Supreme Court Urged to Corral ‘Unelected, Unaccountable Bureaucrats’ Weaponizing Federal Law Against Christians



Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

Supreme Court justices are urged in a new amicus brief to take a case that provides them an opportunity to rein in “unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats [who] are weaponizing federal laws to violate Americans’ most fundamental rights.”

The brief was filed by attorneys representing the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and represents the Christian Employers Alliance (CEA). The case is Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo.

“As we explain in our brief, federal agency officials frequently disrespect American citizens and businesses’ most cherished principles — including religious freedom and the sanctity of life — by imposing personal political agendas that Congress has not authorized,” the brief argues.

“We urge the Supreme Court to take this case, overrule Chevon v. Natural Resources Defense Council, and affirm that courts should not defer to federal agencies when they overstep their executive authority and violate Americans’ First Amendment rights,” the brief continued.

“When left to their own devices — or to the political calculations of the White House— agencies stretch and strain their authority to impose on the everyday lives of American citizens in ways Congress never prescribed. As one justice of this Court recently put it, federal agencies now regularly ‘write ever more ambitious rules on the strength of ever thinner statutory terms.’”

The brief then lays out in systematic fashion examples of how President Joe Biden’s political appointees and career federal bureaucrats take advantage of their positions and power to fashion oppressive regulations and procedures with no regard for the guarantees of the First Amendment for freedom of religious practice and expression of every individual American.

Related: The Future of the First Amendment Hinges on the 303 Creative SCOTUS Case

On abortion, the brief describes how the Biden administration has defied the high court’s Dobbs decision overruling Roe v. Wade “by issuing a raft of abortion mandates — even though the statutes that the agencies cite contain no such authorizations.”

To that end, “agencies launched huge new programs forcing states and private citizens to perform abortions and spend taxpayer money to perform and pay for abortions. In each case, agency officials used their positions to brush aside the absence of federal authority and to claim primacy over state laws to which this Court deferred in Dobbs as a matter of federalism.”

Similarly, the Biden administration, through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has directed hospital administrators, doctors, and nurses to convert their facilities into on-demand abortion clinics.

“As part of its anti-Dobbs campaign, HHS told all hospitals receiving Medicare funds that have emergency rooms, that regardless of state laws protecting the unborn they must perform abortions under HHS’s novel interpretation of the 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA),” the brief explained.

The HHS reading of the law that President Ronald Reagan signed in 1986 is outrageous because EMTALA doesn’t even mention abortion. Not once since its enactment has EMTALA ever been read to mandate abortion services. Until now, that is.

In addition, officials at HHS, acting under the direction of the Biden administration, ordered all of the nation’s pharmacies to stock over-the-counter first-trimester abortion drugs. They cited a section of the Obamacare legislation as their authority for doing so, even though that section deals only with prohibitions on sex and disability discrimination.

“Like the EMTALA abortion mandate, the agency officials did not subject that mandate to the notice-and-comment process, and they claimed that they were merely informing regulated entities of obligations that already existed under statutory law,” according to the brief. This is called rewriting the law to suit a political agenda, which is, by definition, illegal.

Then there is the Biden administration’s effort to turn Veterans Administration (VA) facilities into abortion clinics, as described by the brief:

“In response to Dobbs, the VA began performing abortions in veterans’ hospitals—on demand through all nine months of pregnancy—no matter what pro-life state laws say. Just as with HHS, the VA seized on the flimsiest of statutory reeds to support its new assertion of power. In the VA’s underlying statute, Congress explicitly banned the performance of abortions in the VA system.”

And there are new efforts by federal departments and agencies to use federal funds appropriated for other purposes to pay transportation expenses for employees who must travel to a different state to obtain an abortion:

“Federal agencies are also claiming newfound authority to redirect enormous sums of taxpayer money into the hands of abortion clinics — dollars appropriated to provide healthcare for the poor and funding meant to support our military. HHS announced that it would begin spending Medicaid funds to pay for patients to travel to obtain abortions, despite over 40 years of explicit congressional language in the Hyde Amendment … insisting that no HHS funds ‘shall be expended for any abortion’ or ‘for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion.’”

As horrendous as these abuses of law to further abortion are, the brief also details multiple additional ways in which federal officials are weaponizing statutes and regulations in other fields and turning them into wrecking balls against constitutional liberties:

“Federal agencies … are weaponizing federal civil rights laws to impose radical gender ideology, thereby threatening religious liberty, free speech, parental rights, and the basic recognition of biological differences between men and women.

“On taking office, President Biden ordered every federal agency to enforce every sex discrimination law as though it covers sexual orientation and gender identity —with no regard for religious freedom, free speech, the rights of women and girls, and parental rights.

“Every federal agency involved in civil rights enforcement has thus been weaponizing [Bostock v. Clayton County, 2020]  to impose far-reaching mandates. These agency actions have no clear authorization from their underlying statutes — which simply prohibit sex discrimination — and in many cases explicitly rely on rather than reject the biological binary between men and women.”

There is more, much more, sadly, described in this brief that exposes what appears to be the most comprehensive assault on First Amendment freedoms ever mounted by federal officials. This brief should be required reading for every American citizen.