SPRINGFIELD - Attorney General Lisa Madigan's decision to file a friend of the court brief supporting HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius goes against Illinois values, GOP Attorney General Paul Schimpf said in a statement Monday.
Schimpf said freedom of religion is a foundational value that should be protected as the U.S. Supreme Court meets Tuesday to hear oral arguements in the case of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby.
"This case addresses a critical issue in today’s society: whether the government can compel business owners to provide services in violation of their religious beliefs. I believe that freedom of religion is a foundational value that may only be overridden when a compelling state interest exists," Schimpf said. "I do not see a compelling interest in forcing business owners to provide readily available medical products and services in violation of their religion. I urge the Supreme Court to side with Hobby Lobby and find the provisions in question unconstitutional.
Schimpf went on to criticize Illinois' Attorney General Lisa Madigan's support for the HHS mandate as "extreme," disqualifying her from objectively protecting the rights of all Illinoisans.
"Unfortunately, our current Attorney General does not share my assessment and has filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to uphold the H&HS regulations," Schimpf said.
"Her brief argues that the government has a compelling interest in forcing businesses to provide abortion and contraceptive services to their employees. This extreme position is not in keeping with Illinois values and demonstrates that she does not possess the centrist perspective necessary to protect the rights of all Illinois citizens."
Schimpf is a retired Marin Lieutenant Colonel who served as the lead American Attorney-Advisor against Saddam Hussein. He will face incumbent Democrat Lisa Madigan in November of 2014.