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Published On: Wed, Jun 29th, 2016

SCOTUS rejects hearing on ‘freedom of conscience’ protection for pharmacists asked to sell abortion pills

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from pro-life pharmacists in Washington state who are challenging a state law forcing them to sell the morning after pill and other abortion-causing drugs that violate their conscience as Christians instead of allowing them to refer customers to nearby pharmacies.

Conservative justices stated that it was an “ominous sign” for religious liberty in a sharp dissent.

“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,” wrote Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. published Tuesday, joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Clarence Thomas.

gavel court scales justice ruling

photo via Pixabay user Succo

Alito said that the case raised important First Amendment claims by religious pharmacists but that “this court does not deem the case worthy of our time….”

It takes the votes of four members of the court to accept a case for full briefing and review.

From the dissent:

The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied. JUSTICE ALITO, with whom THE CHIEF JUSTICE and JUSTICE THOMAS join, dissenting from the denial of certiorari. 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.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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