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(Salon)   Does the Hobby Lobby ruling mean that individuals can refuse to pay taxes on anything they don't like, because religion?   (salon.com) divider line 148
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3612 clicks; posted to Politics » on 14 Jul 2014 at 4:31 PM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-14 12:41:48 PM  
...[Scalia] and his brethren have ruled for Hobby Lobby et al., to the effect that private persons/corporations do not have to fund activities that violate their faith - such as the use of an IUD by an employee who may not even share that faith.

The upshot of the ruling is that Hobby Lobby and other businesses with conservative religious owners do not need to pay for what the Affordable Care Act mandates as full coverage for family planning. The public interest in affordable and accessible healthcare is not compelling enough to override the private belief that contraceptive methods including (but apparently not limited to) the IUD and the morning-after pill are murder. Well, I'm a pacifist, and I say that warfare is murder, and I don't want to pay for it; and in recent decades the public interest in my paying for it hardly looks compelling.

 
This seems like a valid point to me. Somehow, I doubt it stands up to legal scrutiny, though. War and taxes are two of the sacred cows of the modern nation-state, and opening the door to refusing on either isn't something we're likely to do. Hobby Lobbywould get overturned before that would be allowed to happen.
 
2014-07-14 12:43:47 PM  
Still no.
 
2014-07-14 12:49:12 PM  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Render_unto_Caesar

"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's"
 
2014-07-14 12:59:55 PM  
It would be funny if this got extended to pacifists refusing to support the military on religious grounds.

If you could keep a percentage of your taxes equal to the proportion of the federal budget spent on the military (20% currently, I think), I imagine the Quaker church would suddenly see a huge increase in membership.
 
2014-07-14 01:20:37 PM  

whistleridge: War and taxes are two of the sacred cows of the modern nation-state.

Modern?   Don't you mean 'sacred cows of every civilization... ever.'

 
2014-07-14 01:41:06 PM  

Heliovdrake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Render_unto_Caesar

"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's"


That isn't the only religion out there.
 
2014-07-14 01:56:41 PM  
i'd love to see scalia's pretzel logic on this one.
 
2014-07-14 01:59:45 PM  

nekom: Heliovdrake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Render_unto_Caesar

"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's"

That isn't the only religion out there.


Also, I'm pretty sure it says don't kill people, forgive your enemies, and it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven, but none of THOSE stop anyone. Why should that be the only one that's forced to apply?
 
2014-07-14 02:07:36 PM  
It's been tried. I mean, if you are going to write an article about some fantasy of a Quaker challenging paying taxes under the RFRA, a modicum of research would have uncovered Adams v. Commissioner, read the decision, seen the numerous USSC citations holding the uniform application of the Tax Code as satisfying the "compelling interest" test. A thorough writer might do that. This author didn't.
 
2014-07-14 02:19:25 PM  

whistleridge: This seems like a valid point to me. Somehow, I doubt it stands up to legal scrutiny, though.


This was specifically addressed in Alito's decision:

"United States v. Lee, 455 U. S. 252, which upheld the payment of Social Security taxes despite an employer's religious objection, is not analogous. It turned primarily on the special problems associated with a national system of taxation; and if Lee were a RFRA case, the fundamental point would still be that there is no less restrictive alternative to the categorical requirement to pay taxes."

So no. You can't.
 
2014-07-14 02:27:54 PM  
 
2014-07-14 02:45:36 PM  
Pfft. like individuals are "people".
 
2014-07-14 03:13:55 PM  
I know Salon doesn't have a problem with trite pieces of shiat like this, but I'm a bit surprised it passed our ass-hair-above-rock-bottom standards.
 
2014-07-14 03:24:38 PM  
The only real difference is that, in the eyes of the USSC, taxes and war are important, and women's health care isn't. They flowered it up with the "compelling interest narrowly tailored" test, but that's basically what it comes down to.
 
2014-07-14 03:25:17 PM  

Nabb1: I know Salon doesn't have a problem with trite pieces of shiat like this, but I'm a bit surprised it passed our ass-hair-above-rock-bottom standards.


They're that high? Who knew.

I mean, we *are* talking about a bunch of hosers who proudly claim squirrel balls for a mascot. If we were all high falutin an sich, why, we'd mosey on over ta Reddit.
 
2014-07-14 03:57:11 PM  

FlashHarry: i'd love to see scalia's pretzel logic on this one.


     What Nuva Rings and Peyote have in Common Today

Unfortunately it only describes the pretzel.  It doesn't answer why Scalia constructed it, or why his rulings should be so inconsistent.
 
2014-07-14 04:34:20 PM  

nekom: Heliovdrake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Render_unto_Caesar

"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's"

That isn't the only religion out there.


I'm thinking of starting my own religion that has a strict ban on charity payments to non-persons.
I expect the IRS won't mind if I reduce my tax bill by the same percentage as corporate welfare takes from the federal budget.
 
2014-07-14 04:34:42 PM  
Of course not subby. We're people, we don't get all the rights to break the law that corporations get.
 
2014-07-14 04:35:48 PM  
31.media.tumblr.com

hth
 
2014-07-14 04:36:51 PM  

nmrsnr: whistleridge: This seems like a valid point to me. Somehow, I doubt it stands up to legal scrutiny, though.

This was specifically addressed in Alito's decision:

"United States v. Lee, 455 U. S. 252, which upheld the payment of Social Security taxes despite an employer's religious objection, is not analogous. It turned primarily on the special problems associated with a national system of taxation; and if Lee were a RFRA case, the fundamental point would still be that there is no less restrictive alternative to the categorical requirement to pay taxes."

So no. You can't.


problem is, "the government pays the costs for you" was ruled to be a less restrictive means

the question in hobby lobby wasn't about providing those birth control methods, but paying for them
 
2014-07-14 04:37:02 PM  

whistleridge: ...[Scalia] and his brethren have ruled for Hobby Lobby et al., to the effect that private persons/corporations do not have to fund activities that violate their faith - such as the use of an IUD by an employee who may not even share that faith.

The upshot of the ruling is that Hobby Lobby and other businesses with conservative religious owners do not need to pay for what the Affordable Care Act mandates as full coverage for family planning. The public interest in affordable and accessible healthcare is not compelling enough to override the private belief that contraceptive methods including (but apparently not limited to) the IUD and the morning-after pill are murder. Well, I'm a pacifist, and I say that warfare is murder, and I don't want to pay for it; and in recent decades the public interest in my paying for it hardly looks compelling.
 
This seems like a valid point to me. Somehow, I doubt it stands up to legal scrutiny, though. War and taxes are two of the sacred cows of the modern nation-state, and opening the door to refusing on either isn't something we're likely to do. Hobby Lobbywould get overturned before that would be allowed to happen.


The Quakers already tried this. The answer is no.
 
2014-07-14 04:38:29 PM  

FlashHarry: i'd love to see scalia's pretzel logic on this one.


I doubt he's a dan fan.
 
2014-07-14 04:38:40 PM  
Obviously not.  Because the Supreme court ruled that it didn't count if was payed for by taxes instead of by the corporation in question.

But I will tell you that I'm founding a new religion soon, one that believes in not testing god's protection with excess safety equipment.  We can quote that verse where the pharisees are challenging Jesus to jump off the temple and let god save him.  It's scripture and we know republicans don't mind taking exactly the opposite of intention from scripture.

It's a firmly held belief, too.
 
2014-07-14 04:39:10 PM  

Triple Oak: Of course not subby. We're people, we don't get all the rights to break the law that corporations get.


Maybe they could incorporate themselves into an LLC and avoid it that way. Arnold Schwarzenegger used to have a setup like that to avoid taxes.
 
2014-07-14 04:43:18 PM  

whistleridge: ...[Scalia] and his brethren have ruled for Hobby Lobby et al., to the effect that private persons/corporations do not have to fund activities that violate their faith - such as the use of an IUD by an employee who may not even share that faith.

The upshot of the ruling is that Hobby Lobby and other businesses with conservative religious owners do not need to pay for what the Affordable Care Act mandates as full coverage for family planning. The public interest in affordable and accessible healthcare is not compelling enough to override the private belief that contraceptive methods including (but apparently not limited to) the IUD and the morning-after pill are murder. Well, I'm a pacifist, and I say that warfare is murder, and I don't want to pay for it; and in recent decades the public interest in my paying for it hardly looks compelling.
 
This seems like a valid point to me. Somehow, I doubt it stands up to legal scrutiny, though. War and taxes are two of the sacred cows of the modern nation-state, and opening the door to refusing on either isn't something we're likely to do. Hobby Lobbywould get overturned before that would be allowed to happen.



It doesn't stand up to legal scrutiny because taxation / spending is treated differently from legal mandates in Supreme Court jurisprudence.  But I think the underlying point the article is making is correct - that the rationale the court used to exempt hobby lobby from the contraception part of the ACA supports allowing religious pacifists to opt out of paying taxes that fund wars.

The court will never rule that way, however, because Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito are Catholics, and although Catholic dogma prohibits contraception, it doesn't require pacifism.  Which gives you a good idea of why the Hobby Lobby decision is such a crappy piece of jurisprudence.
 
2014-07-14 04:45:22 PM  

sprawl15: nmrsnr: whistleridge: This seems like a valid point to me. Somehow, I doubt it stands up to legal scrutiny, though.

This was specifically addressed in Alito's decision:

"United States v. Lee, 455 U. S. 252, which upheld the payment of Social Security taxes despite an employer's religious objection, is not analogous. It turned primarily on the special problems associated with a national system of taxation; and if Lee were a RFRA case, the fundamental point would still be that there is no less restrictive alternative to the categorical requirement to pay taxes."

So no. You can't.

problem is, "the government pays the costs for you" was ruled to be a less restrictive means

the question in hobby lobby wasn't about providing those birth control methods, but paying for them


Problem is, the Supreme Court looks like it's going to rule the "government pays the cost for you" thing unconstitutional too.
 
2014-07-14 04:46:59 PM  

Heliovdrake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Render_unto_Caesar

"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's"


That's the absolute weirdest spelling of "Obama" I've seen yet.  It even beats B-Rock the Islamic Shock.
 
2014-07-14 04:47:05 PM  
Regardless of whether or not the guy has a sound legal theory, I think we'd all be a lot better off if more people followed the Quaker example.


Sadly, the US has always treated pacifists and collectivists with a measure of distrust, as if wanting to do no harm to your fellow man and lift up the community is an unnatural desire.
 
2014-07-14 04:47:56 PM  

Chummer45: The court will never rule that way, however, because Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito are Catholics, and although Catholic dogma prohibits contraception, it doesn't require pacifism.  Which gives you a good idea of why the Hobby Lobby decision is such a crappy piece of jurisprudence.


Not unlike Bush vs Gore which you can't use as precedence because shut up that's why.
 
2014-07-14 04:48:21 PM  
I don't support the public financial support of the retarded, so does that mean that I don't have to pay the portion of my taxes that provide representatives and senators with their pay?
 
2014-07-14 04:49:46 PM  

Karac: sprawl15: nmrsnr: whistleridge: This seems like a valid point to me. Somehow, I doubt it stands up to legal scrutiny, though.

This was specifically addressed in Alito's decision:

"United States v. Lee, 455 U. S. 252, which upheld the payment of Social Security taxes despite an employer's religious objection, is not analogous. It turned primarily on the special problems associated with a national system of taxation; and if Lee were a RFRA case, the fundamental point would still be that there is no less restrictive alternative to the categorical requirement to pay taxes."

So no. You can't.

problem is, "the government pays the costs for you" was ruled to be a less restrictive means

the question in hobby lobby wasn't about providing those birth control methods, but paying for them

Problem is, the Supreme Court looks like it's going to rule the "government pays the cost for you" thing unconstitutional too.


I look forward to hearing the "logic" behind that conclusion.
 
2014-07-14 04:50:09 PM  
Corporations may be people, but people aren't corporations.

So no, subby.
 
2014-07-14 04:52:17 PM  
Salon has really gone full retard today.

Seriously, this exact question has been settled law for quite a long time, despite many attempts to sue under the RFRA.
 
2014-07-14 04:52:32 PM  

Aexia: Chummer45: The court will never rule that way, however, because Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito are Catholics, and although Catholic dogma prohibits contraception, it doesn't require pacifism.  Which gives you a good idea of why the Hobby Lobby decision is such a crappy piece of jurisprudence.

Not unlike Bush vs Gore which you can't use as precedence because shut up that's why.



Exactly.  It's judicial activism at its most obvious.
 
2014-07-14 04:52:56 PM  
media.salon.com

...so then I says to her, I says "Lady you call those tits? Anything smaller than this isn't worth my time!"
 
2014-07-14 04:53:31 PM  
She makes an interesting point, but will get laughed out of court.

I'm going to send this to a tea bagger I work with, and explain the basic premise and watch his head assplode.
 
2014-07-14 04:56:40 PM  
No, because if corporations are people, then people are subhuman.
 
2014-07-14 04:57:08 PM  
Although I realize that the specific legal challenge will fail,it bears repeating that an argument made by Hobby Lobby was that forcing it to cover contraception was essentially the government requiring a for-profit business to fund abortions (according to the beliefs of the owners of that company).  A 5 justice majority agreed with that premise.  In principle it is no different from a Quaker demanding to be opted out of paying taxes because taxes fund wars which is tantamount to murder, according to their religious beliefs.

But unfortunately for Quakers, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and Kennedy aren't Quakers, they're Roman Catholics.
 
2014-07-14 04:57:12 PM  

rosebud_the_sled: I don't support the public financial support of the retarded, so does that mean that I don't have to pay the portion of my taxes that provide representatives and senators with their pay?


cdn.memegenerator.net
 
2014-07-14 04:57:16 PM  

IvyLady: Regardless of whether or not the guy has a sound legal theory, I think we'd all be a lot better off if more people followed the Quaker example.


Sadly, the US has always treated pacifists and collectivists with a measure of distrust, as if wanting to do no harm to your fellow man and lift up the community is an unnatural desire.


No beef with them personally, but their ideals don't scale very well.
 
2014-07-14 04:58:51 PM  

IvyLady: Regardless of whether or not the guy has a sound legal theory, I think we'd all be a lot better off if more people followed the Quaker example.


Sadly, the US has always treated pacifists and collectivists with a measure of distrust, as if wanting to do no harm to your fellow man and lift up the community is an unnatural desire.


Some men kill for sport,
Others kill for food,
The only thing I'm killing for
Is an outfit that looks good...

And oil.
 
2014-07-14 05:00:49 PM  
Surely no one on the left will roll around on the floor screaming and pissing themselves when the first rich person decides they want to stop paying taxes too.
 
2014-07-14 05:01:09 PM  
My only concern is whether the collective brain damage cause onto the reactive crowd will be permanant or will these tortured and unfounded attempts to spin the judgement to mean something that it will not be end?
 
2014-07-14 05:01:44 PM  

BMFPitt: Salon has really gone full retard today.

Seriously, this exact question has been settled law for quite a long time, despite many attempts to sue under the RFRA.


Yeah, this. I'm sure there were many attempts to sue about taxes pre-RFRA, as well, and they ended the exact same way.
 
2014-07-14 05:02:00 PM  
My taxes only go towards bombs and bullets.
 
2014-07-14 05:02:28 PM  

Saiga410: My only concern is whether the collective brain damage cause onto the reactive crowd will be permanant or will these tortured and unfounded attempts to spin the judgement to mean something that it will not be end?


wut?
 
2014-07-14 05:02:29 PM  

qorkfiend: Karac: sprawl15: nmrsnr: whistleridge: This seems like a valid point to me. Somehow, I doubt it stands up to legal scrutiny, though.

This was specifically addressed in Alito's decision:

"United States v. Lee, 455 U. S. 252, which upheld the payment of Social Security taxes despite an employer's religious objection, is not analogous. It turned primarily on the special problems associated with a national system of taxation; and if Lee were a RFRA case, the fundamental point would still be that there is no less restrictive alternative to the categorical requirement to pay taxes."

So no. You can't.

problem is, "the government pays the costs for you" was ruled to be a less restrictive means

the question in hobby lobby wasn't about providing those birth control methods, but paying for them

Problem is, the Supreme Court looks like it's going to rule the "government pays the cost for you" thing unconstitutional too.

I look forward to hearing the "logic" behind that conclusion.


It's going to be quite simple.  They said companies don't have to include birth control in insurance because there is a less intrusive alternative; they never said that alternative was legal.  When they get around to ruling on Wheaton then they'll say this particular alternative is unconstitutional.

Then, unless some poor schmuck of an employee decides to get fired by suing their boss they'll never have to revisit the logic they used in Hobby Lobby.  And even if they do they'll just say something along the lines of "the government could come up with a suitable alternative to this problem  The fact that it hasn't is no reason to infringe upon the rights of a mainstream Christian* with fundamentalist views".

*included in fine print of decision: this ruling does not apply to Mormons, Christian Scientists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientologists, or any other non-religious cults.
 
2014-07-14 05:02:52 PM  
If the government simply accepts without argument your claim that being a pacifist is a "deeply-held belief" as they did for Hobby Lobby's claim about "abortion". I suspect that the government will not waive that argument in the future.

Also, there's the fact that HL was arguing that the mandate - which carved out a special place for religious nonprofits - was not the least restrictive means for the government to achieve its compelling interest - the goal of contraception coverage for women. As there is no special carve-out for ANYONE to avoid paying "defense taxes", and it's pretty well settled that national defense - and warmaking - are compelling government interests, that argument cannot be made here.

I don't like the decision any more than the next feminist, but let's stop making absurd comparisons.

// not a lawyer, but a certain legal-fark-eagle has schooled me well on this subject
 
2014-07-14 05:03:04 PM  

paygun: Surely no one on the left will roll around on the floor screaming and pissing themselves when the first rich person decides they want to stop paying taxes too.


Objection: presupposes that rich people pay taxes in the first place.
 
2014-07-14 05:04:59 PM  
Yes, just how like gay marriage will lead to perverts marrying turtles.
 
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