KingMidget's Ramblings

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Hobby Lobby Thoughts

I share a lot of the outrage over what the Supreme Court did in this decision.  It’s offensive on so many levels to find that a corporation has religious rights.  I can accept the concept if the organization is formed for religious purposes — like a church or a support organization formed on behalf of a religion.  But to suggest that a corporation formed to run a business and turn a profit has religious rights is to turn the law pretty much upside down.  This Supreme Court is making law in the most offensive way imaginable and the impacts may very well be stunningly bad.

But, maybe not.  Here’s the critical thing about this that I don’t see most of the outraged individuals recognizing.  When it comes to constitutional law, the application of statutes to facts, and what and how Government can make and enforce law, there are certain steps in the analysis.

Among those steps is that the government has to justify their actions as supporting a legitimate government purpose.  In Hobby Lobby, that purpose was protecting the health of women.  The Supreme Court recognized that purpose.

Then, it has to be determined whether the government’s actions in supporting that purpose infringe on somebody’s rights.  In this case, Hobby Lobby’s alleged religious beliefs.  I say “alleged” here because before Obamacare, they had no problem with voluntarily covering contraceptives in their company-offered health plan.  They also have no problem with investing in mutual funds that invest in companies that make contraceptives.  But we’ll leave that all behind and accept that Hobby Lobby has legitimate religious beliefs that were infringed by Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate.

The next step is this:  is the government’s action in supporting that legitimate government purpose the least restrictive way to go about it.  In Hobby Lobby, the court said no — that the government could cover the costs of contraceptives and thereby not force corporations to cover such costs.  And this is the critical piece here.

I’ll take one of the examples that has come up.  The Obama administration is about to prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against homosexuals.  Certain religious organizations have asked for an exemption because it would violate their religious views to have to employ homosexuals.  I’m pretty certain that a court will find that there is a legitimate government purpose in prohibiting discrimination.  I’m also pretty sure that a court will not find a problem with the government placing reasonable restrictions on what those companies who receive federal dollars can do.  It actually happens all of the time.  Government, at all levels, place restrictions and conditions on those who receive government funds — either through contracts, grants, or handouts.  So, the question will be … is there a less restrictive way for the government to ensure that federal contractors don’t discriminate?  Can’t imagine what it would be.  You got any ideas?

And, that’s why I’m not sure the outcome of this decision will be absolutely horrendous.  Yes, it’s bad, and it’s another brick in the foundation of this idea that corporations are people.  I mean, I am just stunned by the idea that a corporation is now entitled to a right that has always been very individual in nature.  But, that less restrictive test is where a lot of these cases will get hung up and the outcome may still end up being OK.


7 responses to “Hobby Lobby Thoughts

  1. sknicholls July 3, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    What turns me over in this case is the fact that the court did NOT base its ruling on medically scientific facts. Hobby Lobby claimed it did not want to pay for “abortifactants” and the pills and IUDs in question are NOT abortifacants by medical definition. The ruling our nations highest court made was based garbage. Where were the experts?

    • kingmidget July 4, 2014 at 7:21 am

      The court ignored whatever was inconvenient (or maybe there was some evidence that wasn’t presented). I’d love to know if the justices knew that Hobby Lobby’s insurance plan covered these contraceptives before Obamacare.

      • sknicholls July 4, 2014 at 7:29 am

        On an off subject case. Lawyers defending the state in the Casey Anthony trial claimed they weren’t privy to so very much that was actually presented in the media as evidence, like her computer searches. How can that be so? How can all of that public info be disregarded by attorneys and the court? I know evidence presented has to be entered, but so very much wasn’t…and that bitch walked.

      • kingmidget July 4, 2014 at 8:30 am

        If the state attorneys didn’t have information about their computer searches, they weren’t doing their jobs. What it may be, however, is that for some reason that evidence wasn’t admissible in court. That’s the problem with a lot of these things — the cases are only as good as the evidence before the judge or jury. And with the Supreme Court, by the time it gets to them, the record is set. They have to rely on the evidence that was submitted in the lower courts and if nobody challenged that the drugs in questions are abortifacients, than that countervailing evidence may not be available to the Supreme Court justices. That said, Supreme Court justices look outside the record all of the time for evidence to support their decisions. 😉

  2. Pamela Beckford July 4, 2014 at 4:08 am

    My big concern is if ALL religious beliefs will be supported. Once that door is open, it’s hard to shut it again. If a religion other than Christianity believes whatever, will the courts uphold their rights. Or will they only do it based on Christianity? I don’t feel like I’m making sense here, but I know what I’m thinking. I just think it can be a really slippery slope and we must be careful. Hope this made a tiny bit of sense to someone who is not inside my head.

  3. Philip Walter July 5, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Ah religion and their cherry picking the bits the agree with. I wonder do Hobby Lobby use slaves as allowed for in their fantasy book?

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