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(WTOP)   Supreme Court to decide if you can use your religion as an excuse to make health decisions for your employees   (wtop.com) divider line 431
    More: Obvious, Supreme Court, Hobby Lobby, health law, reproductive healths, faiths  
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4470 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Nov 2013 at 3:06 PM (38 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-26 02:27:43 PM

Cyberluddite: itcamefromschenectady: Religious business owners should just not offer health insurance at all and make their employees buy it on the exchanges. Won't that make everybody happy?

Nobody's forcing them to offer health insurance and therefore their rights are not being violated.

If they have more than a certain number of employees (50, is it?), then yes, they are required to offer health insurance to their full-time employees under the Affordable Care Act.


If they are ruled against it, they'll probably price their employee contribution to the highest level possible, thereby making it too expensive for most part time or low-level employees to afford.  You know, just to be dicks.
 
2013-11-26 02:42:50 PM
Companies never had a religion until Romney made them people.
 
2013-11-26 02:55:51 PM

Mike_LowELL: I don't know where this thing that "corporations are people" started up.  If anything, corporations are more valuable to the world today, and thus deserve more rights than people.  Without corporations, you would not have McDonald's.  Think about that.  A world without McDonald's.  People would be starving without McDonald's.  Thank you, McDonald's.


What I'd like to know is if corporations are people, why can other people own them?
 
2013-11-26 02:56:56 PM
Making them into  people was easy for him, but making them into  Mormons has proven to be more difficult.
 
2013-11-26 02:57:22 PM

Irving Maimway: What I'd like to know is if corporations are people, why can other people own them?


Congratulations, you just figured out why anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of American civics can figure out that the 13th Amendment is unconstitutional.
 
2013-11-26 02:57:41 PM

Donnchadha: At this point, we've established that corporations are people and people have the right to free expression of religion, therefore transitive property.

So, could this easily be defeated by requesting evidence that the corporation, as a person-entity is actually active (or a registered member) in said religion? At most, one could only provide evidence that the people who make up the corporation are members, but not the corporation itself -- which is the whole premise behind corporate personhood.


This whole notion that the Supreme Court will decide this case with an attention played to the whole "corporations are people so corporations have religion now" is ridiculous.  SCOTUS doesn't have to play this little "what if?" game, and they're not going to.  It's sufficient that the human owners of the corporation assert that they hold these religious beliefs.   The organizational structure of the entity is irrelevant.  The Supreme Court isn't going waste ink on pondering why if, let's say three individuals who share the same religious beliefs (family members, in the SCOTUS case) and open a business together---for some reason, would lose their religious voice because they chose to file articles of incorporation for the venture.

The issue is whether or not the government can compel employers--any employers--to pay to fund services they find religiously objectionable and a condition of doing business in this country (i.e. "whether profit-making corporations can assert religious beliefs under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act or the First Amendment provision guaranteeing Americans the right to believe and worship as they choose."

And that's all they'll decide.  They are the ultimate government employees--not inclined to stick their necks out a inch more than they have to or do more work than they are asked.
 
2013-11-26 02:57:43 PM

Cyberluddite: Making them into  people was easy for him, but making them into  Mormons has proven to be more difficult.


Oops.  That was supposed to be in response to this:

edmo: Companies never had a religion until Romney made them people.

 
2013-11-26 03:02:54 PM

BravadoGT: The issue is whether or not the government can compel employers--any employers--to pay to fund services they find religiously objectionable and a condition of doing business in this country (i.e. "whether profit-making corporations can assert religious beliefs under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act or the First Amendment provision guaranteeing Americans the right to believe and worship as they choose."


What is an "employer" though? That's a huge issue here. The "employer" in the context of a corporation is the corporation, not the shareholders. On what legal basis do you attribute beliefs of shareholders to beliefs of the company? You might have Company X wholly-owned by a Catholic priest. In that case, you might want to conflate the employer's beliefs with that of the shareholder. But why should that be permitted in the case of religious beliefs, but not, say, debt? If Company X owes me money but doesn't have it, I don't get to go after the Catholic priest - we don't break the corporate veil. Why should we do so here?
 
2013-11-26 03:06:22 PM
I just happened to check the "About Us" page on Hobby Lobby's corporate website to see what their corporate structure is like, and I didn't find much about that, but I did learn the following about the company:

At Hobby Lobby, we value our customers and employees and are committed to:

 - Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.
 - Offering our customers exceptional selection and value in the crafts and home decor market.
 - Serving our employees and their families by establishing a work environment and company policies that build character, strengthen individuals and nurture families.
 - Providing a return on the owner's investment, sharing the Lord's blessings with our employees, and investing in our community.

We believe that it is by God's grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured. He has been faithful in the past, and we trust Him for our future.


Damn.  These guys are pretty hardcore.
 
2013-11-26 03:07:30 PM
At my last company, the company health plan would cover Viagra or other ED drugs but not my wifes birth control

Why yes, the owner was right wing.
 
2013-11-26 03:09:58 PM
Rats.
 
2013-11-26 03:10:24 PM
If a corporation kill somebody, can it get the death penalty?
 
2013-11-26 03:10:25 PM
I do not have a good feeling about this.

I think there is something to be said for saying that laws that harm a business that is inextricably linked to religion are problematic, like mandating a kosher bakery be open on Saturdays, or requiring a Mormon restaurant to serve alcohol or caffeine, but for a regular business that won't have its business operations affected by regulations, I don't think they have any standing, since the corporation is not the person, and the corporation has no inherent religion if it is a secular business.
 
2013-11-26 03:10:31 PM
Jesus told me to tell you what you can have and what you may not have.
You can't prove that he didn't.
 
2013-11-26 03:11:51 PM
What if your employer is a Christian Scientist, which doesn't allow a whole lot of pretty basic medical stuff.  Or how about $cientologists who wouldn't allow psychiatric treatment or therapy other than their e-meter scam?

If they rule in favor of the religious whack jobs, it will completely destroy our right to make our own choices.  It will put those choices in the hands of farking morons (or cheap bastards looking for an easy way out of offering coverage).
 
2013-11-26 03:12:32 PM

nmrsnr: I do not have a good feeling about this.

I think there is something to be said for saying that laws that harm a business that is inextricably linked to religion are problematic, like mandating a kosher bakery be open on Saturdays, or requiring a Mormon restaurant to serve alcohol or caffeine, but for a regular business that won't have its business operations affected by regulations, I don't think they have any standing, since the corporation is not the person, and the corporation has no inherent religion if it is a secular business.


That's an interesting comparison - the idea of passing a law saying that every restaurant *must* serve beer, for example. I'm trying to imagine a situation where that could be unconstitutional, but I'm not seeing it. It would be really horrible public policy, but absent a showing of discriminatory intent against Mormons, I think it should stand as a law.
 
2013-11-26 03:12:48 PM
"So is it your testimony today that your company's religion won't allow it to pay for insurance plans that cover anything but routine checkups?"
 
2013-11-26 03:13:13 PM
I have the opposite religious belief: every woman CAPABLE of getting pregnant who is not actively TRYING to get pregnant should be forced to take birth control.

My religious belief is just as valid as theirs.

/in that it isn't even remotely valid and it's thinly disguised misogyny.
 
2013-11-26 03:13:53 PM

dramboxf: I think if the "business" is primarily religious, like a church not an arts and crafts store, than an argument could be made.

Otherwise, no.


What about a school that is run by a church, and teaches a specific view of abortion?
 
2013-11-26 03:16:38 PM
The whole "corporations are people" thing was a legal fiction used purely as an analogy for certain legal doctrines.  The fact that the Supreme Court of the United States decided to turn this into a literal statement is beyond stupid, especially considering they all went to top-tier law schools.  It is, without a doubt, the worst SCOTUS decision in the 21st century.
 
2013-11-26 03:17:41 PM
So corporations get "religious rights" now?

"Oh mighty dollar, maker of profit and provider of hookers and blow ..."
 
2013-11-26 03:18:49 PM

Transubstantive: The whole "corporations are people" thing was a legal fiction used purely as an analogy for certain legal doctrines.  The fact that the Supreme Court of the United States decided to turn this into a literal statement is beyond stupid, especially considering they all went to top-tier law schools.  It is, without a doubt, the worst SCOTUS decision in the 21st century.


newsbusters.org

demands a recount
 
2013-11-26 03:19:46 PM

Cyberluddite: More significantly, the Supremes will essentially be deciding whether a corporation can have a religion


So is there an afterlife for corporations? Like dogs, do they all go to heaven?
 
2013-11-26 03:20:16 PM
Can a corporation be baptized in a body of water?
Can it take communion?
Can it go on Hajj?
Can it have a bar-mitzvah?
 
2013-11-26 03:20:45 PM
Has anybody noticed that Hobby Lobby isn't a corporation?

It is a privately-owed company, which significantly changes the issue.

The owners are still coonts, but still - it's unrelated from corporate personhood.
 
2013-11-26 03:20:53 PM
If you don't like it, don't work there and don't take their benefits.
Go buy and work some place else.
Sounds pretty simple to me.

Disclosure: I'm an atheist.
 
2013-11-26 03:21:25 PM

Transubstantive: The whole "corporations are people" thing was a legal fiction used purely as an analogy for certain legal doctrines.  The fact that the Supreme Court of the United States decided to turn this into a literal statement is beyond stupid, especially considering they all went to top-tier law schools.  It is, without a doubt, the worst SCOTUS decision in the 21st century.


Yeah, I still can't quite get my head around the fact they did that. It makes me wonder if it is the beginning of the slippery slope to a society like Cloud Atlas' Nea So Copros.

This is also one reason why we need a single-payer. Health insurance should not be tied to employment.
 
2013-11-26 03:21:40 PM

Tax Boy: Transubstantive: The whole "corporations are people" thing was a legal fiction used purely as an analogy for certain legal doctrines.  The fact that the Supreme Court of the United States decided to turn this into a literal statement is beyond stupid, especially considering they all went to top-tier law schools.  It is, without a doubt, the worst SCOTUS decision in the 21st century.

[newsbusters.org image 400x300]

demands a recount

Citizens United

will and already has had far more wide-reaching implications for our nation than Bush v. Gore.
 
2013-11-26 03:21:42 PM
What if your religion forbids paying for insurance of any kind for employees? We can dance around this issue all we want because har-har, put an aspirin between your legs, tramp, but it's indicative of a larger, structural deficiency that undermines the entire system.
 
2013-11-26 03:21:49 PM

dj_bigbird: swaniefrmreddeer: This won't end well if the SCOTUS allows the companies to deny contraception. The JW plan will not include blood transfusions, the christian scientists plan will include only prayer.

They're not "denying contraception" - the employer would simply not have to pay for it. The employees would still be free to go out into the real world and pay for it on their own.


They're not telling their employees that they can't have a blood transfusion to save their life, the JW employer just won't pay for it.

/slippery slope.
 
2013-11-26 03:22:39 PM

DamnYankees: That's an interesting comparison - the idea of passing a law saying that every restaurant *must* serve beer, for example. I'm trying to imagine a situation where that could be unconstitutional, but I'm not seeing it. It would be really horrible public policy, but absent a showing of discriminatory intent against Mormons, I think it should stand as a law.


See, I think that it should stand more on whether the corporate entity itself, and not the people who own it, has a religious identity. If Hebrew National is bought by Bain Capital, I still think it can claim to be a Jewish company, because of its brand identity. Whereas Chik-Fil-A, while owned by a religious Christian, has nothing to do with religion.

I think that if it can be shown that the law harms the business because of the business's religious affiliation, then either the law is unconstitutional or the particular business should be exempt. But for the Hobby Lobby, that's not even close to the case.
 
2013-11-26 03:23:15 PM
As they should.
 
2013-11-26 03:23:45 PM

drumhellar: Has anybody noticed that Hobby Lobby isn't a corporation?

It is a privately-owed company, which significantly changes the issue.

The owners are still coonts, but still - it's unrelated from corporate personhood.


You are confusing a public corporation with a private corporation - both are corporations.  The only forms of businesses are sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations.  Nearly every business is a corporation because it limits personal liability of the owners.
 
2013-11-26 03:24:47 PM

hervatski: You can't force a person to do something but you can't also allow them to NOT give something they are due. Does that make sense?

If the affordable Care act says "you give people contraceptives and they have to take it" that means Youre forcing the company to actively force itself on someone, which isn't right.

But the law says the company cannot deny care that the person requires. I think that's where its gonna come down to.



Don't hurt yourself.

I promise that the Affordable Care Act does not require people to take contraceptives if they don't want them.

You can also not legally be compelled to get "gay married" if you are currently married to a woman...even if you think about dicks a lot.
 
2013-11-26 03:26:38 PM

DamnYankees: BravadoGT: The issue is whether or not the government can compel employers--any employers--to pay to fund services they find religiously objectionable and a condition of doing business in this country (i.e. "whether profit-making corporations can assert religious beliefs under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act or the First Amendment provision guaranteeing Americans the right to believe and worship as they choose."

What is an "employer" though? That's a huge issue here. The "employer" in the context of a corporation is the corporation, not the shareholders. On what legal basis do you attribute beliefs of shareholders to beliefs of the company? You might have Company X wholly-owned by a Catholic priest. In that case, you might want to conflate the employer's beliefs with that of the shareholder. But why should that be permitted in the case of religious beliefs, but not, say, debt? If Company X owes me money but doesn't have it, I don't get to go after the Catholic priest - we don't break the corporate veil. Why should we do so here?


Because the Federal government has imposed on itself a very tough standard with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act   That makes it a different animal that what incorporations law would normally encompass.  Constitutional issues always trump--even without the boost from the RFRA.  SCOTUS isn't going to say "sorry, owners of hobby lobby.  If you were a sole proprietorship or maybe a partnership you would have religious rights, but since you decided to incorporate--you have forfeited these rights."   It would make no sense for a case this case to hinge on that detail.
 
2013-11-26 03:26:50 PM

nmrsnr: See, I think that it should stand more on whether the corporate entity itself, and not the people who own it, has a religious identity.


This is true in general, but anti-discrimination lawsuits can generally be won if you can show that a law discriminates against you indirectly but was put in place as a result of discriminatory intent. And to me that's fair. It's not specific to the corporate scenario, though.
 
2013-11-26 03:26:56 PM
I wouldn't want to be working for Ikea when they start looking around for the sacrifices to Thor.
 
2013-11-26 03:27:06 PM
The major problem is the stupid law requiring businesses to offer health insurance as a benefit. If the government wants people to have health insurance it should provide a mechanism (the ACA if it worked).

Why should your employer be forced to pay for your insurance? Other than the minimum wage they should just butt out and I'm not sure about the min wage.

Right now the employer mandate is killing low income workers whose jobs are being cut to < 30 hourse. And yes it's happening, I know of at least 3 cases.

/ Ran into a woman who's job had cut her 40 hours to 28 hours to avoid the 'Obama tax'
// She is  making ends meet now as a part time stripper
/// Slashies come in threes
 
2013-11-26 03:27:17 PM

Mike_LowELL: R.A.Danny: You just hurt my brain, Mike_LoweLL.

That is the weakness inside of you leaving.  Embrace conservatism.  Embrace the chalice of freedom.  Drink from the chalice.  Rise.


I followed your directions but my penis keeps getting stuck in the window.
 
2013-11-26 03:28:07 PM
Here's the thing - Whether the corporation can have a religion (whatever that means) should be irrelevant to the holding of the court.  We already have long precedent that states that a law of general applicability trumps the free exercise clause.  This is why you cannot "opt out" of drug laws by declaring yourself a Rastafarian.

Hobby Lobby or whomever else can declare themselves to be Christian/Buddhist/Taoist/Whatever, unless they can show that the ACA provisions were specifically written with the intent to fark with their religious beliefs rather than to enact a general policy goal, they will still lose.


Thus, Chill Winston.
 
2013-11-26 03:28:54 PM

BravadoGT: Because the Federal government has imposed on itself a very tough standard with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act   That makes it a different animal that what incorporations law would normally encompass.  Constitutional issues always trump--even without the boost from the RFRA.  SCOTUS isn't going to say "sorry, owners of hobby lobby.  If you were a sole proprietorship or maybe a partnership you would have religious rights, but since you decided to incorporate--you have forfeited these rights."   It would make no sense for a case this case to hinge on that detail.


I'm not seeing how the RFRA makes any different here. The issue isn't the standard of scrutiny that's applied, the issue is to who the law actually applies. Are you willing to make the claim that any law which affects the way corporations act must be tested under the RFRA by hypothetically imagining if that law would be constitutional had it been directed directly at the shareholders and not at the corporation?
 
2013-11-26 03:29:11 PM
Answer should just be no.
 
2013-11-26 03:29:46 PM

drumhellar: Has anybody noticed that Hobby Lobby isn't a corporation?
It is a privately-owed company, which significantly changes the issue.
The owners are still coonts, but still - it's unrelated from corporate personhood.


No, nobody has noticed that.  Because it's not true.  It's a corporation.  It's not a publicly-traded corporation, but it's a corporation nonetheless (apparently a closely-held corporation, like the vast majority of corporations in America).  From their website:

Lobby Stores, Inc., located in Oklahoma City, OK, started as an extension of Greco Products, a miniature picture frames company founded in a garage by David Green in 1970. Hobby Lobby officially began operation on August 3, 1972 with a mere 300 square feet of retail space, and has been growing ever since.

Today, Hobby Lobby is considered a leader in the arts and crafts industry. We have 578 stores across the nation that average 55,000 square feet and offer more than 67,000 crafting and home decor products. Hobby Lobby is listed as a major private corporation in Forbes and Fortunes list of America's largest private companies, and our company carries no long-term debt.
 
2013-11-26 03:29:47 PM
I've pissed a lot of people off with my viewpoint of this.

While I think the owners of HL are horribly misguided and WRONG (read that more than once before proceeding) I think that forcing them provide a service that they find objectionable for whatever reason is worse. I also think that you are horribly misguided if you want these services as a condition of your employment and then go to work for a company like HL.

It seems to me that there is only one subject where people should be allowed to make their own choice.
 
2013-11-26 03:30:17 PM
fark hobby lobby.
That said if you pay for contraception you keep your wage slave employees at work and not having babies. Also it costs you less in taxes in the long run having less little punks running around doing stupid shiat.
Really it's the most real Republican thing to do.

/farking idiots.
 
2013-11-26 03:30:27 PM

CujoQuarrel: / Ran into a woman who's job had cut her 40 hours to 28 hours to avoid the 'Obama tax'
// She is  making ends meet now as a part time stripper



What strip club were you at?
 
2013-11-26 03:30:34 PM

Kiriyama9000: If you don't like it, don't work there and don't take their benefits.
Go buy and work some place else.
Sounds pretty simple to me.

Disclosure: I'm an atheist.


Yep.
 
2013-11-26 03:31:12 PM

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: What religion is The Hobby Lobby, anyway?


And will the Hobby Lobby lobby congress?
 
2013-11-26 03:31:40 PM

Mike_LowELL: I don't know where this thing that "corporations are people" started up.  If anything, corporations are more valuable to the world today, and thus deserve more rights than people.  Without corporations, you would not have McDonald's.  Think about that.  A world without McDonald's.  People would be starving without McDonald's.  Thank you, McDonald's.


img.fark.net
 
2013-11-26 03:31:44 PM
So, if this were to pass through the Supreme Court, it would indicate that any corporation which has a religious objection to ~any~ law, would be able to file against that law, citing this case.


How long, then, before a corporation's executives creates a faith that has religious objections to paying taxes?  I'll note that certain faiths (and certainly some wingnuts) have this belief already.


Where would this end?
 
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