Good lawyer that he is, Webb systematically – bluntly, we might say – demolishes the Blunt Amendment (“to amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to protect rights of conscience with regard to requirements for coverage of specific items and service”). Here’s an excerpt:
This is NOT an amendment that addresses the necessary divide between the establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof as outlined in the First Amendment of our Constitution…This amendment, by definition, attempts to widen the restrictions on our laws from the necessary divide between Church and State into the unknown and often undefinable provinces of an individual’s personal definition of conscience.
The effect of this amendment on its face would be that any stakeholder could decide to deny health care benefits to any individual, on the very loose definition that to provide such care somehow violates a personal definition of one’s moral convictions…Quite frankly, it would be the same thing as the Congress saying that not only should religious establishments be exempted from taxation under the doctrine of church and state, but also anyone who has a moral objection to paying taxes should not pay them, either.
As I said – bluntly demolished! Thank you, Senator Webb. 🙂