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Author Topic: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby  (Read 2653 times)

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Offline Valthazar

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Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #50 on: July 03, 2014, 08:19:39 AM »
There is no law that Congress will pass or any executive order that can be done that will force a company to give something for free.
You keep saying the birth control will be provided at no additional cost but fail to say how that will be done.

This is incorrect.  As I already said, in 2013, the Obama administration itself was the one who introduced and instated the modified regulations for religious nonprofits which mandated that the nonprofit’s private health care provider would absorb the costs completely and provide any non-reimbursed services, at no additional cost to employees.  In other words, an executive decision to change regulations did make insurance companies give something for free, while still maintaining 'religious freedom' from the non-profit employer's perspective.

Here's an excerpt from the actual Press Release from 2013:

With respect to insured plans, including student health plans, these religious organizations would provide notice to their insurer.  The insurer would then notify enrollees that it is providing them with no-cost contraceptive coverage through separate individual health insurance policies.

If anything, these types of issues show how poorly crafted the ACA was, or at the very least, how rushed it was into law.  But my strong assumption is that the Obama administration will try to "fix" the ACA again through a similar regulatory modification.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 08:24:43 AM by Valthazar »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #51 on: July 03, 2014, 08:39:40 AM »
The exemption that keeps being referenced is specifically written for those that file with the IRS for houses of worship and their affiliations.  An insurance company can quickly argue that Hobby Lobby does not qualify for that exemption and what’s more insurance companies are already suing the government regarding this exemption.  On top of that the government is currently paying for this contraception because the government then offers a tax break to compensate the insurance company for the cost, regardless if the people actually use the contraception.  So everyone is paying for this decision with their tax dollars. 

This shows the horrible state of politics in this country, not the ACA.  The fact that the best this country could put together over the course of twenty years when healthcare first showed itself a problem is the ACA is how ridiculous the bipartisanship and lobbying of this country has become.  This is the first of many bad decisions that will be brought about by this one.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #52 on: July 03, 2014, 09:13:14 AM »
I was not referring to Hobby Lobby being able to qualify for that exemption as a religious non-profit.  I was referring to the Obama administration likely to write a new regulation into ACA with the HHS which drafts a similar clause for religious for-profits.  But regardless, we can agree to disagree.  We'll see what happens in a few months.  At least we can agree that lobbying has taken over the US, and average folk like you and me are getting the short end of the stick, even if our reasoning is different.

This is a post I made in the other ACA thread about insurance company stock prices last November, and how they would likely continue to increase at a rate beyond the rest of the stock market growth.  You can see that is exactly what seems to have happened to date, which is why I consider the ACA the result of insurance lobbying, more so than a comprehensive healthcare reform.
AETNA (AET)                   $28 (2010) -->   $65  (2013)  --> $83 (2014)  (edited today)
UnitedHealth (UNH)        $29 (2010) -->  $71 (2013)    --> $83 (2014)  (edited today)
WellPoint (WLP)             $46 (2010) -->  $90  (2013)   --> $110 (2014)   (edited today)
WellCare (WCG)             $24 (2010) -->  $69  (2013)   --> $75 (2014) (edited today)

Offline lilhobbit37

Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #53 on: July 03, 2014, 09:17:38 AM »
This exemption to me seems to open the door to a lot of future coverage issues. There is no burden upon the stores' religious beliefs by paying for medical coverage. They aimply put money towards insurance. That is not paying for contraceptives of any type, it is paying for federally mandated insurance.

Whether a woman uses birth control or not is never something the employer would even be aware of, as that woman has the right to confidentiality with her doctor. Thus there would be no burden placed on the employer or company beliefs because it would not ever be something they had knowledge of.

How then does paying for this insurance burden them? By putting money into the 401k into pharmacuticals which puts money towards these contraceptives, does Hobby Lobby not get burdened exactly the same amount? So wouldn't or shouldn't that then negate their claims that funding the insurance burdens them?

How can they put money into the contraceptives one way then refuse another way, when the first is completely voluntary yet the second and government mandated? Yet the government will exempt them while they continue to put money into the pharmacuticals they refuse to pay health care for?

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #54 on: July 03, 2014, 12:28:57 PM »
Right now I'm seeing that universities are wanting exemption to offer women birth control options at their health clinics, an employer in PA wants an exemption to the executive order that LGBT members not be discriminated against for hiring by federal contractors and that more cases are coming up to court by other for profits companies with even more demands.  Thus far it sounds as if the dissent was correct in their alarmist response.

Offline Retribution

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Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #55 on: July 03, 2014, 01:33:29 PM »
This is going to sound odd coming from a Catholic, but I have been debating this decision with myself. I do not support the Church's stance against BC. I went to Catholic school with some families of from 16 to 24 and they had no real means to support that many children but followed church doctrine. I also know a lot of out of wedlock births that have taken place from following said party line. I also personally feel unplanned pregnancies are one of the most serious problems facing our country. I say this not from a moralistic point of view but from economic.

I know many people that an unplanned pregnancy put them behind the 8 ball literally for the rest of their lives. Hell, I am the product of an unplanned pregnancy that has had repercussions throughout my parents and my own life. I am not real keen on abortion, in fact I generally oppose it, but I think BC should be free and clear and that such a world would greatly help a lot of our economic and social issues. So yeah, I am not real happy with this decision even though I get the point is to not overtly burden privately held companies.

-edit- And I forgot another point I missed. I have a friend who is a cancer survivor and she literally cannot have children. But she has to be on BC as part of her regiment to help keep the cancer from returning. I feel like this is a slippery slope one does not wish to step onto.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 04:05:31 PM by Retribution »

Offline Kuje

« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 09:13:41 PM by Kuje »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds


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Offline Kuroneko

Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #59 on: July 03, 2014, 08:01:59 PM »
I'm just going to drop this here as well about the widening scope of this ruling:

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-expanded-hobby-lobby-20140702-column.html#page=1

« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 08:03:06 PM by Kuroneko »

Offline vtboy

Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #60 on: July 04, 2014, 08:34:29 AM »
That narrow definition seems to be quickly widening.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/faith-leaders-exempt-religious-groups-from-order-barring-lgbt-bias-in-hiring/2014/07/02/d82e68da-01f1-11e4-b8ff-89afd3fad6bd_story.html

Unless the government rolls over, a RFRA case does not end with the plaintiff's demonstration that an exercise of sincerely held religious belief is substantially impeded by the law in question. Rather, the burden then shifts to the government to demonstrate the law serves a compelling purpose, and is the least religiously burdensome means available to achieve the purpose.

I don't think the government would have much difficulty in establishing either of these requirements with respect to Obama's executive order barring discriminatory treatment of LGBT employees by government contractors.

That said, my difficulty with the Hobby Lobby decision is that it seems to permit any whackadoo to drag the government into court and put it to these burdens through the simple expedient of claiming a law substantially restrains the exercise of some sincerely held religious belief, no matter how iconoclastic the conception of exercise and how tenuous the impediment. While the government would likely meet its burdens in many cases, the toll on government resources is likely to be high. Moreover, it is not difficult to imagine that an executive branch in more conservative hands might simply decline to defend many of these cases, forcing private litigants to do the heavy lifting. For these reasons, it seems to me that the courts should be required to perform a "gatekeeper" function at the pleading stage of RFRA cases, to winnow out those claims which are facially unreasonable, either because the act compelled or prohibited cannot rationally be considered an exercise of religion or because the burden cannot rationally be considered substantial. I think this is what Justice Ginsburg was getting at when she wrote in her dissent that, while the sincerity of a claimed religious belief presents a question of fact, whether a claimed burden is substantial is one of law. 

A Congress less enamored with the religious right, or less intimidated by it, might be expected to take this bull by the horns and amend the statute. Unfortunately, political realities are otherwise.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 08:37:13 AM by vtboy »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #61 on: July 04, 2014, 01:22:11 PM »
Organizations that advocate for healthcare for women thought the government would have no problem showing how healthcare options for women were not a burden to employers and that corporations did not have an ability to claim religious identities.  They were wrong on both accounts.  You don’t think a court could find problem with an executive decision, not a law, which prevents only federal contractors from discriminating against the LGBT community.  The fact that there has to be an executive order at all should cause concern and show the precarious position of the LGBT community in regard to this topic.  A for-profit company can now claim a religious identity.  There is a religious exemption to fair hiring practices, just as there was already an exemption to contraception for women.  I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss this issue.

Offline HannibalBarca

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Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #62 on: July 05, 2014, 08:37:36 PM »
The Conservative justices on the Supreme Court aren't doing any favors to Republican chances in the mid-term elections by making these decisions.  This has been a slowly-turning but decisive move in the culture wars towards the more Liberal outlook, much like LGBT rights to marriage.  Newer generations are overwhelmingly against Republican opinions on such matters.  If anything, I can see more women getting out to vote on this wedge issue, much like the mid-terms where the Republicans took back control of the House.  Sooner or later, the Republican party is going to need to divide into a more moderate version, and a hard-core reactionary version that can continue to command the tide to roll back.

Offline kylie

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Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #63 on: July 28, 2014, 08:09:45 PM »
       While it doesn't quite deal with the "corporation as person" problem, here comes another move on abortion using the same ruling in much the opposite direction:

Quote
The Satanic Temple (TST) is a religious group that "believes that the body is inviolable subject to one’s own will alone" and encourages making personal health decisions "based on the best scientific understanding of the world, regardless of the religious or political beliefs of others.” The group launched a campaign Monday on behalf of a woman's right to accurate medical information and cited the Hobby Lobby ruling as bolstering this position.

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Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #65 on: July 30, 2014, 12:30:32 PM »
        Well, why not?  I'd rather have conscientious objections to sitting for moralizing propaganda (and all the very real expenses that puts in the way of women making timely choices about their own bodies), particularly when it's lacking in the medical support department.

        The whole rationale that corporations as such need protection from being offended, on the other hand, is rather silly imo.   

        Just because they take the name "Satanic" doesn't mean they are anti-scientific on this.  Though I suppose there are probably a few crazies and less principled types out there using the name for kicks, along the side of the show here and there.  So I don't think it's really the same thing going on -- more of a backlash on the same broad issue, but a somewhat different front.

         
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 12:31:35 PM by kylie »

Offline Oniya

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Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #66 on: July 30, 2014, 12:38:15 PM »
In an odd way, having a 'Church of Satan' (I don't know which specific group is registering the complaint as I write this) draws attention to two issues at once:  One, the idea that a corporation (as a non-singular entity created for the purpose of earning a profit) can be said to have 'beliefs' (as opposed to a mission statement), and two, the idea that any one religion should have more of a say in the way laws are applied than any other belief system.

Offline kylie

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Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #67 on: July 31, 2014, 07:49:10 PM »
Quote
two, the idea that any one religion should have more of a say in the way laws are applied than any other belief system.

        If I recall/understood correctly, the Hobby Lobby ruling was trying to say that religious belief might be used to opt out of certain situations, but it wasn't quite saying that any particular religion would "have more of a say" than others.   

        It strikes me as a bit like the Republicans in Congress, honestly -- trying to open up roadblocks and procedural loopholes everywhere for anyone to use, such that nothing they don't like gets done anytime soon. 

        Huff Post just linked to a general, rather discursive press release or memo which in turn links back to a sort of umbrella website.  Apparently it's named The Satanic Temple actually...  Though I have a hard enough time keeping terms for buildings straight, when it's not in Asia where the word "temple" is a lot more common.  I don't know that temples are so functionally different from churches for purposes of outsiders speculating about their place in society (except that it does set up a nice contrast with the relative privilege Christianity has tended to claim in US government?), I could be wrong.

        Though the stigma more conventionally attached to anything labeled "Satanic," should leave us in a situation where people think a little harder about where in fact various religions have been granted more formal recognition and clout than others in the society.  Or perhaps even, some religions have, not to mention competition with yet other possible belief systems beyond religion that could be called upon.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 07:50:41 PM by kylie »

Offline Sabby

Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #68 on: July 31, 2014, 07:54:57 PM »
        Well, why not? 

Oh, I want this to happen. This is one of those laws that is just unlocking Pandoras Box and the only way someone is going to put a lock back on it is everyone keeps throwing it open. Laws are useless when they are this open to abuse, and they usually only go away once that abuse is demonstrated repeatedly. Good on the Satanic Church. This isn't the first time they've gone after a law like this.

Offline kylie

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Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #69 on: July 31, 2014, 08:15:21 PM »
          Well, as I gather it isn't much of an abuse.  In the sense that the speech and expenses they are challenging before abortions can be performed, were put in place at least partly to obstruct things (with both adding expenses and delay, and a fair bit of moralizing about "ending a separate life," well pick your definition of life ad infinum) and moreover stands on grounds that have since been medically challenged.

           You're right though, in the sense that it can be read as an example of the sort of endless minefield Ginsberg warned of...  There might be so many other possible new cases retesting what were previously thought to be more or less agreed boundaries of overriding government interest.

           

Offline Alsheriam

Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #70 on: July 31, 2014, 08:16:44 PM »

Offline Sabby

Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #71 on: July 31, 2014, 08:22:46 PM »
Correct, the Church of Satan isn't 'technically' abusing this law, as they are completely within it's boundaries, but that's exactly the problem. This law allows too much. It really bares repeating, any law with room for manipulation can and will be manipulated. There's nothing stopping a company saying "Well, we can justify not having to pay for things if we say we don't agree with it on Religious grounds". That kind of abuse of the law is just as valid as the Church of Satans very sensible use of it, and that's a big problem.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 08:25:28 PM by Sabby »

Offline kylie

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Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #72 on: August 01, 2014, 04:42:49 PM »
         I meant more that -- while I haven't read a whole lot on the subject -- what I have read briefly, suggests that some of the "medical" talk people are required by law to receive before being allowed abortions, is not really medically supported at all.  So removing that sort of talk is not an abuse/ mistreatment of the people affected.  We could try to confirm or deny all that on more scientific grounds, and it wouldn't be about religion at all.

         It's still true that having a ruling that allows religion as the basis for being granted some extraordinary opportunity to present such a challenge -- religious claims just as a reason for being given the stage in itself -- is problematic yes.  For example in that case, you'd think (assuming the Temple claims are indeed basically correct) that one should be able to press the issue under terms like medical malpractice or something.  Why give "religious belief" a fast track...  And perhaps there will be someone trying to argue that you cannot have a recognizable (?) religion with a fundamental belief in scientific and empirical evidence as a core tenet?  Or I will be surprised if that doesn't get insinuated somehow in opposition to the Temple.

          So the Temple stuff is doing (at least!) two things at once:  It's fighting a more pragmatic argument about abortion issues proper, and it's hinting by borrowing the language of religious exemption from the court ruling that the ruling could be used for all sorts of things without regard for whether each has arguable scientific merit.  (Does thumbing one's nose at the plaintiffs in Hobby Lobby also count under number two?)
 
« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 04:44:59 PM by kylie »

Offline Alsheriam

Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #73 on: August 01, 2014, 04:52:48 PM »
In the wake of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby I was joking on social media that I could start a corporation under my name, make it a closely-held corporation (with limited stockholders and trade said stock only on occasion) and declare myself to be the leader of a made-up cult which makes a religious demand of me to carry out public anal sex as a first-time greeting to all customers.

Because it's my religious freedom to do so!

Many Christians were not amused. :P

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: The Supreme Court ruling for Hobby Lobby
« Reply #74 on: August 01, 2014, 05:39:09 PM »
GRAVE DIGGA

Anyway corporations don't have an official religion, they are not people, they do not have rights.

Oh If this goes on maybe I can sue two Texas corporations on religious grounds if they have a merger. If Both CEO's are male, because due to "corporate personhood" and gay marriage being illegal in Texas.