Hobby Lobby

Obama Administration

So SCOTUS heard arguments on the Hobby Lobby case yesterday, and all we know for sure is that three women justices means at least three of them actually understand how contraceptives work. Unfortunately, there are only three.

There is a lot of speculation today about Antonin Scalia, but no one is speculating how he will vote. Obviously, he will side with Hobby Lobby. The speculation is about how he’s going to side with Hobby Lobby while ignoring his own past opinions on other religious liberty cases.

Dahlia Lithwick thinks the contraception mandate is doomed. If it is, this may be a “win” the Right will come to regret.

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  1. Swami  •  Mar 26, 2014 @10:21 am

    However Scalia votes you can be sure Clarence will be right behind him like an appendage. Well, at least one of them can think independently.

  2. joanr16  •  Mar 26, 2014 @10:31 am

    Yeesh, there are so many simple, logical arguments against HL’s position, you’d think the court would get it. Engaging in commerce is not a form of religious practice; benefits are provided to employees in exchange for their labor, so they belong to the employees, not the employer; the government has a duty to protect the less-powerful party in a business relationship from abuse by the more-powerful employee….

    No matter what happens, I am never setting foot in a Hobby Lobby again, long as I live. Freakin’ self-righteous bigots.

  3. Bob  •  Mar 26, 2014 @10:31 am

    Why do you believe the right will come to regret this win, assuming they do win?

  4. uncledad  •  Mar 26, 2014 @10:32 am

    If you break down what all the right-wing corporate-fascists are arguing for it basically boils down to: If a company is paying for your insurance then they should be able to dictate what is covered. So hey the company also pays your salary and vacation so why can’t they just say hey Johnny / Jane you need to stop spending your money on rock and roll, we find that objectionable. Or we will only pay your vacation pay if you go to a Christian theme park? Hey why not that is really what the tea-tards are arguing. The Obama presidency and the fact the he past a healthcare law has them so blind with rage they are willing to completely vizierate the constitution in order to chip away at the law. The fact is insurance is usually paid by both the employer and employee through shared contributions and the employee is almost always on the hook for co-pays and deductibles, so why are the Supremes arguing this like we employees are just surfs that need to conform to the great corporate power? And old Johnny Roberts need to make up for that whole finding the ACA constitutional thingy!

  5. c u n d gulag  •  Mar 26, 2014 @10:36 am

    I have an idea for an ad.

    In the opening, you could see the husband pop his little blue “quicker-pecker-up,” so now he’s all ready and rarin’ to go, and then we cut to the wife, shaking her head.

    And then, do a slow fade, then cut to him and his wife, in bed.
    Hubby, turning to her:
    “Hon, do you suppose, maybe, tonight, dear? I’m ready!”

    “Honey, you know we can’t afford another child, and thanks to 5 ancient Conservative male Christian lunatics on our SCOTUS, our health insurance doesn’t cover birth control.
    Your little blue pill, however, IS COVERED!
    But not preventing any unwanted consequences.
    Now, if we do want another kid – they’ll pay for the pregnancy – but not much else. Maybe you should stop taking those pills, or we could build you a separate bathroom?
    I hate to see your little soldier all dressed up, with no place to go. But there’s nothing I can do about it.
    You remember, shortly after that decision, the 5 ancient guys also helped reinstate anti-sodomy laws.
    So, sorry honey, but you’re on your own…”

    Shot of exploding fireworks reversing, and going back to the Earth, before they were fired.
    Hubby weeps.
    Fade to black.

  6. maha  •  Mar 26, 2014 @11:15 am

    I like the reverse fireworks. Nice touch.

  7. uncledad  •  Mar 26, 2014 @10:38 am

    “However Scalia votes you can be sure Clarence will be right behind him like an appendage”

    I often wonder: did Clarence offer is tongue as payment for the privilege to sit on the highest bench in the land?

  8. Wary Tale  •  Mar 26, 2014 @11:01 am

    If the Supreme Court decides in HL’s favor, then aren’t they saying that any corporate entity can claim that it is against their religion to obey a law that they don’t like? How could they possibly do something that stupid?

  9. Swami  •  Mar 26, 2014 @11:26 am

    How could they possibly do something that stupid?

    Ah, That’s the million dollar question. Because there’s a strong possibility that they might.

  10. Stephen Stralka  •  Mar 26, 2014 @11:28 am

    Yes, this court has already found that corporations and huge piles of money have free speech rights, so why not religious rights too?

  11. Stephen Stralka  •  Mar 26, 2014 @11:33 am

    Of course, if they do find in favor of Hobby Lobby, they’ll be interfering in the religious liberty of Hobby Lobby’s employees. So as long as someone’s freedom of religion is being interfered with, it might as well be the artificial person and not the actual human beings.

    (Which is one reason I think the right might come to regret such a win. They’re explicitly taking the position that blastocysts and corporations have rights, while female human beings to not. Fortunately women still have voting rights, which have not yet been extended to blastocysts and corporations.)

  12. moonbat  •  Mar 26, 2014 @11:52 am

    Why do you believe the right will come to regret this win?

    That’s my question. I doubt if the right will regret it, they will see themselves as vindicated.

    How could they possibly do something that stupid?

    A court that can pass Citizens United, or that can characterize a required premium to be paid to an insurance company as a “tax” is capable of anything.

  13. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Mar 26, 2014 @1:29 pm

    The court held that the *penalty* for not paying insurance premiums was valid under the power to tax (but not under the power to fine).

    They made no decision about premiums to insurance company – only the mandate’s penalty.

  14. buckyblue  •  Mar 26, 2014 @4:35 pm

    The big deal is that Hobby Lobby wants to be able to not provide an acceptable level of health insurance to its employees but still keep the tax break. I would say, feel free to not offer the birth control and then you don’t get your tax break. Stand up for what you believe in even if it costs you something.

  15. James F. Epperson  •  Mar 26, 2014 @5:03 pm

    There is some reporting that Roberts is looking for a way to decide the case very narrowly, so that it would only apply to “very closely held” corporations.

  16. Swami  •  Mar 26, 2014 @5:27 pm

    Why do you believe the right will come to regret this win?

    I’d say that because the scope of the decision extends well past just trying to destroy Obamacare and coming against abortion. It seems to me that it is setting up a battle between religion and secularism that the religious right doesn’t have the strength to sustain. In spite of their claims to the contrary religions are losing ground to the up and coming generations and if they rock the boat against the up coming tide I believe that their costs in loss of power will cause them regret.
    I know for myself and probably millions of others that my resistance to the religious right is not so much to defend causes such as abortion, women’s rights, gay rights, or any assortment of attacks on secularism and human rights. My resistance is motivated by pure pushback to an agenda that is contrary to the founding principles of our nation.
    The religious liberty claim by Holly Hobby is lame on its face and the fact that it is even being entertained by the Supreme Court shows me just why pushback is extremely necessary.

  17. maha  •  Mar 26, 2014 @10:29 pm

    It seems to me that it is setting up a battle between religion and secularism that the religious right doesn’t have the strength to sustain

    I agree, and I also think that if many employers begin to deny contraception coverage it will mightily piss off women. See GOP’s toxic contraception politics: Why being the party of “Uncle Sugar” will doom them

  18. Swami  •  Mar 26, 2014 @6:03 pm

    “And the Chief Financial Officer became flesh and dwelt among us.”

  19. James F. Epperson  •  Mar 26, 2014 @6:06 pm

    I’m surprised (and disappointed) that no one appears to have disputed the claim that any of the contraceptive methods are abortificiants.

  20. melbradley  •  Mar 26, 2014 @7:30 pm

    “I’m surprised (and disappointed) that no one appears to have disputed the claim that any of the contraceptive methods are abortificiants.”

    Never let science get in the way of how you feel. Their feelings on the matter are better indicators of reality. Facts have a Liberal bias.

  21. Doug  •  Mar 26, 2014 @8:04 pm

    Hello, James. I understand that expert ‘friend of the court’ depositions were presented that the methods of contraception in question are not abortificiants. The lower courts seem to have ruled that the sincere religious belief of the owners of the corporation is the issue, not the scientific fact of what the biological mechanism is. In other words, sincerely held superstition trumps science.

    Roberts is not so predictable as many think. I’m having a hard time believing, given his decision to uphold Obamacare, that he will give ‘standing’ to a corporation to have a religious belief. (Naturally, I am projecting here but..) The protection which corporate status gives the owners is a two-edged sword. They are personally insulated from liability but they should also be insulated from claiming that the corporate identity is their personal identity, a claim a sole proprietor could make.

    Where could a win for the right backfire? If (that’s a big two-letter word) the perception among independents and moderates is that corporations have acquired and are strengthening rights that only people should have, there could be a backlash in the voting booth if (there’s that word again) democrats are smart enough to make corporate personhood the issue. Personally, I favor a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United and establish what the status of corporations is – a legal fiction invented by the state for convenience. If that amendment also placed limits on individual campaign contributions and killed the super-pacs, I would be ecstatic bordering on orgasmic.

    Few republicans will take a moderate stance and denounce the plutocrats, the special interests and lobbyists. Unfortunately a lot of democrats like the system as it is. Real change would be opposed by much of the left. A clear choice for the voter is possible, only if candidates with a (D) sign on.

  22. Swami  •  Mar 27, 2014 @2:31 am

    I think with the advent of Windows 3.1 Jesus started to lose market share at a rapid pace. The miracles of the Bible have grown stale in the face of modern technology.

  23. James F. Epperson  •  Mar 27, 2014 @8:48 am

    I figured there were amicus briefs on the science, but I was disappointed that the issue did not come up in oral argument. ISTM (not a lawyer) that saying the other side’s whole argument is based on a medical fiction might carry some weight. And one of the “Three Sisters” might have asked the attorneys about this.

  24. Bill Bush  •  Mar 27, 2014 @9:12 am

    The lie machine is in full swing today. My FB feed had the gun seizures in Connecticut story and the Obamacare chip implant story too, this morning. I was hoping it was just early April Fool’s stuff, but I checked their pages, and they are evidently that credulous.

  25. Stephen Stralka  •  Mar 27, 2014 @11:15 am

    Yeah, the Simon Maloy article is good.

    Republicans want to prove to women that they’re sensitive to their concerns. And what better way to show it than to line up behind a corporation pushing for the “religious freedom” to deny its employees contraceptive coverage?

    It is pretty astonishing to me that they can recognize they have a problem with women, yet have no idea what the problem is. Just look at Boehner’s defense of Hobby Lobby.

    Religious freedom is not for some people under some circumstances; it is for one and all.

    He doesn’t even notice who he’s left out of his “one and all” there. That’s the right’s women problem in a nutshell.

  26. moonbat  •  Mar 27, 2014 @11:48 am

    @LongHairedWeirdo – thanks for correcting me!

  27. David Kowalski  •  Mar 27, 2014 @2:17 pm

    In some specific ways, this SCOTUS is suddenly acting like the South won the Civil War. Different states can decided what part of a law should apply (ObamaCare decision) and now, it is likely, that corporations can decide what items are covered and what aren’t under the guise of religious “liberty.” What’s next? Blood transfusions?

    The Bill of Rights should prevent this but the men on the Supreme Court only seem to understand the rights of corporate persons.

  28. paradoctor  •  Mar 27, 2014 @5:17 pm

    Market Forces, an Underfable:

    Once upon a time a Corporation bragged, “I have neither body to jail nor soul to damn, yet the Law, which is an ass, says that I am a Person! I own the cops, the courts, both parties and the media. What could ever stop Me? I am too big to fail!”
    Ten years later a poor yet honest Human found a bulging burlap sack, full of that Corporation’s stock certificates. The Human cried, “What luck! I needed the kindling!”

    Moral: Drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead.