The CEO of a company challenging the Obama Administration’s rules promoting access to birth control made statements to the press which could destroy the basis of this case. Since then, the CEO went even further in undercutting the basis of his case. Indeed, the CEO’s most recent statements are so damning they could require his own attorneys to scuttle his case.
Michael Potter is the owner and CEO of Eden Foods, one of several for-profit companies challenging federal rules expanding access to contraception on the grounds that he has a religious objection to complying with those rules. Earlier this week, however, he made several statements to Salon’s Irin Carmon suggesting that his true reason for opposing the birth control rules are libertarian objections to employer regulation, not the religious objections he claims to have in his legal complaint. This distinction is important because federal law protecting religious liberty only applies when someone has a religious objection to complying with the law — not when their objection is merely rooted in a “philosophy or way of life.” So if Potter does not actually hold religious objections to birth control, he loses his case.
In a second interview with Carmon, Potter fairly explicitly states that his objections are not religiously motivated.