Des Moines Businessman Fred Hubbell who is the frontrunner in today’s Democrat primary for Iowa Governor gave Iowa Republicans another potential talking point during his last rally.
Pat Rynard of Iowa Starting Line tweeted out:
.@FredHubbell greets his last rally before the primary. Mentions the Supreme Court case today and “religious liberty” legislation. “I’m not going to allow that kind of law to get passed in our state.” #IAGov pic.twitter.com/NA2irb6s3Q
— Iowa Starting Line (@IAStartingLine) June 4, 2018
Unfortunately, the video doesn’t show what he said about the Supreme Court, but as I wrote about the ruling earlier, it was very narrow. The opinion state that the First Amendment’s free exercise clause demands that “the law must be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion.”
Does he really have a problem with that? Does he think it is ok for the state to be hostile toward someone’s religious belief?
If so, that’s incredibly extreme.
So is the promise not to allow “that kind of law to get passed in our state.”
What kind of religious liberty legislation is Hubbell threatening to veto if elected Governor?
SF 2238, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), was the bill that the Iowa Legislature considered this year (and it did not survive the first funnel).
Well, what does this do? I answered this earlier, but let’s rehash it.
RFRA is not a discrimination bill. RFRA provides some legal resource for Iowans who are under compulsion by the state to act in a way that would violate their religious beliefs or personal conscience.
They could still lose their appeal.
President Bill Clinton who signed the federal RFRA bill SF 2238 was modeled after said in 1993, “What (RFRA) basically says is that the Government should be held to a very high level of proof before it interferes with someone’s free exercise of religion.”
This bill, again, does not allow discrimination. It asks three relevant questions:
- Does the individual have a sincere belief that is being substantially burdened? If it is no, the case is closed, and the individual loses. If yes, the case moves forward.
- Does the government have a very good reason (like health or safety) to interfere? If no, the case is closed, and the individual wins; if the answer is yes, the case moves forward.
- Is there a reasonable alternative to serve the public interest? If the answer is no, then the individual loses. If yes, the individual wins.
Fred Hubbell appears to believe that the state should not have a high burden of proof before it infringes Iowans’ religious freedom or right to conscience nor should the state be neutral toward religion.
Ok, good to know.