Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt Pleased With Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby Opinion
TULSA, Oklahoma - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that privately-held companies don't have to provide birth control to their employees, if that goes against their religious beliefs.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt says he's thankful for the high court's ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby. He's known the founders - the Green family - for years, and had filed a brief with the Supreme Court in support of their position.
The ruling was 5 to 4, with Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito writing the majority opinion. It now means that closely-held, or private, corporations can opt out of parts of the health care law due to quote "sincerely held religious beliefs."
Hobby Lobby had argued that the part of the new law that requires companies to pay for employees' birth control went against the company's religious convictions.
In Hobby Lobby's case the company didn't object to all contraception but specifically the types that induce abortion. One of the arguments from opponents was that refusing to provide birth control is discrimination against women.
Pruitt said the company will continue to treat its employees well.
"They're very generous in their benefit package. They treat their employees very, very well and it's a very healthy and vibrant corporation. You're not healthy and vibrant if you're not treating your employees well," said Attorney General Scott Pruitt.
The court's decision doesn't apply to large, publicly-traded companies. Pruitt added that he thinks the Supreme Court might someday tackle that issue, but admits it could be more complicated than this case.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt statement about Supreme Court's opinion:
"Today's Supreme Court ruling is a pivotal victory for religious liberty. This ruling reaffirms the principle that America is a nation that recognizes first among our unalienable rights is the right to freely exercise our faith. I am thankful the Green family courageously stood up for their beliefs in the face of severe penalty from the federal government. I am humbled to have supported the Green family throughout this arduous process and congratulate them on today's victory.
The founders understood our freedoms emanate from our Creator and not our government, and therefore cannot be curtailed or managed by government. The founders established a Constitution to protect Americans' religious freedom from an intrusive federal government. Today's ruling solidifies the principle that our religion is not a silent practice confined to the four walls of a church, but it is an opportunity to live out our faith in the public square."