Target: Appellate Judge Julia Smith Gibbons
Goal: Applaud conservative appellate judge for striking down an anti-birth control lawsuit.
Recently, appellate judge Julia Smith Gibbons, a conservative member of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, struck down an anti-birth control lawsuit brought forth by a for-profit corporation. Judge Gibbons stated in her decision that religious matters are “fundamentally personal” and upheld the efforts of the Obama administration to expand women’s access to birth control. Therefore, the corporation cannot exempt itself from federal law on the premise that the law violates its religious beliefs. The judge wrote that only people have religious faith, not businesses.
Gibbons based her decision on two significant grounds. First, she refuted the argument that for-profit corporations’ owners can have their religious liberties violated by a law that solely regulates their business. Corporations are created as an entity distinct from those who created it. A corporation receives benefits, so those who create it must accept the consequences of doing so even if they are a religious conservative. Moreover, the Supreme Court has routinely limited claims to religious liberties to non-profit religious organizations and individuals. It has never extended them to corporations or any other institution that exists for the purpose of making a profit
Up until now, judges who have heard challenges to the rules of the Obama Administration that require most employers to include birth control in health benefits packages have been split on this issue along party lines. Gibbons’ decision to uphold the administration’s rules gives hope that the Supreme Court will uphold the law to the pro-choice and pro-birth control proponents. Nonetheless, access to birth control still faces several obstacles because of the highly conservative Court.
Please sign this petition to commend appellate judge Julia Smith Gibbons for smacking down an anti-birth control lawsuit. Religious faith is highly personal, and does not apply to businesses. Her decision gives hope to advocates for reproductive freedom.
Dear Appellate Judge Julia Smith Gibbons,
We applaud your recent decision to strike down an anti-birth control lawsuit brought forth by a for-profit corporation. Matters of faith are highly personal, and while individuals can have religious conviction, businesses cannot.
The Obama administration has made conscious efforts to expand women’s access to birth control. Recently, it enacted a provision that required most employers to include birth control in their health benefits packages. The judges who have heard lawsuits challenging the Obama administration’s rules have largely split along party lines. We commend you as a conservative judge for upholding the administration’s rules.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: QwickQ via Flickr