The Corner

Senate Should Overturn Contraception Mandate

Today, the Senate has an opportunity to fight President Obama’s assault on the Constitution and religious liberty by overturning his contraception mandate. Although President Obama hoped his sham “compromise” on the contraception mandate would end the controversy and sweep it under the rug, it did no such thing. Nor should conservatives give in. This is a battle at the heart of a wider war on religious liberty — and on the Constitution itself.

The Senate has before it legislation to overturn the mandate and protect religious organizations generally from the outrageous health-insurance mandates of Obamacare. The vote on Senator Blunt’s amendment to the Highway Bill (S. Amdt. 1520 to S. 1813) would make the “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011” part of Obamacare. The amendment would protect religious institutions from being required to provide health-insurance coverage for things that are contrary to their religious beliefs. The amendment would protect religious organizations from the Obama administration’s outrageous contraception and abortifacient mandates.

That’s why we need another strong fighter in the U.S. Senate — someone who will stand up for religious liberty. For many years, I’ve been privileged to play a leading role defending the religious liberty of every American. Indeed, working with Kelly Shackelford, I’m today representing over 3 million veterans, fighting to preserve the constitutionality of the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial — a lone white cross erected 75 years ago to honor the veterans of World War I. The ACLU had convinced a court to order that the memorial be torn down, and we successfully won a 5–4 victory at the Supreme Court to restore the monument.

Before that, working under the leadership of Texas attorney general Greg Abbott, I was honored to help lead the fight to successfully defend the constitutionality of the Texas Ten Commandments monument, and to author a Supreme Court brief for all 50 states, successfully defending the Pledge of Allegiance and preserving the words “one nation under God.”

President Obama’s contraception mandate arrogantly tramples on the rights of many Catholics, trying to force them to violate their faith. But this is a battle for all Americans, Catholic or not, because the destruction of liberty never takes place overnight. Despotism creeps insidiously through single acts of oppression, with the stepping stones of precedent empowering bureaucrats more and more to infringe the basic rights of everyone.

The Senate should revoke Obama’s contraception mandate now. And, in 2013, we must repeal every single word of Obamacare.

Make no mistake about it: There is a war going on, a government assault on our liberty. If we do not engage, we will lose the fight. We must stand and fight for that liberty now, and expand the ranks of those who will fight in the future. This is why it is so urgent that we send a new senator to Washington from Texas who won’t just talk about liberty, but who has a proven record of standing and fighting for it.

— Ted Cruz, a former solicitor general of Texas, is a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Texas. Learn more at

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