Biden aims at Catholic group in seeking to revive the Obama Model: rule by executive decree
We know that a recent public opinion poll showed that roughly two of every five Americans believes Joe Biden is exhibiting signs of dementia.
Maybe that explains why Biden seems to have forgotten what country he wants to lead. Some of his recent comments suggest he thinks he’s really trying to succeed dictators Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping instead of President Donald Trump.
The first example came late last month. During an interview in Pittsburgh, Biden said he would sign an executive order mandating masks for all.
“I would do everything possible to make it required (that) the people had to wear masks in public,” he maintained.
“The one thing we do know, these masks make a gigantic difference. I would insist that everybody in public be wearing that mask. Anyone to reopen, it would have to make sure that they walked into a business that had masks,” he said.
Now, Biden wants to flex that executive muscle on some real hooligans: Nuns.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed a major victory to the Little Sisters of the Poor, a 181-year-old Catholic missionary organization dedicated to serving the elderly poor in 30 countries.
For years, the Little Sisters had argued against an Obamacare mandate that employers provide their workers health insurance coverage that includes some form of free contraception.
The group maintained it violated their religious beliefs because the regulation not only included contraceptives but abortion-inducing drugs. But the feds asserted the Little Sisters had to comply because they employed or served people who were not Catholic.
The Trump administration responded by broadening the rules for religious exemptions. Some blue states sued, arguing it put them on the hook for employers’ responsibility.
Last week, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the exemption could stand because the administration had the authority to implement it under the Affordable Care Act.
As National Review columnist Andy McCarthy pointed out, the Little Sisters win was not as big as it seemed. That’s because if Trump loses in November, the Biden administration could reinstate the rule. And Biden himself pledged to do just that.
“As disappointing as the Supreme Court’s ruling is, there is a clear path to fixing it: electing a new President who will end Donald Trump’s ceaseless attempts to gut every aspect of the Affordable Care Act,” Biden said in a statement after the ruling.
“If I am elected, I will restore the Obama-Biden policy that existed before the Hobby Lobby ruling: providing an exemption for houses of worship and an accommodation for nonprofit organizations with religious missions.” The Hobby Lobby case granted “closely held” corporations the authority to bypass the mandate on religious grounds.
“Health care,” he continued, “is a right that should not be dependent on race, gender, income or zip code. Yet as a result of today’s decision, countless women are at risk of losing access to affordable, preventive care.
“The accommodation will allow women at these organizations to access contraceptive coverage, not through their employer-provided plan, but instead through their insurance company or a third-party administrator,” he said.
But Justice Samuel Alito recounted in his opinion supporting the Little Sisters what happened when the government and religious employers tried to work this out after a trip to the Supreme Court in 2016: “The Little Sisters and other employers objected to engaging in any conduct that had the effect of making contraceptives available to their employees under their insurance plans, and no way of providing such coverage to their employees without using their plans could be found.”
In other words, the Little Sisters have maintained that even taking the step to authorize another party to provide contraception or abortion-inducing drugs violated their beliefs.
On one hand, Biden’s response is surprising because he is a Roman Catholic who for decades in Congress supported the Hyde Amendment, which banned federal funding for abortion.
On the other hand, it’s not surprising that Biden would make us all wear masks or roll back legal protection for the Little Sisters and other faith-based groups. After all, he learned from the best at unilateral action while serving as vice president.
President Barack Obama routinely went around Congress to impose rules via executive order that he couldn’t get legislative approval for, such as creating the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals program for illegal immigrants, forcing federal contractors to pay a minimum wage that exceeded the legal ceiling, allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice, and even once advocating tasking an army of behavioral scientists to engage in an array of busybodiness.
As Obama infamously said in January 2014, “We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone.”
Joe Biden promises to bring back such a mindset. Americans should not stand for it.
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