If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Salon)   As the Supreme Court prepares to hear the Obamacare/birth control case tomorrow, its conservative justices are faced with a dilemma: support the religious right, or support laws which shield corporations from liability?   (salon.com) divider line 256
    More: Fail, Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, obamacare, moral dilemma, religious values, racial identity, hypocrisy, conservatisms  
•       •       •

2462 clicks; posted to Politics » on 24 Mar 2014 at 6:07 PM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



256 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | » | Last | Show all
 
2014-03-24 07:13:45 PM  

DamnYankees: RoyBatty: Good point, but I guess that's what this case is about, isn't it? Is Hobby Lobby breaking the law or not?

Well, sort of. There are 2 distinct issues here:

1) Is a corporation entitled to claim religious rights protections.

2) If so, is this particular case a violation of those rights.

The court could certainly decide that corporations do have religious protections, but that in this case they don't apply since its a law of general applicability.


That's interesting. I'd be okay with that.

I was only pointing out that I don't believe the Salon argument is as convincing as it makes itself out to be. That is, there seems to be plenty of room (based on my almost total lack of knowledge of this case) for the justices to split the baby and decide for the speech of shareholders while protecting them from liability.
 
2014-03-24 07:15:17 PM  

RoyBatty: That is, there seems to be plenty of room (based on my almost total lack of knowledge of this case) for the justices to split the baby and decide for the speech of shareholders while protecting them from liability.


I don't see how you could possibly do that without violating the veil. How could you possible tell whether or not a corporation held a religious belief without investigating the beliefs of its shareholders?
 
2014-03-24 07:16:17 PM  
Corporations are the only people who can still practice abortions without the religious right going ape.
 
2014-03-24 07:17:38 PM  

RoyBatty: I don't think that corporations are "persons", or needed to be persons in order to own property or be sued. And I don't think they needed to be persons to own property or be sued prior to 1886. And I certainly don't think the court should have waited 128 years to clear up a decision like that attributed not to a judge but to a court reporter.


Modern corporations came about in the late 1800s (railroads mostly), so its not unreasonable that there would be a delay in the Court ruling on it.  And the fact that it was basically asserted by a reporter is pretty horrible, actually, but the fact that the court didn't much care is in line with the general philosophy that this was in fact the law, the court just hadn't said it yet.

Without the protections of the 14th amendment, companies are substantially worse than partnerships, as they lack protections against federal grabs of company property.  Why would you invest in an entity that had no rights against the federal government when you could instead at least get actual constitutional protections from a partnership?   As the whole idea of a corporation is to create an entity capable of acting as an individual, making that entity either powerless against the feds or merely a partnership in thier eyes would be somewhat problematic.

Of course i don't really much care, myself, but the world would be a pretty different place without corporations having such rights.
 
2014-03-24 07:19:48 PM  

Teiritzamna: TheShavingofOccam123: But if you think they meant that people would have the ability not only to make messages with their bodies, but also to run off broadsheets, post signs, and print books, then you admit that money is an essential element of the right to speak.

Ah so are you switching your argument? That the use of money to further expression is within the ambit of the First Amendment, but now such ability should only be reserved to natural persons?  That when people group together their rights go away?  Because under that rubric the Koch brothers are set, but anyone who doesn't happen to have a few billion cannot band together with other normal folks and try to fight fire with fire.


Apparently, you didn't read my post. Let me quote it again.

super PACs, social welfare groups and corporations poured more than $1 billion into the 2012 election cycle; with $300 million of those dollars from undisclosed sources.

$300 million dollars from hidden sources. That's not people. That's LLCs shielding bribery and graft.
 
2014-03-24 07:21:06 PM  

BlastYoBoots: [dl.dropboxusercontent.com image 359x474]

**Those in the above image represent corporate legal-persons.


I have a feeling that will be the next legal argument they will take, "We're asserting control over our employees and customers with our corporate policies, but we have no liability to the results of such actions and can't be held responsible as a corporation for corporate decisions."
 
2014-03-24 07:22:19 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: Teiritzamna: TheShavingofOccam123: But if you think they meant that people would have the ability not only to make messages with their bodies, but also to run off broadsheets, post signs, and print books, then you admit that money is an essential element of the right to speak.

Ah so are you switching your argument? That the use of money to further expression is within the ambit of the First Amendment, but now such ability should only be reserved to natural persons?  That when people group together their rights go away?  Because under that rubric the Koch brothers are set, but anyone who doesn't happen to have a few billion cannot band together with other normal folks and try to fight fire with fire.

Apparently, you didn't read my post. Let me quote it again.

super PACs, social welfare groups and corporations poured more than $1 billion into the 2012 election cycle; with $300 million of those dollars from undisclosed sources.

$300 million dollars from hidden sources. That's not people. That's LLCs shielding bribery and graft.


What I don't get, at what point can an election be completely bought(/paid for) by a foreign entity? and what are the safeguards?
 
2014-03-24 07:23:11 PM  

vernonFL: If they rule in favor of "religious freedom" , would't that open up the USA to "Sharia Law" which everyone is so against?


This. Boss is a JW? Got cancer? Sorry, no transfusions for you.
 
2014-03-24 07:23:27 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: Scalia doesn't have that dilemna, subby.  He'll just flip a coin and then select whatever citations he wants that support the result.


The law is always like that, Beast. The only difference is that in an ideal world, its the lawyers who flip the coin and pick the cites and the judges should choose between them. In the case of the Supremes, they pick the outcome they think should control, and then select the argument that seems to come closest to their chosen outcome.
 
2014-03-24 07:25:16 PM  

Burning_Monk: TheShavingofOccam123: Teiritzamna: TheShavingofOccam123: But if you think they meant that people would have the ability not only to make messages with their bodies, but also to run off broadsheets, post signs, and print books, then you admit that money is an essential element of the right to speak.

Ah so are you switching your argument? That the use of money to further expression is within the ambit of the First Amendment, but now such ability should only be reserved to natural persons?  That when people group together their rights go away?  Because under that rubric the Koch brothers are set, but anyone who doesn't happen to have a few billion cannot band together with other normal folks and try to fight fire with fire.

Apparently, you didn't read my post. Let me quote it again.

super PACs, social welfare groups and corporations poured more than $1 billion into the 2012 election cycle; with $300 million of those dollars from undisclosed sources.

$300 million dollars from hidden sources. That's not people. That's LLCs shielding bribery and graft.

What I don't get, at what point can an election be completely bought(/paid for) by a foreign entity? and what are the safeguards?


Apparently, there are none that work. That's the problem with dark money in elections. And it's not federal elections only. Any election is fair game now.
 
2014-03-24 07:27:21 PM  

DamnYankees: Throughout this entire debate, I've always been confused by the basic issue. There seems to be 2 ways to phrase this issue, in terms of religious rights.

1) The corporation itself has rights based on religious beliefs held by the corporation, and you determine those beliefs by looking to the religious beliefs of the controlling shareholders.

2) The corporation doesn't have its own religious beliefs. Rather, the religious rights of individuals include the right to own stock in a corporation and direct such corporation's actions such that they comport with your religious beliefs.

Do we know which claim is being asserted? Both?


Depends on which side will save the corporation $$
 
2014-03-24 07:28:49 PM  

serial_crusher: Wouldn't it be nice if we had single payer healthcare and didn't have to deal with this argument?


Not trying to be a smart aleck, I swear. It is a fact that a certain percentage of the U.S. populace does not pay any federal income tax, and admitedly I do not understand what a "single payer" system entails, but would assume that the cost of insuring all Americans would be dependant upon federal taxes collected. Not asking if it is moral, ethical, or fair, but is it even POSSIBLE for the tax base to pay for this? I just get the feeling that the "middle class" will end up paying a disproportiniate (sp?) share compard to the "poor" and to the "rich". We can't afford much more. Just not certain if we need to kill the poor or kill the rich.....
 
2014-03-24 07:29:12 PM  

vernonFL: The Amish have to put reflectors on their buggies, they objected but they lost their case.

If the Amish can be forced to put reflectors on their buggies, then I dont see how Hobby Lobby and these other religios people can win.


So... Your for a tramp stamp mandate...
 
2014-03-24 07:29:58 PM  

DamnYankees: RoyBatty: That is, there seems to be plenty of room (based on my almost total lack of knowledge of this case) for the justices to split the baby and decide for the speech of shareholders while protecting them from liability.

I don't see how you could possibly do that without violating the veil. How could you possible tell whether or not a corporation held a religious belief without investigating the beliefs of its shareholders?


My understanding is that Hobby Lobby is privately held. As far as I am concerned then, and I ain't a lawyer or CEO, Hobby Lobby IS its majority shareholders as far as its speech is concerned and since the majority shareholders can presumably easily act to oust managers who disobey them then Hobby Lobby is its majority shareholders as far as its behavior goes.

As far as liability goes, well, those shareholders are protected. I didn't protect them, and I don't necessarily agree with that protection, but the law protects them. That's not the shareholder's fault, that's "on us".

So I would answer your question by saying it doesn't matter. If the corporation says "We believe in little green men and fantastic beings we will call gods and angels and demons" and there is no other reason for the gov't to pierce the veil (for instance none of the shareholders are denying that) then I'd say it ends there.

That doesn't mean I think Hobby Lobby is some sort of hero. I think they are garbage. But I don't see how shareholder speech outgoing through a veil has much to do with using the veil as it was originally defined to shield the shareholders from liability. Companies always speak for the majority shareholders -- I almost think that's like a tautology.
 
2014-03-24 07:32:24 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: $300 million dollars from hidden sources. That's not people. That's LLCs shielding bribery and graft.


Hey man, i am with you.  The problem it has long been the law of the land that campaign donations are not bribery unless there is an explicit quid pro quo.  And that this requirement does not encompass donating for favorable legislation in the future.  There needs to be evidence of actual specific exchange of money for specific legislation.  And the majority of the money you are discussing isn't even donations, its "uncoordinated" ads.

The alternative is to have the government get into the business of weighing which advertisements are too much like bribery and which aren't, which, given the large protections granted by the first, courts are loathe to do.

Basically it is a flaw in the 1st amendment itself, which is unpleasant.
 
2014-03-24 07:35:37 PM  

RoyBatty: So I would answer your question by saying it doesn't matter. If the corporation says "We believe in little green men and fantastic beings we will call gods and angels and demons" and there is no other reason for the gov't to pierce the veil (for instance none of the shareholders are denying that) then I'd say it ends there.


Yeah, alas that's about right.  The analysis turns less on the profession of belief but upon the sincerity of that belief.  So courts will take at face value that a company is seeking to act in a certain fashion, but may argue that that action is in furtherance of secular rather than religious goals.
 
2014-03-24 07:35:49 PM  

Teiritzamna: RoyBatty: I don't think that corporations are "persons", or needed to be persons in order to own property or be sued. And I don't think they needed to be persons to own property or be sued prior to 1886. And I certainly don't think the court should have waited 128 years to clear up a decision like that attributed not to a judge but to a court reporter.

Modern corporations came about in the late 1800s (railroads mostly), so its not unreasonable that there would be a delay in the Court ruling on it.  And the fact that it was basically asserted by a reporter is pretty horrible, actually, but the fact that the court didn't much care is in line with the general philosophy that this was in fact the law, the court just hadn't said it yet.

Without the protections of the 14th amendment, companies are substantially worse than partnerships, as they lack protections against federal grabs of company property.  Why would you invest in an entity that had no rights against the federal government when you could instead at least get actual constitutional protections from a partnership?   As the whole idea of a corporation is to create an entity capable of acting as an individual, making that entity either powerless against the feds or merely a partnership in thier eyes would be somewhat problematic.

Of course i don't really much care, myself, but the world would be a pretty different place without corporations having such rights.


I'll assume you know more about this than I do, but regardless, it pisses me the fark off.

Having said that, I've been intrigued the couple of times I've heard Thom Hartmann speak to this, and in part what he does is discuss exactly that, what the world might look like if we had different understandings of corporate rights, and corporate responsibilities. And then he talks about nations that do in fact have different  understandings of corporate rights and responsibilities to show how life might be different.

That was enlightening for me.

For instance, in the US, Milton Friedman says corporations should not care about social responsibility just for the sake of being good corporate persons. They should just maximize profits and then shareholders can pick or choose among corporations as they please. And under US concepts of corporations, I find his argument difficult to refute.

But Hartmann points to European nations in which in law, it says that corporations have a responsibility to the nation. And there, Friedman's argument is wrong. They as a society have chosen differently.

Anyway, I find that interesting.
 
2014-03-24 07:43:10 PM  

RoyBatty: Anyway, I find that interesting.


Oh definitely. I personally think the corporate responsibility model of Europe is not a bad way to go, but to me what i think is so interesting is the "PROFITS ONLY!!" model is actually an attempt to help the little guy:

The idea is that there is a direct agency problem with corporations.  Once they have a shareholder's money, they aren't really beholden to that guy. So we made the law such that the company cannot use the money they have been granted unless that decision is a sound business one.

Of course in time this evolved such that anything that could be expressed as "helping business" would get rubber stamped, so not only does it skew how companies work here, it kinda farks the little guy anyway.
 
2014-03-24 07:45:50 PM  
The smartest thing i have heard Scalia ever say:

Conscientious scruples have not, in the course of the long struggle for religious toleration, relieved the individual from obedience to a general law not aimed at the promotion or restriction of religious beliefs. The mere possession of religious convictions which contradict the relevant concerns of a political society does not relieve the citizen from the discharge of political responsibilities.

are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices. . . . Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.


It will be sad to see him pretend that he never said it or somehow this is magically different. I have hope he will be consistent but doubt he actually will.
 
2014-03-24 07:46:40 PM  

Teiritzamna: RoyBatty: So I would answer your question by saying it doesn't matter. If the corporation says "We believe in little green men and fantastic beings we will call gods and angels and demons" and there is no other reason for the gov't to pierce the veil (for instance none of the shareholders are denying that) then I'd say it ends there.

Yeah, alas that's about right.  The analysis turns less on the profession of belief but upon the sincerity of that belief.  So courts will take at face value that a company is seeking to act in a certain fashion, but may argue that that action is in furtherance of secular rather than religious goals.


Coming late to your conversation, but they can believe anything they want. The issue SHOULD be, can they subsequently force their EMPLOYEES to behave, and conform their legal behavior to, those beliefs, where such beliefs conflict with a) the employees beliefs and b) the law of the land.

In the instant case, the law says employers must provide health insurance to employees; Hobby Lobby is saying "we do not wish to provide insurance that includes birth control because of our religious beliefs." There is no need to pierce the veil in this case and see if the Board of Hobby Lobby really holds such beliefs--the only issue is, can the Board circumvent the law on the one hand and dictate its employees' behavior on the other, simply based on those beliefs.

Now I would argue that this would be a violation of the 1st Amd. by omission--that by doing so, the Court would be violating both the Establishment Clause and the Free Expression Clause by letting Hobby Lobby's religion trump everyone else's beliefs (their religious beliefs allow them to circumvent the law) and by making employees' conform to whatever religion Hobby Lobby practices (because they have to abide by whatever decision is handed down).

So if the Court agrees with Hobby Lobby, I wonder if we can sue the Court?
 
2014-03-24 07:48:30 PM  

officeday: serial_crusher: Wouldn't it be nice if we had single payer healthcare and didn't have to deal with this argument?

Not trying to be a smart aleck, I swear. It is a fact that a certain percentage of the U.S. populace does not pay any federal income tax, and admitedly I do not understand what a "single payer" system entails, but would assume that the cost of insuring all Americans would be dependant upon federal taxes collected. Not asking if it is moral, ethical, or fair, but is it even POSSIBLE for the tax base to pay for this? I just get the feeling that the "middle class" will end up paying a disproportiniate (sp?) share compard to the "poor" and to the "rich". We can't afford much more. Just not certain if we need to kill the poor or kill the rich.....


The underemployed are getting subsidies from Obamacare as it is now.  Would that necessarily be any different?  Some changes to the tax code would probably have to be implemented, but cutting insurance companies out as middle men would only help things right, not make them worse?
 
2014-03-24 07:49:13 PM  
Can Hobby Lobby also say it will not provide vacation time to employees if they will do something sinful of it?

Can a Jehova Witness say that it won't give employees healthcare that include surgery or blood transfusion?
 
2014-03-24 07:49:18 PM  
Honestly, I think the biggest problem for the Obama administration will be the number of waivers and 'outs' for certain groups, but not for these types of Christian people who run companies and/or nuns and other religious people who run non-profit organizations and have employees. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Why give an out for the Amish, let's say, but not for nuns? What is the difference between these two groups? Why does one merit the waiver and not the other?

If the administration cannot support valid reasons why SOME groups were given waivers while others were not (for random reasons that don't have any connection that I can see) then I don't think they can refuse waivers for others.

Also, if you look at Hobby Lobby's "statement of purpose," which existed well before Obamacare ever came into being, faith is all over that thing:

"In order to effectively serve our owners, employees, and customers the Board of Directors is committed to:

Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.

Offering our customers an exceptional selection and value.

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 owners' 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."

I think they have a pretty good case here, based on this statement. They have built their business around Christian values and are very clear what they are on their website and other corporate materials.
 
2014-03-24 07:49:42 PM  

officeday: Not asking if it is moral, ethical, or fair, but is it even POSSIBLE for the tax base to pay for this?


We already do this for Medicare (paid through payroll taxes), which covers the section of the populace with the highest medical costs. Extending it downwards while removing the contribution cap would increase the governments purchasing power even further, plus people wouldn't have to have private carriers, which would remove the premiums families and their employers pay.

The above is the reason why most countries went this route, and their costs are dramatically lower than ours.
 
2014-03-24 07:52:19 PM  

k1j2b3: "In order to effectively serve our owners, employees, and customers the Board of Directors is committed to:

Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.


And can you tell me where "the lord" said he was against allowing others to choose for themselves contraception exactly?
 
2014-03-24 07:53:17 PM  

Cubicle Jockey: We already do this for Medicare (paid through payroll taxes), which covers the section of the populace with the highest medical costs. Extending it downwards while removing the contribution cap would increase the governments purchasing power even further, plus people wouldn't have to have private carriers, which would remove the premiums families and their employers pay.


Which is what the ACA did it added millions onto Medicare.
 
2014-03-24 07:53:32 PM  

DamnYankees: twat_waffle: gaspode: Amazing, someone in the media actually farking noticed the elephant in the room of this case, which is that if they rule in Hobby Jobbie's favour then they are opening the door to personal liability and responsibility of corporate owners for their corporations. The people pushing this think they can have their cake and eat it, but they can not. If they win this then they are going to get absolutely hammered in future, and yet they do not see it coming at all.

Foresight has not been among our corporate masters' virtues for quite some time. If C-level and board of directors types could appreciate the long-term consequences of their actions, the Great Recession would have never happened.

Actually, the business community hasn't been very vocal on this issue. As TFA notes, some have even come out against Hobby Lobby. They see the issue here.


That's not what I was referring to. I was saying that modern captains of industry are blind to the long-term consequences of their own actions. Bank of America was blind to how robosigning foreclosure notices and processing debits before credits was going to bite them in the ass eventually. Hobby Lobby's owners are blind to how winning this case could expose them to even greater liability in the future. It would be obvious to any lawyer worth his retainer, but Hobby Lobby has its own agenda.
 
2014-03-24 07:53:51 PM  
There is another option you know. Since this is the supreme court, they can kind of rule however the hell they want to.  The could rule the whole thing unconstitutional.  Now before the libtrolls get all mad, they probably won't.  However, nobody ever thought that Kelo v. City of New London would actually happen the way it did, either.  In this case, there is no really safe prediction.  We'll just have to wait until they come out with the ruling.  Knowing how they are, it will be the last ruling released just like the last ACA case.  If we've learned anything, the Supreme Court loves the drama.

As for the case itself, I believe that we'll have to wait and see how the oral arguments are presented and compare them to the written arguments.  It all depends on how the gubment wants to argue the case. However, I don't think the central argument here is the question of Hobby Lobby breaking the law.  The question is can the owners of Hobby Lobby be compelled to go against their religious beliefs even if their employees don't share those beliefs.

For example, my health insurance was limited when I worked for catholic schools.  Not that I was terribly concerned about getting an abortion, mind you, since I'm biologically incapable of ever needing one.  Nor was artificial insemination covered.  Again, not a big deal for me because I wasn't married at the time nor was I considering starting a family (plus when my wife needed some medical help for ovulating, her insurance didn't cover the full cost and also didn't cover artificial insemination due to the high risk of failure at the time).  At the same time, however, I was never forced to participate in taking communion because I'm also a protestant...and my family has been excommunicated from the catholic church for some things they did in England a long time ago.  I'm not certain if the order of excommunication is still enforced, but I wasn't going to go about asking since I needed a job at the time.  Catholic schools are pretty flexible about that because there aren't enough catholic teachers out there to teach in catholic schools.  I also told the kids that weren't catholic that what they did was their choice and I didn't take communion out of respect for the beliefs and practices of the catholic church and that according to those practices it was not appropriate for protestants to take communion from a catholic priest.  I left out the family history part.  My point is that it cuts both ways.  If a woman who works at hobby lobby knows that her bosses and the store's owners are devout catholic, then asking for them to pay for your birth control or abortion would probably be in bad taste and it wouldn't be included in their health insurance options. At the same time, the owners are probably going to need a little flexibility in expecting others to follow their strict adherence to their religious beliefs if they expect to get enough employees to make their business successful, especially since it isn't an obvious religious institution.  They might select a plan that covers birth control if they want to attract good employees.

As for future ramifications, I'm fairly sure that major corporations do see the possible outcomes of this ruling.  Is expanding the liability of corporations a bad thing?  Maybe, maybe not.  Again, it depends on how the ruling is worded.  Is treating a corporation more like an individual a bad thing?  Again, it depends on how the ruling is worded.

In the end, we all need to just be patient, not jump the gun, and let the system do its work.  Personally, and however unlikely, I'm hoping they just toss the thing out completely so we can start over and this time do it right.  Maybe this time we can actually pass an constitutional amendment that addresses health care like the leftistas want and build in the safeguards that the conservatives want and everyone will either be happy with the compromise or they'll reject it and we'll try to compromise again.  I will tell you this: how we address healthcare will be one of the cornerstone issues that will either unite this country or further a divide that will eventually create a second civil war.
 
2014-03-24 07:55:47 PM  

RoyBatty: So I would answer your question by saying it doesn't matter. If the corporation says "We believe in little green men and fantastic beings we will call gods and angels and demons" and there is no other reason for the gov't to pierce the veil (for instance none of the shareholders are denying that) then I'd say it ends there.


This is wrong, I think. As a lawyer (albeit not a first amendment expert), I can confidently say that one of the criteria for claiming a religious objection to compliance with a law is that you need to show that the religious belief is sincerely held. In other words, you actually need to believe what you claim to believe. That's why it matter. If a corporation says "I don't want to pay for contraception because God says its bad", you need to have some way to test that believe and determine if the corporation really believes that. How could you do that without analyzing the beliefs of the shareholders?
 
2014-03-24 07:56:23 PM  

bobothemagnificent: The could rule the whole thing unconstitutional.


What whole thing?
 
2014-03-24 07:56:28 PM  

k1j2b3: I think they have a pretty good case here, based on this statement. They have built their business around Christian values and are very clear what they are on their website and other corporate materials.


So if I am a Jehova witness company I don't have to pay for insurance that covers surgeries?

If I am a Company that believes in pacifism (which Christ actually said he was for, unlike banning contraception) I don't have to pay taxes that go to making war weapons?

Or do you think only certain religons get this benefit?
 
2014-03-24 07:56:49 PM  

Corvus: It will be sad to see him pretend that he never said it or somehow this is magically different. I have hope he will be consistent but doubt he actually will.


Hoping for Scalia to be consistent is like hoping you can let out a squeaker on a first date after eating nothing but Mexican food for three days without your date hearing it.

Personally, I see the court completely ignoring the religious freedom issue.  They can toss it out by saying "Whether corporations can hold religious freedom rights is a moot point, because even if they did, the PPACA is a law of general applicability and they'd still have to obey it."  There's no need to open up the 'can a corporation have a religion' can of worms, so why bother with it?

Scalia and Thomas will probably write a dissent saying that Hobby Lobby is a fine upstanding Christian corporation they fully expect to see standing in line at the pearly gates and futhermore ...
 
2014-03-24 07:56:50 PM  
My bet is that the conservatives may try to punt this one by upholding the law without ruling against the plaintiffs.  How they will do this will be interesting.  Personally i don't see how corporations can have a religion unless it is wholly owned by a religious order but even then i think the act of incorporation should take away any religious exemption.
 
2014-03-24 07:56:56 PM  

officeday: serial_crusher: Wouldn't it be nice if we had single payer healthcare and didn't have to deal with this argument?

Not trying to be a smart aleck, I swear. It is a fact that a certain percentage of the U.S. populace does not pay any federal income tax, and admitedly I do not understand what a "single payer" system entails, but would assume that the cost of insuring all Americans would be dependant upon federal taxes collected. Not asking if it is moral, ethical, or fair, but is it even POSSIBLE for the tax base to pay for this? I just get the feeling that the "middle class" will end up paying a disproportiniate (sp?) share compard to the "poor" and to the "rich". We can't afford much more. Just not certain if we need to kill the poor or kill the rich.....


We already pay more public money into our private healthcare system, per capita, than any other country on earth, including countries with single payer. At this point, single payer will save us money without having much of an effect on anyone's tax burden.
 
2014-03-24 07:57:10 PM  

Gyrfalcon: Coming late to your conversation, but they can believe anything they want. The issue SHOULD be, can they subsequently force their EMPLOYEES to behave, and conform their legal behavior to, those beliefs, where such beliefs conflict with a) the employees beliefs and b) the law of the land.


I admit I haven't been following this case too closely, but are they proposing firing people who would choose to purchase insurance that did cover birth control?  I don't see how you arrive at the conclusion that they're "forcing" their employees' behavior without something along those lines.
Far as I can tell they're just not wanting to be forced to pay for it, which is substantially different than what you're suggesting.
 
2014-03-24 07:58:48 PM  

Karac: Personally, I see the court completely ignoring the religious freedom issue. They can toss it out by saying "Whether corporations can hold religious freedom rights is a moot point, because even if they did, the PPACA is a law of general applicability and they'd still have to obey it." There's no need to open up the 'can a corporation have a religion' can of worms, so why bother with it?


No I agree. That argument makes the most sense.

The law in no way is trying to single out a specific religion.
 
2014-03-24 07:59:20 PM  

Corvus: k1j2b3: "In order to effectively serve our owners, employees, and customers the Board of Directors is committed to:

Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.

And can you tell me where "the lord" said he was against allowing others to choose for themselves contraception exactly?


I never said this. This is the statement from the company itself. Just because I am quoting a company's statements does not make them mine. I am guessing that the owners / board members of Hobby Lobby believe that providing birth control of the type that is required under Obamacare is not in line with 'Biblical principles.' You can try to argue that their beliefs are stupid, invalid or out-dated, but they are still their beliefs. I am sure you are well aware of the Catholic Church's stance on contraception, so I am guessing the Hobby Lobby may be in line with this type of thinking. Is it really so horrific for people who work for a Christian company with clearly stated Christian beliefs behind their company operation to NOT have certain contraceptive coverage in their health insurance? I mean, really, it is not that much of a hardship.

Many years ago, I had insurance provided through an employer (non-Christian) and it only covered certain birth control items despite what my doctor thought about it...I would've had to pay for it myself. I wasn't railing about the coverage. I just chose differently based on what my insurance covered. It was not a big deal.

I find it incredibly silly that Obama will allow certain companies and groups of people to be excluded from the mandate, but then gets all up in arms about THIS. It is weird and contradictory.
 
2014-03-24 07:59:50 PM  

DamnYankees: RoyBatty: So I would answer your question by saying it doesn't matter. If the corporation says "We believe in little green men and fantastic beings we will call gods and angels and demons" and there is no other reason for the gov't to pierce the veil (for instance none of the shareholders are denying that) then I'd say it ends there.

This is wrong, I think. As a lawyer (albeit not a first amendment expert), I can confidently say that one of the criteria for claiming a religious objection to compliance with a law is that you need to show that the religious belief is sincerely held. In other words, you actually need to believe what you claim to believe. That's why it matter. If a corporation says "I don't want to pay for contraception because God says its bad", you need to have some way to test that believe and determine if the corporation really believes that. How could you do that without analyzing the beliefs of the shareholders?


Well, for starters, you could look at the fact that Hobby Lobby quite happily provided contraception in their employees health insurance for years.  And that it only became a problem when the law required them to do what they had previously done willingly, and which they now say they cannot do.

At the very least, the justices would have to ask them when and why their sincerely held beliefs changed.
 
2014-03-24 08:00:09 PM  
To summarize:

Bakery owner: No cakes for gheys because Jesus.
Court: *biatchslaps bigot*

Corporation: No birth control for employees because Jesus.
Court: .....?
Corporation: Did we mention Jesus and loads of money?
 
2014-03-24 08:01:35 PM  
I can assure that the conservative justices will do what it exactly says in the Constitution like they always do.  As we speak, Scalia is seeing into the minds of the Founding Fathers and applying exactly what it is that they all wanted.
 
2014-03-24 08:04:39 PM  

Corvus: Can Hobby Lobby also say it will not provide vacation time to employees if they will do something sinful of it?

Can a Jehova Witness say that it won't give employees healthcare that include surgery or blood transfusion?


Or pay less than minimum wage because of their religious beliefs?  Or refuse to have female managers because of religious beliefs?  Or refuse to pay taxes because of religious beliefs?  Or commit "honor killings" against employees who don't live up to Hobby Lobbys moral code in order to restore their family honor?
 
2014-03-24 08:06:02 PM  

Karac: Well, for starters, you could look at the fact that Hobby Lobby quite happily provided contraception in their employees health insurance for years.  And that it only became a problem when the law required them to do what they had previously done willingly, and which they now say they cannot do.


Unfortunately the government waived any argument about the sincerity of Hobby Lobby's belief, so this fact is basically moot.
 
2014-03-24 08:08:33 PM  

DamnYankees: When have the conservative powers that be ever supported the religious right over corporations?


Exactly.  They'll take corporations over religion every single time.  Corporations are the real masters of the right; religion is just a means of getting morons to vote for things that will benefit corporations.
 
2014-03-24 08:08:50 PM  

Xetal: Or pay less than minimum wage because of their religious beliefs?


Likely no - compelling government interest and a narrowly tailored law trumps RFRA

Xetal: Or refuse to have female managers because of religious beliefs?


There are already employment exceptions based on religion, although most of those statutes require the company to be a non-profit.

Xetal: Or refuse to pay taxes because of religious beliefs?


Likely no - compelling government interest and a narrowly tailored law trumps RFRA

 Xetal: Or commit "honor killings" against employees who don't live up to Hobby Lobbys moral code in order to restore their family honor?

Oh hell no - compelling government interest and a narrowly tailored law trumps RFRA
 
2014-03-24 08:09:54 PM  

DamnYankees: RoyBatty: So I would answer your question by saying it doesn't matter. If the corporation says "We believe in little green men and fantastic beings we will call gods and angels and demons" and there is no other reason for the gov't to pierce the veil (for instance none of the shareholders are denying that) then I'd say it ends there.

This is wrong, I think. As a lawyer (albeit not a first amendment expert), I can confidently say that one of the criteria for claiming a religious objection to compliance with a law is that you need to show that the religious belief is sincerely held. In other words, you actually need to believe what you claim to believe. That's why it matter. If a corporation says "I don't want to pay for contraception because God says its bad", you need to have some way to test that believe and determine if the corporation really believes that. How could you do that without analyzing the beliefs of the shareholders?


Ask me again in, um, June? July?
 
2014-03-24 08:10:11 PM  
bobothemagnificent:

Now before the libtrolls get all mad

www.vh1.com
 
2014-03-24 08:10:21 PM  

DamnYankees: bobothemagnificent: The could rule the whole thing unconstitutional.

What whole thing?

The WHOLE damn law, in its entirety.  Don't forget that Stevens, Thomas, Scalia, and Alito wanted to do just that originally because they thought that this law created powers that the constitution never intended the government to have to begin with.  Don't be surprised if that comes up again in private discussions.
 
2014-03-24 08:11:16 PM  

Teiritzamna: Likely no - compelling government interest and a narrowly tailored law trumps RFRA


Well there is a compelling government interest here and a pretty broadly tailored law.  That was the entire point of my post, that your religion typically does not excuse you from following the law and the ACA is the law.
 
2014-03-24 08:12:32 PM  

DamnYankees: bobothemagnificent: The could rule the whole thing unconstitutional.

What whole thing?


The thing that folks have been trying to repeal, what going on fifty times, and having already sent it to the Supreme Court once already? Yeah, our Beamish Boy can KEEP living that dream...
 
2014-03-24 08:14:02 PM  

OtherLittleGuy: To summarize:

Bakery owner: No cakes for gheys because Jesus.
Court: *biatchslaps bigot*

Corporation: No birth control for employees because Jesus.
Court: .....?
Corporation: Did we mention Jesus and loads of money?


So the ellipsis was there to encapsulate all the times the court has biatch slapped them over this on the way up?
 
Displayed 50 of 256 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report