Conservatives vow to continue fight for religious liberty against HHS mandate

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote tomorrow on a motion to table Senator Roy Blunt’sRespect for Rights of Conscience Act,” and some top movement conservatives have begun holding preliminary meetings about the HHS health care mandate, vowing they “will not rest until it is rescinded.”

In statements obtained by TheDC, more than a dozen movement conservative leaders voiced opposition to what they see as an infringement on religious liberty (read them in their entirety here.)

“Congress should pass corrective legislation to safeguard our fundamental right to religious liberty guaranteed in the Bill of Rights,” said former Attorney General Ed Meese.

Others scoffed at the way the political debate had shifted away from being fundamentally about defending religious liberty. “This debate is about contraception in the same way that the American Revolution was about tea,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

“Sen. Roy Blunt’s amendment restores Americans’ constitutional protections and assures people that they will not be forced to follow a government dictate that would violate their conscience and religious beliefs,” added Grace Marie Turner, Founder, President and Trustee, Galen Institute, Inc.

The Blunt amendment (to the highway bill) would allow employers to opt out of the system if the mandate violates their religious beliefs. But Democrats warn millions of women would lose access to health care coverage for contraception.

It is unclear whether or not this issue continues to resonate to the degree it did when the mandates were first made public, but Greg Mueller, a prominent conservative public relations executive involved in the fight tells me, “there is huge intensity among a broad cross section of groups that see the HHS mandate as a direct hit on freedom and liberty — the issue is going to burn like fire in the grassroots.”

Matt K. Lewis