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The left has won the culture war, and now they’re roaming the countryside shooting the wounded. The Supreme Court quietly endorsed progressives’ mop-up operation by refusing to hear the case of Kevin Stormans who had his life turned upside-down by government bureaucrats in Washington state.
The Stormans family pharmacy has served Olympia residents for four generations. But in 2007, they ran afoul of the state’s pharmacy board which mandated that every pharmacy stock and dispense the “morning-after” pill, an abortifacent. This violated Stormans’ religious, moral, and ethical beliefs, so he challenged the regulations in court.
If women wanting a Plan B pill called in a prescription, he would gladly refer them to one of the 30 other pharmacies within a five-mile radius supplying the drug. No one was harmed or prevented from receiving the pill, while Stormans was allowed to freely practice his faith.
This wasn’t acceptable to state bureaucrats, who insisted that every man and woman bend their knee to a strange new god, Planned Parenthood. After years of litigation, a federal court agreed with Stormans. The state immediately appealed to the famously liberal 9th Circuit which sided with the bureaucrats.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court had the opportunity to enforce the first amendment and ensure that an all-powerful government cannot prohibit the free exercise of religion. Instead, they abstained, refusing to even hear the case.
Representing the constitutional minority on the Court, Justice Samuel Alito (joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas) registered his disapproval with the majority:
This case is an ominous sign. At issue are Washington State regulations that are likely to make a pharmacist unemployable if he or she objects on religious grounds to dispensing certain prescription medications. There are strong reasons to doubt whether the regulations were adopted for—or that they actually serve—any legitimate purpose. And there is much evidence that the impetus for the adoption of the regulations was hostility to pharmacists whose religious beliefs regarding abortion and contraception are out of step with prevailing opinion in the State. Yet the Ninth Circuit held that the regulations do not violate the First Amendment, and this Court does not deem the case worthy of our time. 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.
Great concern, indeed. This anti-constitutional interpretation might as well insist that kosher delis serve bacon and Hindu-owned restaurants sell hamburgers. But that comes later. For now, the left’s social warriors are focused on stamping out the scourge of “live and let live” Christians like Kevin Stormans. Every knee must bow before the strange new god.
For more background on the case, Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented Stormans, created this video: