U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear WA Religious Freedom Case

 

The U.S. Supreme Court has made major news for two consecutive days, and not in a good way.

Stormans’ Pharmacy in Olympia had appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court after the state ordered it to dispense Plan B, morning-after, and week-after pills.  The family-owned pharmacy had previously declined to dispense the drugs, citing the owners’ personal and religious convictions, and likening the use of such pills to abortion.

The Supreme Court decided in a 5-3 vote not to hear the case, with Justices Alito, Thomas, and Roberts dissenting.  “If this is a sign of how religious liberty claims will be treated in the years ahead, those who value religious freedom have cause for great concern,” Justice John Roberts wrote.

Justice Alito’s strong dissent was simple. The government is now prepared, he said, to tell you: “Violate your sincerely held religious beliefs or get out of the pharmacy business.”

The pharmacy had proposed that it would accommodate any customers seeking the drugs by sending them to one of over 30 other pharmacies within a five-mile radius.  But the state rejected this proposal, stating that the pharmacy’s obligation to dispense the drugs was more important than a pharmacist’s religious objections.

The case now heads back to the lower courts for further review.

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