SCOTUS Polls Its Weight on Mandate
By Tony Perkins
The Supreme Court’s mandate ruling isn’t getting rave reviews from liberals, but voters certainly approve. Based on the latest Gallup numbers, the firestorm over birth control is pretty well contained to the Democratic Cloakroom on Capitol Hill, where liberal leaders desperately — and apparently, ineffectively — fan the flames. After the justices left for summer, new polling says Americans gave them high marks for the term, which included some of the most significant religious liberty cases in a generation.
More voters approve of the justices’ job (47%) than disapprove (46%), hardly a sign of nationwide outrage over the Court’s mandate opt-out. It seems most people don’t share the Left’s hysteria over the Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Wood Specialties ruling, which empowered family businesses to operate according to their religious convictions.
While the numbers may come as a surprise to liberals, the majority of Americans were never big fans of strong-arming employers to begin with. As recently as May, FRC’s own polling showed a groundswell of support for businesses’ First Amendment rights. Fifty-three percent opposed the ObamaCare mandate that would financially cripple employers who wanted to exercise their beliefs with massive fines. While House and Senate Democrats try to rile up voters with convenient sound bites about the “war on women” and other outright lies, but most people aren’t buying it. They understand that pills that can prevent or end a pregnancy aren’t exactly in short supply — not after new studies explain that the rate of women enjoying this kind of coverage jumped from 14% to 56% in a single year.
If liberals were hoping to woo voters with an all-out legislative push for birth control, this polling ought to show how misguided that strategy is. With the Middle East imploding, our own borders overrun, and the economy in the tank, trampling businesses’ First Freedom is hardly topping people’s priority lists. If it were, Congress would be getting a much higher approval rating than 15% (a full 32 points lower than the Supreme Court’s).
Dwight Eisenhower once said that “You [don’t] lead by hitting people over the head — that’s assault, not leadership.” Well, Americans are tired of having their values assaulted by this Congress. Today, that attack continues, as House and Senate liberals try to strip the common sense pro-life protections Americans have fought for. Conservative members will be working late into the night to defend some of those provisions in the latest House Financial Services appropriations bill — which President Obama has already threatened to veto. In it, conservatives are going to the mat to wall off taxpayer dollars from the abortion industry by adding amendments.
Of the two, the Dornan amendment has been part of federal law for years. Like a Hyde amendment for the District of Columbia, it blocks Congress from funneling any money to D.C. for elective abortions. The second measure, which Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) took over from Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.), outlaws government-funded abortions in the ObamaCare exchanges. The Left would like nothing better than to stall or kill both pro-life measures. Don’t let them. Take a few minutes to call or email your congressman and ask him or her to respect Americans’ hard-earned dollars by supporting the Dornan and Harris-Nunnelee amendments in H.R. 5016!
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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