The HHS contraception mandate that would require some faith-based employers to violate their consciences has been seen as the brainchild of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and other influential women in the Obama administration.
This is the subject of a piece on “The Vetting: Obama Teaches Constitutional Law,” part of the “vetting” series that the late Andrew Breitbart was completing shortly before his death, and includes the booklet for a test Professor Obama gave his students. Ben Shapiro wrote the article.
Why should we vet a man who has been president for most of a term? Isn’t his record enough? These were my original questions, when people began to dredge up material from the president’s past. But President Obama often gives the impression that he isn’t letting it all hang out, that we might better be able to interpret what is going on in the country if we knew a little more about the president’s underlying ideas.
The question on the final exam is about whether the state is required to pay for fertility treatments of a hypothetical lesbian couple who want to have a child. I hope you will read the question—it sets up the legal question with such irrelevant, but presumably heart-tugging, details as that the couple lives where it does because they want to be near one of the women’s ailing mother.
Though a law professor would not likely come down on one side of the question, the analysis in the exam can give important insights into his thinking. Shapiro notes of the future president’s exam set-up:
“The fundamental right at stake … goes well beyond issues of bodily integrity, but instead involves the broader principle that the government cannot be in the business of deciding who should bear children and who should not – at least without offering up some pretty compelling reasons for doing so.” Obama even compares a state law banning infertility treatment for unwed couples to active sterilization.
The government’s declining to pay for fertility treatments doesn’t amount to “deciding who should bear children and who should not.” To say this is just as ridiculous as saying that if Jesuits refuse to buy you birth control pills they are refusing to let you have sex. Oh, wait…
In a particularly noteworthy comment, Obama writes: “the connection between restricting infertility services to married couples and ‘preserving the integrity of marriage’ is so tenuous that it cannot be considered a narrowly tailored means of serving that interest.” This is arguable at best – of course preventing unmarried couples from receiving infertility treatment would be closely related to upholding the notion of traditional marriage. But this Obama comment gives us a clue as to his real feelings about the institution of marriage: it has nothing to do with bearing and raising children.
But I thought that President Obama was on record as opposing gay marriage in the 2008 campaign. Oh, wait…he’s evolving, and I think in the direction of gay marriage. (Just to be clear, IWF has not taken a position on gay marriage; but I believe we are on record as being critical of a lack of candor in politicians.)
Obama cannot help himself: in discussing whether “tradition” should play a role in restricting the so-called rights liberals so enjoy, Obama calls such arguments “troubling.”
You should read the article—it is an eye-opener, even at this point in the Obama presidency. Shapiro’s conclusion:
Here’s what we learn from this answer: Obama’s an extreme legal leftist. He thinks that banning infertility treatment for unwed couples is akin to sterilizing them. He thinks that there is no connection between childbearing and childrearing and the integral value of marriage.
He thinks that arguments about “tradition” are troubling. And he believes that all judges rule according to their experiences – which goes a long way toward explaining his love for Sonia Sotomayor, whose “wise Latina” experiences may shape her judicial reasoning, according to her own admission.
Justice should be blind, but the press should not: it’s amazing that this stuff is just now coming out.