Though the multibillion-dollar, nearly 600-store chain took its legal claim against the federal government all the way to the Supreme Court when it didn’t want to honor the health insurance requirements of the Affordable Care Act, the company forbids its employees from seeking justice in the court of law.
Stung by the wave of state court cases consolidating marriage equality across the country, conservative groups in many states are now focusing on judicial elections to ensure the array of laws they’ve passed are upheld when challenged in state courts.
Welcome to the world of the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, an annual program established in 2000 by the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based nonprofit that is swiftly emerging as a major behind-the-scenes player in many of the nation’s most controversial legal cases involving reproductive rights, sexual justice, and a vast range of other moral and social disputes.
New research reveals the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases are a product of deep coordination between anti-choice and free market groups.
North Dakota is far from alone in spending large sums to defend anti-choice laws. But what makes the state unusual is that fiscal conservatives are now criticizing a double standard, where the lawmakers backing these bills are more regularly seen opposing other instances of what they call government interference, and decrying so-called “big spending.”
The state has spent $170,000 in taxpayer money since 2011 defending a single anti-choice law, according to new figures from the state attorney general obtained by RH Reality Check.
There is now proof positive that Byron Calhoun, an anti-choice doctor who has been influential in West Virginia politics, grossly overstated the number of abortion-related complications that are treated at Charleston Area Medical Center Women and Children’s Hospital in West Virginia each year.
It’s “ironic,” explained state Rep. Peggy Gibson. Harold Cassidy, a lawyer and self-style anti-choice crusader, is “invasive of women’s private affairs, and then he says his affairs are private, when women have no right to privacy.”
Twenty-three states have passed laws barring abortion coverage from insurance plans within state health exchanges. What has largely gone unnoticed is that many of these policies emanate from Americans United for Life, a little-known group that regularly has access to conservative lawmakers at the annual ALEC conferences.
The State of Texas has spent nearly $650,000 in taxpayer money underwriting state efforts to roll back abortion access over the past two years, according to public records obtained by RH Reality Check.