Republicans Ignore Religious Liberty

House Republicans looked pretty bad yesterday when their morning panel about the Affordable Care Act’s contraception regulations failed to include a single woman. But then Republicans argued that it really had nothing whatsoever to do with contraception. Representative and Deadbeat Dad Joe Walsh of Illinois, who speaks for most of the House Republican Conference, insisted, “This is not about women. This is not about contraceptives. This is about religious freedom.”

Well, if that’s true, they certainly had a funny way of focusing on it. If the title of your hearing is, “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?”, wouldn’t it be useful to have, you know, legal scholars and experts on the First Amendment testifying? If you ask a question, then wouldn’t it be a good idea to listen to someone who has some ability to answer it?

Oh yes, there was one lawyer there — Catholic University President John Garvey, who is a respected constitutional scholar. But if you at look at his testimony, it is clear that Garvey said nothing about the Constitution. Instead, he spent his time discussing — the Obama Administration’s contraceptive regulation.

But really, this isn’t about contraception. Nope. Not at all.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff is a professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles.