Local reactions to Supreme Court Rulings

Reaction continues to come in after Monday’s sharply divided US Supreme Court ruling on a portion of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare.

The court ruled that some companies are exempt from the requirement they must provide birth control coverage for women, a decision being roundly denounced by women’s groups.

The court’s 5-4 ruling affects the requirement that small companies provide birth control coverage, even if the owners object for religious reasons. The court ruled that provision of Obamacare violates the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The case was brought to the country by the owners of Hobby Lobby, and the ruling may have limited impact nationwide because of its unique circumstance.

“Where the corporate structure is indistinguishable from the family that owns it,” said Steve Cann, a professor at Washburn University.

But in conservative Kansas, the ruling is being hailed as a huge blow to President Obama.

In a statement, Governor Sam Brownback said, “The Supreme Court […] (a)gain rebuked a needless overreach of President Obama’s administration.”

Attorney General, Derek Schmidt stated, “For the second time in two years, the United States Supreme Court has stricken a part of Obamacare as illegal.”

“I applaud the Supreme Court for protecting religious beliefs,” says Representative Tim Huelskamp, and Senator Jerry Moran, “Rightly rejects the federal government’s intrusion into an individual’s religious liberty.”

But, from a practical perspective, the ruling affects only the companies directly involved in the suit.

“The assumption is that Health and Human Services will find some kind of alternative for some employees. Because they’ve already got an alternative,” said Cann.

The companies who filed the lawsuit include, Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood Specialties, and Mardel, all of these companies have the same business structure. They are owned and controlled by members of a single family, and all of their charters say they will run their companies under Christian principals.

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