elected officials and privacy rights of people under arrest.
Two companies, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation, have cases that are being considered together before the Supreme Court. In a test of religious freedom, the court will decide whether those companies must abide by the contraception mandate within Obamacare. The ruling has the potential to affect all for-profit businesses.
Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation are owned by Christians who find the mandate within the Affordable Health Care law objectionable to their faith.
"These abortion-causing pills go against our faith, and our family is now being forced to choose between following the laws of the land that we love or maintaining the religious beliefs that have made our business successful and supported our family and thousands of our employees and their families," Hobby Lobby founder David Green told reporters on a conference call when the lawsuit was originally filed.
The Supreme Court will deliver its decision on McCullen v. Coakly this month. At the heart of the case is a 2007 Massachusetts law that established a 35-foot-buffer zone at abortion clinics statewide. Pro-life activist Eleanor McClullen and her fellow advocates say the buffer zone violates their First Amendment rights — after all, they claim people have the right to stand and hand out literature on public sidewalks. The case will determine if a buffer zone is constitutional. Currently four states have buffer zone laws: Massachusetts, Colorado, Montana and New Hampshire. However, many cities have zones in place including Chicago, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco.
Also on the Supreme Court docket is Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) v. Driehaus. SBA List is a group dedicated to supporting pro-life candidates, argued before the court its right to sue Ohio election officials for violating its First Amendment rights.
In 2010, SBA List campaigned against Democrat Steve Driehaus by buying advertising space on billboards claiming Driehaus supported taxpayer funding of abortions because he voted for Obamacare.
SBA List claimed the health care law opens the door for government funding of abortions.
Driehaus then filed a complaint with the Ohio Election Commission who found in favor of the Democrat, who then ordered the billboards to be taken down.
"Truth in campaigns includes a lot of gray areas," Bruce Hausknecht, legal analyst with Focus on the Family said.
"You’ve seen any number of campaign ads in your lifetime that say, ‘This is true about Candidate X,’ and Candidate X gets on TV and says, ‘That’s absolutely false, don’t believe them.’ It all turns on the interpretation of the facts that they’re both arguing about. The danger in any democracy is having the government, or government bureaucrats be the decider of what is true and what is false. That is a dangerous situation."
Hausknecht says the case could affect our rights as citizens to criticize elected officials.
The Supreme Court will also weigh on Riley v. California and the United States v. Wurie. Both cases will determine whether the police have to obtain a warrant to search an individual's cellphone when an arrest is made.