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Old 11-27-2013, 03:54 PM   #1
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the religious freedom of corporations

it's going to be argued in front of SCOTUS:


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Obamacare’s birth control mandate is headed to the Supreme Court

With dozens of lawsuits on the issue already filed, the Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it would take up two private companies' challenges to the health law's birth control mandate.
Obamacare, in other words, is headed back to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court will hear two challenges to the requirement that all employers provide birth control coverage to their workers. One comes from craft store chain Hobby Lobby and the other from Conestoga Wood Specialties, a custom cabinet-making company in Pennsylvania.
The owners of both companies have argued that the requirement to provide employers with contraceptive coverage is a violation of their religious liberty.

And, in Hobby Lobby's case, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed: The craft store won a preliminary injunction against the health law requirement this past summer. The Department of Justice then appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court, leading to today's granting of cert for the case.
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Right around the same time, Conestoga Wood Specialties lost a similar challenge in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. That appeals-court-level split all but guaranteed that the Supreme Court would take up the issue.

The Supreme Court's decision here won't be especially pivotal to the future of the health law in the way that the June 2012 individual mandate decision was. While this has been one of the more hotly contested parts of the Affordable Care Act, it is not a central policy that holds everything together, as the requirement to purchase coverage near certainly is.

Instead, this decision will have a whole lot more to do with a separate federal law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, known in legal circles as RFRA. This is a Clinton administration law that allows private individuals to challenge federal regulations that put a "substantial burden" on their ability to exercise a sincere religious belief.

If a private individual can prove that substantial burden, it's up to the government to show two things: That the law furthers a compelling government interest and that that interest cannot be furthered in any other way that would be less restrictive to religion.

Solicitor general Donald Verrilli (remember him?) has argued that Hobby Lobby shouldn't be eligible for RFRA protection because it is not an individual, but rather a for-profit corporation.

"The court of appeals erred in concluding that the respondent 'for profit businesses focused on selling merchandise to consumers' are 'persons' engaged in the 'exercise of religion within the meaning of RFRA," Verrilli argued in his Supreme Court petition.

This spring, we'll learn whether the Supreme Court agrees with him.


corporations have been given the right to free speech, it may make logical sense that the next right to be recognized is their right to religious expression. the government may be overstepping it's bounds by forcing a corporation to violate it's deeply held religious convictions not just about birth control (as is the case with the ACA), but about family planning, single mothers, gay couples, medical leave, gay partners and sick leave, stem cells, or any medical procedure that they feel violates said convictions.
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:34 PM   #2
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corporations have been given the right to free speech, it may make logical sense that the next right to be recognized is their right to religious expression. the government may be overstepping it's bounds by forcing a corporation to violate it's deeply held religious convictions not just about birth control (as is the case with the ACA), but about family planning, single mothers, gay couples, medical leave, gay partners and sick leave, stem cells, or any medical procedure that they feel violates said convictions.
On one hand, I do think it is wrong to force anyone, or in this case anything, to give up their stances on the aforementioned issues. I do not agree that homosexuals should be discriminated, nor should women or anyone else. But to force someone to go along with what they are against doesn't help move things forward. It only leads to staunch opposition which creates a big mess.

However, I am against discrimination like this. As a woman, I wouldn't want my boss to decide what I do with my body. Whether or not I use contraceptives is not his business, and he should only be concerned with my performance at work. Some may say I should simply not work for a corporation or any business that may lead to this type of problem, but that's easier said than done.
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:38 PM   #3
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I think Irvine was being facetious at the end
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:43 PM   #4
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He probably was, but those are my true thoughts on this issue.
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:07 PM   #5
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I find the belief to be so entirely unreasonable that I don't think religious freedom applies.
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:12 PM   #6
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I think Irvine was being facetious at the end


no, actually i wasn't. corporations do have the right of free speech -- that's what Citizens United was all about.

at issue in the ACA is it's mandatory coverage of contraception, and much like, say, Catholic adoption charities who chose to shut their doors rather than have the government force them to consider gay couples when placing children with potential adoptive families, many are concerned that the ACA will force some employers to violate their deeply held convictions in regards to contraception.

let's say i get HIV, and my employer (since i know have employer sponsored health care) says to me, "i'm sorry, but i believe HIV/AIDS is sent by god to punish those who live immoral lives, it would be against my deeply held religious convictions to pay, in part, for your treatment. the government cannot force me to intercede in what is god's divine retribution for your violation of the laws of nature and nature's God."

if birth control can be denied, why can't any other medication also be denied for whatever deeply held religious conviction of the employer? i'm sure i can take my AIDS and go find work somewhere else where they'll cover me.
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
no, actually i wasn't. corporations do have the right of free speech -- that's what Citizens United was all about.

at issue in the ACA is it's mandatory coverage of contraception, and much like, say, Catholic adoption charities who chose to shut their doors rather than have the government force them to consider gay couples when placing children with potential adoptive families, many are concerned that the ACA will force some employers to violate their deeply held convictions in regards to contraception.

let's say i get HIV, and my employer (since i know have employer sponsored health care) says to me, "i'm sorry, but i believe HIV/AIDS is sent by god to punish those who live immoral lives, it would be against my deeply held religious convictions to pay, in part, for your treatment. the government cannot force me to intercede in what is god's divine retribution for your violation of the laws of nature and nature's God."

if birth control can be denied, why can't any other medication also be denied for whatever deeply held religious conviction of the employer? i'm sure i can take my AIDS and go find work somewhere else where they'll cover me.
Maybe I'm missing something, but doesn't this contradict this?

" the government may be overstepping it's bounds by forcing a corporation to violate it's deeply held religious convictions not just about birth control (as is the case with the ACA), but about family planning, single mothers, gay couples, medical leave, gay partners and sick leave, stem cells, or any medical procedure that they feel violates said convictions."
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:53 PM   #8
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I don't understand your question.
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:01 PM   #9
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I think I'm just reading in an tone you didn't intend. Maybe I'm just surprised by your stance on it
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jive Turkey View Post
I think I'm just reading in an tone you didn't intend. Maybe I'm just surprised by your stance on it


I haven't taken a stance yet. I'm trying to think through what it means.
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:27 PM   #11
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If I had to take a guess, I'd say that Hobby Lobby will lose by a rather large margin at the SCOTUS.

One of the big problems with this case is that what is actually being argued legally is much more subtle and complex than what is being reported in the media. There has also been a lot written on what isn't being argued by either side (primarily the Establishment Clause) - some very, very interesting stuff out there for legal geeks.
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
I haven't taken a stance yet. I'm trying to think through what it means.
I'm an idiot. I read your last paragraph in the first post as a personal reflection on it. It was meant to be a little summary
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