Open thread: SCOTUS and Hobby Lobby/Conestoga

posted at 10:01 am on March 25, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Arguments have already gotten underway at the Supreme Court as we post this, but it’s not too late for a recap. SCOTUSblog has its own roundup, so be sure to trek there if you want the blow-by-blow. (Audio from the arguments will come out on Friday.) We’ve covered the issue for more than two years, and Hot Air readers have a clear idea what our take on the case itself will be.

National Journal’s Sam Baker outlines the three possible directions this could take:

When the Justice Department has lost on the threshold question of corporate rights, it has always lost on the underlying challenge to the contraception mandate. Any time an appeals court decided that a company or its owner could exercise religion, it went on to find that the birth-control mandate at least seems likely to violate that religious freedom. And so the only way the administration has ever won on the mandate itself is to close the door before a court even gets there—which could prove hard to do before the Supreme Court.

The biggest hurdle for the mandate’s challengers is the marquee question of whether they can practice a religion. In one of the cases before the Supreme Court this week, a cabinet-making company called Conestoga challenged the mandate as an affront to the beliefs of its owners, the Hahn family. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, siding with the Justice Department, said the corporation and the people who own it are two different entities.

“Since Conestoga is distinct from the Hahns, the Mandate does not actually require the Hahns to do anything. All responsibility for complying with the Mandate falls on Conestoga,” the court wrote.

Chief Justice John Roberts likes to keep the high court’s rulings as narrow as possible on most big issues. He looks for ways to minimize the Court’s footprint by avoiding the biggest question—which, in this case, would be whether corporations are protected by the First Amendment’s “free exercise” clause.

There’s a reasonably clear way for him to do that here: Avoid the question of whether corporations are people, and focus on whether—in these specific cases—people are their corporations.

Both Hobby Lobby and Conestoga are closely held companies, controlled entirely or almost entirely by their owners. The libertarian Cato Institute suggested in a supporting brief that because these two companies are controlled by their owners, the Court could rule in their favor without setting a broader precedent that corporations in general can practice religion.

CBS frames this as reproductive rights versus religious liberty:

For Christian conservatives, the cases represent the threat of government overreach.

“This case will decide whether a family gives up their religious freedom when they open a family business,” Lori Windham, a senior counsel for the Becket Fund, which is representing Hobby Lobby, told CBS News. “The question here is whether the Green family can be forced to do something that violates their deeply held religious conviction as a consequence of the new health care law.”

Reproductive rights advocates, meanwhile, consider the notion that some businesses could pick and choose which contraception methods to cover “out of touch [and] out of line,” Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro Choice America, told reporters.

Contraception is “integral with our economic security and our ability to hold jobs for our lifetime,” Hogue said. “We’ve had enough of this idea our reproductive health is somehow separate from our economic well being… Our bodies are not our bosses’ business.”

The two cases, however, have implications that go well beyond the so-called “wars” on women or religion. If Hobby Lobby and Conestoga prevail, it would prompt “a fundamental shift in the understanding of the First Amendment,” David Gans, the civil rights director for the Constitutional Accountability Center, told CBS News.

Both of these miss one particular point, though. For individuals or for corporations, the government can only intrude on constitutionally-protected rights for a compelling state interest. Hobby Lobby/Conestoga can point to the August 2010 CDC study that shows even without forcing employers to pick up the tab for contraception, 99% of sexually active women who wished to avoid pregnancy between 1980 and 2008 used contraception to do so. Access is such a non-issue that the CDC doesn’t even bother to address it. Furthermore, Hobby Lobby already offers coverage for 16 forms of birth control, only refusing to cover those that the owners consider abortifacients rather than contraception.

The Washington Post’s editorial board attempts to make the “compelling interest” case:

One goal was to provide adequate coverage to women. A panel of independent experts — not liberal ideologues in Congress — determined that assuring access to a range of birth control products to all women, not just those who could afford it, would convey major public health benefits. It’s true that some non-compliant plans here and there were grandfathered in — but they will phase out, making the rule comprehensive.

Under U.S. law, corporations get substantial privileges, such as limits on owners’ financial liability. Now, they have been asked to take on responsibilities, such as providing decent health-care coverage, with the aid of massive tax subsidies. Not every American of every creed will be comfortable with reasonable, general rules that extend across the marketplace — requiring vaccinations, say, or prohibiting discrimination against women in the workplace. But it’s not feasible for a corporation to easily opt out of any generally beneficial law that happens to offend its owners. That is a principle vital to maintaining a functional, pluralistic democracy.

If the goal was “assuring access,” then the CDC’s study should say mission accomplished. Thus, there is no compelling government interest in forcing businesses to provide birth control for free, no more than there is for forcing them to provide food, groceries, or heating oil for free for their personal use, either. Businesses are free to do so if they wish now, but they should be free to choose not to do so if their values oppose it.

Will the Supreme Court agree? I suspect they will, since the lack of compelling state interest is the quickest and cleanest hack through the Gordian knot of the RFRA, First Amendment, and corporate personhood this mandate creates. But that’s what we’ll see today, and what we’ll find out some time in June.

Update: Be sure to read Gabriel Malor’s political and legal briefs at AoSHQ. Here’s his conclusion in the latter:

The government simply misstates the businesses’ and owners’ objection. Yes, for religious reasons they oppose the use of contraception. They also oppose covering it in their health care plans and it is this very coverage that the government is now mandating. That is the burden and it is indisputably substantial, since failure to provide the objectionable coverage will result in crippling fines. The government’s attempt to distract the court with claims that the businesses solely object to the use of contraception requires the high court to simply disregard the actual stated objection of the businesses. …

I will conclude with a prediction based only on their briefs (and this comes before argument): the businesses will win. There is a key difference between a political argument and a legal argument that the government seems to have forgotten here. To win in politics, you take the other side’s worst arguments and hammer that. To win in a legal argument, however, you must take the other side’s best arguments and tear that down. Here, the government’s brief doesn’t directly address the businesses’ arguments, preferring instead to take a rambling trip through concepts like piercing the corporate veil, “attenuation,” and ERISA lawsuits. By contrast, the businesses focus directly on the question at issue: does RFRA protect them. It’s a telling difference.

There’s a lot more, so be sure to read it all.


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How is Hobby Lobby (as opposed to its owners) practicing religion? Does it hire or promote people on that basis? Does it require its employees or potential employees to believe certain things? Does it give 10% of its earnings to charity? (If it did the first two things, Hobby Lobby would be violating other laws.)

Supreme Court should strike this down. A corporation or other for-profit business entity does not practice the faith of its owners.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Obama’s “WAR ON JOBS / THE ECONOMY”. Why aren’t any of Obama’s media outlets running with THAT story?

As a direct result of the ACA millions of Americans have lost jobs and companies like this are being forced out of business. and the WH’s response? “You are welcome for being fired – now you all can become authors and painters!”

Drudge reported he had already paid his Obamacare FINE, and the media attacked him and called him ignorant. As always, it turned out that Obamacare’s defenders and the media that praise it and deflect negative news about it were ignorant of the law, about how small businesses have had to pay the Fine already and have to pay it more frequently!

Ignorance, along with calculated lies and deceit from everyone from the media all the way up to Obama himself (’2013 Lie of the Year’), have allowed this ‘Chernobyl’ Health Care disaster known as Obamacare – or the ACA – has been allowed to continue to exist.

easyt65 on March 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Or you could be like Obama and just change the law ilegally to benefit you and the democrats politcally.
 
At least Hobby Lobby is following the law to get it changed.
 
gophergirl on March 25, 2014 at 10:57 AM

 
Thread winner on page one. Impressive.
 
Did you understand what she was referencing, verbaluce?

rogerb on March 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

I heard somewhere that the owners already said they’ll shut it down if they lose.

Of course, the left will have a conniption. “You’re taking away jobs!! You’re putting people out on the street, just so you won’t have to pay for birth control!!”

Well, that’s the way it works in a free society, tards. You can’t make a company stay in business. Yet.

CurtZHP on March 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Nah, the leftist morons will cheer if they shut down, *despite* any job losses. Victory over the Christians, yay!

Midas on March 25, 2014 at 11:04 AM

If the Roberts court affirms this challenge, will they also allow the government to force vaccinations? I doubt that they would even do that, since Hollywood stars oppose vaccinations, but it’s possible. All is possible.

It’s got nothing to do with “reproductive rights”, which I don’t believe exist anyways, or is moot as proven by the CDC study. It’s all about abortion. That’s the next step; watch out, Catholic hospitals.

PattyJ on March 25, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Well he’s got 8 months…right?

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 11:01 AM

7 months, if you can count.

sentinelrules on March 25, 2014 at 11:05 AM

As an American Business Owner, they have the right to do business as they seem fit, and , if they are in a “Right to Work” state, they can hire and fire whom they want to as well. It is way beyond the purpose and scope of government to tell Americans how they can practice their faith.

Anyway that’s my take.

kingsjester on March 25, 2014 at 10:24 AM

I agree. If their employees don’t like it, they can get insurance elsewhere.

dogsoldier on March 25, 2014 at 10:33 AM

–They do not have the right to hire, fire or promote on the basis of an employee’s or potential employee’s religion, sex and race, among other factors. That’s a violation of federal law since the 1960s.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Resist We Much on March 25, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Now you did it verbaluce, you brought in the lawyer to get all lawyer-speaky on us.

Nutstuyu on March 25, 2014 at 11:06 AM

How is Hobby Lobby (as opposed to its owners) practicing religion? Does it hire or promote people on that basis? Does it require its employees or potential employees to believe certain things? Does it give 10% of its earnings to charity? (If it did the first two things, Hobby Lobby would be violating other laws.)

Supreme Court should strike this down. A corporation or other for-profit business entity does not practice the faith of its owners.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

So corporations who give to charity and do so stating Jesus said too are legally barred from doing so? A single glass of red wine a day has been shown to have health benefits by numerous studies. If the feds decided insurance must cover this cost would corporations be barred from doing so if they cite a religious reason?

Rocks on March 25, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Hey verby, could you give us a run down of which employees under the hobby lobby offered policies aren’t getting their contraceptives? You seem to have a handle on this case.

oldroy on March 25, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Is there something about spring air that makes the trolls more stupid than usual? Can’t believe I’m even asking that, I didn’t think it was possible.

Midas on March 25, 2014 at 11:08 AM

That’s a violation of federal law since the 1960s.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Federal law? What federal law?? Cross reference DOMA.

Nutstuyu on March 25, 2014 at 11:09 AM

The way I see it is that they will declare Family owned businesses are exempt for reasons of religion. This will give Obama his victory on corporations, and give some face saving all around (in their view).

What I would want is a blanket “You cannot force a person to go against their religious values”

OregonPolitician on March 25, 2014 at 10:48 AM

I think you’re quite correct. They’ll avoid the ‘Constitutional’ question and subordinate it to politics.

Ricard on March 25, 2014 at 11:09 AM

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Shorter version: This law supercedes the Constitution.

If you want that Constitution back, elect people who agree with you.

Pless1foEngrish on March 25, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Midas on March 25, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Pollen and asbestos particles.

Nutstuyu on March 25, 2014 at 11:09 AM

You know, it’s weird how no one is suing to work over Christmas.

rogerb on March 25, 2014 at 11:09 AM

A corporation or other for-profit business entity does not practice the faith of its owners.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

So citizens united is wrong then? The same logic that you take against christian business’ is the same as what was argued in that case.

nobar on March 25, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Supreme Court should strike this down. A corporation or other for-profit business entity does not practice the faith of its owners.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Why is every Chick-fil-A outlet closed on Sundays?

Resist We Much on March 25, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Is the government ‘fascist’ because it requires business to pay overtime?
Because of child labor laws?
Because of workplace safety regulations?

I won’t be surprised if you answer ‘yes’.

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Ah, yes the good old liberal argument that if the government can regulate anything they can regulate everything.

And yes all of those things encroach on fascism though not all of them fully constitute fascism like the modern bureaucracy.
And it’s only liberals who live in fear of their fellow man who feel like they need the security blanket of government to keep their fellow man from killing them as part of commerce.
Government didn’t end all those problems you listed but progressives take credit for them (though they tend to ignore and disown all the distortions caused by their fascist preferences).

Your list also confuses two things. The government can make certain activities illegal because it can be argued they are directly harmful – e.g., safety rules, child labor laws.

But making a corporation pay overtime or provide health insurance is something else altogether. And it reveals your twisted notion of liberty. You frame this as the company denying people something because it won’t provide it. The company is not barring people from getting the birth control they want – it’s just refusing to pay for it.

If you can’t see the big distinction between “You can’t make an 8 year old work on a factory floor” and “You must spend money on your employees as a defacto arm of the state in implementing state policy” then you really don’t know what liberty is.

gwelf on March 25, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Verby, here’s a question for you.

Suppose a company institutes a policy whereby an employee’s wages are increased by 1% for each child born during their term of employment?

Is that illegal or discriminatory?

BobMbx on March 25, 2014 at 11:11 AM

You know, it’s weird how no one is suing to work over Christmas.

rogerb on March 25, 2014 at 11:09 AM

There isn’t any meatloaf in taking a tough stand.

nobar on March 25, 2014 at 11:11 AM

So corporations who give to charity and do so stating Jesus said too are legally barred from doing so? A single glass of red wine a day has been shown to have health benefits by numerous studies. If the feds decided insurance must cover this cost would corporations be barred from doing so if they cite a religious reason?

Rocks on March 25, 2014 at 11:08 AM

–No, they’re not legally barred from doing so.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Why is every Chick-fil-A outlet closed on Sundays?

Resist We Much on March 25, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Because we all cook our chicken at home on that day.

oldroy on March 25, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Supreme Court should strike this down. A corporation or other for-profit business entity does not practice the faith of its owners.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

In a family-owned business, who derives profits from those business activities?

lineholder on March 25, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Why is every Chick-fil-A outlet closed on Sundays?

Resist We Much on March 25, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Better question: Why does the government close on Sunday?

BobMbx on March 25, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Why is every Chick-fil-A outlet closed on Sundays?
 
Resist We Much on March 25, 2014 at 11:11 AM

 
Hobby Lobby too IIRC (and good to see you back/posting)

rogerb on March 25, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Why is every Chick-fil-A outlet closed on Sundays?

Resist We Much on March 25, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Because they’re illegally imposing their religion on us by restricting access to their tasty chicken nuggets any damn time we might want them?

Midas on March 25, 2014 at 11:16 AM

gwelf on March 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Do you feel that, for legal purposes, the personhood of a corporation is in no way distinct or different from the personhood of an individual?

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Is the government ‘fascist’ because it requires business to pay overtime?
Because of child labor laws?
Because of workplace safety regulations?

I won’t be surprised if you answer ‘yes’.

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Could you show us the law that says businesses must pay overtime please?

oldroy on March 25, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays because the owners are Christians and they run their business with Christian principles.

**waves at RogerB**

Resist We Much on March 25, 2014 at 11:18 AM

A corporation or other for-profit business entity does not practice the faith of its owners.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

So citizens united is wrong then? The same logic that you take against christian business’ is the same as what was argued in that case.

nobar on March 25, 2014 at 11:09 AM

–Not really. Corporations generally decide to make political contributions through PACs run by officers generally separate from the owners.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Why does the government close on Sunday?
 
BobMbx on March 25, 2014 at 11:14 AM

 
Ha. Oopsies.
 
Weird how lots of private businesses are open, isn’t it?

rogerb on March 25, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Could you show us the law that says businesses must pay overtime please?

oldroy on March 25, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Rights of nonexempt employees.

Nonexempt employees are entitled under the FLSA to time and one-half their “regular rate” of pay for each hour they actually work over the applicable FLSA overtime threshold in the applicable FLSA work period. (See, “FLSA Overtime“)

BobMbx on March 25, 2014 at 11:19 AM

I predict that if Hobby Lobby loses they go Galt. And they should.

questionmark on March 25, 2014 at 10:54 AM

I hope they close all stores immediately. I’m sure the owners have their own nut safely squirreled away.

cptacek on March 25, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Do you feel that, for legal purposes, the personhood of a corporation is in no way distinct or different from the personhood of an individual?

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Certainly not if it’s privately held, as in the case of HL.

22044 on March 25, 2014 at 11:20 AM

–No, they’re not legally barred from doing so.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:12 AM

So clearly the law allows a corporation to do things due to religious doctrine if it sees fit. Why should this not apply to the coverage of birth control? Birth Control, like a glass of red wine, is designed to confer a health benefit, at least according to those who don’t wish to be pregnant. It cures or treats no illness, except in certain cases unrelated to pregnancy and which are already covered. Birth Control is also elective and is widely and cheaply available. Why is it covered at all let alone be required to be covered against the wishes of those who have to pay for it?

Rocks on March 25, 2014 at 11:20 AM

In a family-owned business, who derives profits from those business activities?

lineholder on March 25, 2014 at 11:14 AM

–The owners (who are separate from the entities).

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Verby, here’s a question for you.

Suppose a company institutes a policy whereby an employee’s wages are increased by 1% for each child born during their term of employment?

Is that illegal or discriminatory?

BobMbx on March 25, 2014 at 11:11 AM

I sense a trick question…
Answer: I imagine it would not be illegal or discriminatory.
Perhaps there’s a reasoning that says that is wrong or that such a bonus can’t be applied in that way?

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 11:20 AM

I hope they close all stores immediately. I’m sure the owners have their own nut safely squirreled away.

cptacek on March 25, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Yep, they’ll be fine.

22044 on March 25, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Your opinion that that is what happens here doesn’t make that the case.
I’m not confident of any particular ruling here, but I’m hopeful that the court is indeed able to properly consider Constitutional rights….that people have them – not entities and corporations.

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 10:56 AM

I hope the entire opinion copies heavily from Citizens United.

cptacek on March 25, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Do you feel that, for legal purposes, the personhood of a corporation is in no way distinct or different from the personhood of an individual?

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 11:16 AM

For legal purposes? No they are not exactly the same and there are distinctions. But corporations do have rights because the people who operate and own them have rights.

Or are you suggesting that the government can regulate the speech of unions and media outlets?

gwelf on March 25, 2014 at 11:21 AM

–Not really. Corporations generally decide to make political contributions through PACs run by officers generally separate from the owners.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Wonderful. So franchise managers can be free to have religious liberty, but not the brand overall?

nobar on March 25, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Is the government ‘fascist’ because it requires business to pay overtime?
Because of child labor laws?
Because of workplace safety regulations?

I won’t be surprised if you answer ‘yes’.

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM

What religion is against paying overtime? What religion is against child labor laws? What religion is against workplace safety regulations?

Unless there is a religion that subscribes to these beliefs, these questions have no bearing on this decision.

cptacek on March 25, 2014 at 11:22 AM

–Not really. Corporations generally decide to make political contributions through PACs run by officers generally separate from the owners.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:19 AM

I think it would be a very rare corporation you will find which it’s officers do not own stock in the company. Most receive stock or options to purchase as part of their contract.

Rocks on March 25, 2014 at 11:22 AM

The Green family isn’t being prevented from practicing their religion – they just aren’t being allowed to impose their ‘religious convictions’ on others as a condition of employment by their corporation.

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Hey pal, in case you have a problem reading…The Green’s are not imposing law on people, the government is imposing a law on them…get it?

The Green’s want to be left alone, allow for people to buy their own contraceptives, their own car, their own house, their own whatever, and not force the Green’s to buy something for someone else.

How about a law forcing you to pay for my mortgage? Assuming you have a job and I doubt that.

If someone wants free contraceptives, have them go work for A.C. Moore or some other hobby/craft store. And let Hobby Lobby suffer the consequence of not providing for their employees, why they would fold in a matter of months because no one would work for them, right?

Keep posting, I always enjoy your posts, it reminds me of just how foolish the liberal mind thinks…I keep forgetting how stupid liberals are until you post.

right2bright on March 25, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Do you feel that, for legal purposes, the personhood of a corporation is in no way distinct or different from the personhood of an individual?

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Get your government out of my personhood

Roy Rogers on March 25, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Your opinion that that is what happens here doesn’t make that the case.
I’m not confident of any particular ruling here, but I’m hopeful that the court is indeed able to properly consider Constitutional rights….that people have them – not entities and corporations.

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 10:56 AM

A privately owned corporation is run by people with religious rights. Those rights do not cease to apply based on the people’s activity, including running & owning a corporation.

22044 on March 25, 2014 at 11:23 AM

The Green family isn’t being prevented from practicing their religion – they just aren’t being allowed to impose their ‘religious convictions’ on others as a condition of employment by their corporation.

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 10:23 AM

You are dumber than usual this morning.

VegasRick on March 25, 2014 at 10:31 AM

You beat me to it. I weighed ignoring the usual, or addressing the issues.

First, the fines, of which verbie typed at least twice. They are so incredibly harsh that remaining in business would no longer be feasible. It’s destructive socialism at work. England, a dying land over the at least last 100 years, now has a better work-incentivized environment. obama destroyed the work incentives in the US, on purpose.

If they go Galt, it won’t be by choice, but per force.

Second, Hobby Lobby is NOT imposing anything on anyone. They just don’t want to pay for the “contraceptive package”, which it must be said is more than a preventive pill. It includes the abortion-inducing pills and euthanasia.

Third, pay for your own damned pleasure-pills, all of you. I’m sick and tired of you looters/moochers.

Could you show us the law that says businesses must pay overtime please?

oldroy on March 25, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Duh, obama has a phone and a pen!

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 11:23 AM

So clearly the law allows a corporation to do things due to religious doctrine if it sees fit. Why should this not apply to the coverage of birth control? Birth Control, like a glass of red wine, is designed to confer a health benefit, at least according to those who don’t wish to be pregnant. It cures or treats no illness, except in certain cases unrelated to pregnancy and which are already covered. Birth Control is also elective and is widely and cheaply available. Why is it covered at all let alone be required to be covered against the wishes of those who have to pay for it?

Rocks on March 25, 2014 at 11:20 AM

–Hobby Lobby can’t force employees to attend church services, can’t require employees to believe what one religion practices, can’t discipline employees for not practicing religion or not believing certain things, etc. So–since corporations work through their employees–explain how Hobby Lobby is practicing religion.

Also, this is an employee benefit and corporations can’t discriminate against employees on the basis of religion.

Hoping Hobby Lobby loses.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:24 AM

I sense a trick question…
Answer: I imagine it would not be illegal or discriminatory.
Perhaps there’s a reasoning that says that is wrong or that such a bonus can’t be applied in that way?

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 11:20 AM

No trick.

What about lesbians? People that are sterile?

Its not a bonus. Its a wage.

BobMbx on March 25, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Fwiw, I think the SCOTUS will make a split ruling, one for and one against the gov’t.

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 11:24 AM

What I would want is a blanket “You cannot force a person to go against their religious values”

OregonPolitician on March 25, 2014 at 10:48 AM

I’m no Constitutional Scholar but it seems to me that, having already given person-hood to corporations in the Citizens United 1st Amendment case, and this being a 1st Amendment case re: the free exercise of religion, it seems to be a logical step for the same SCOTUS to decide that if corporations can speak politically they can then, also, exercise their religious views through their company policies. That would be a statement such as you describe and I think it is entirely possible that they can and will arrive at such a decision.

jffree1 on March 25, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays because the owners are Christians and they run their business with Christian principles.

Resist We Much on March 25, 2014 at 11:18 AM

… nah, I’m pretty sure it’s primarily about evilly restricting our access to their tasty chicken nuggets.

Have you heard Tim Hawkins Christian (comedian/musician), did a parody on the Beatle’s ‘Yesterday’; great stuff…

Midas on March 25, 2014 at 11:24 AM

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:24 AM

The stupid is strong in jim56 as well.

22044 on March 25, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Question to Mr. Morrissey (or others who might know)

How does the delay of the employer mandate impact QHBP requirements?

lineholder on March 25, 2014 at 11:26 AM

How is Hobby Lobby (as opposed to its owners) practicing religion? Does it hire or promote people on that basis? Does it require its employees or potential employees to believe certain things? Does it give 10% of its earnings to charity? (If it did the first two things, Hobby Lobby would be violating other laws.)

Supreme Court should strike this down. A corporation or other for-profit business entity does not practice the faith of its owners.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

.
EVERY (all inclusive, no exceptions) . . . . . privately businessIS … “the faith of it’s owners.”

listens2glenn on March 25, 2014 at 11:26 AM

How is Hobby Lobby (as opposed to its owners) practicing religion? Does it hire or promote people on that basis?

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

You forget one important issue. Liberalism is, itself, a religion. Their “god” is themselves and they do what they can to prohibit competing religions.

If you look at liberalism objectively you’ll notice a lot of similar traits between it and a cult. “Freedom of religion” only exists when it serves liberalism; it is to be torn down in all other cases.

Liberals truly believe that they are superior to everyone else. They consider themselves as the 21st century “master race.” Take global warming, for example; notice how dissenting opinions are to be destroyed rather than proving their arguments. Another example, conservative African Americans are dismissed as “Uncle Toms” while criticisms against liberal African Americans are “racist.”

Kingfisher on March 25, 2014 at 11:26 AM

The Green family isn’t being prevented from practicing their religion – they just aren’t being allowed to impose their ‘religious convictions’ on others as a condition of employment by their corporation.

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Quite possibly one of the most Idiotic posts you’ve
ever typed on this site.

When we last peered in to the Freedoms we have in this
Nation, a person IS NOT FORCED to work at a certain company.
Do you understand this concept??????

The Green Family has their BELIEFS. If you do not agree with
them, do not apply there.

If I chose to live in Philly, and applied for a part time
job at Reading Terminal Market, at the Moroccan Eatery there,
and they do not serve Meat. BUT, I want them to start serving
Cheese Steaks, because they’re quite tasty, you see.

Should they have to start doing that??

ToddPA on March 25, 2014 at 11:27 AM

I hope they close all stores immediately. I’m sure the owners have their own nut safely squirreled away.

cptacek on March 25, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Yep, they’ll be fine.

22044 on March 25, 2014 at 11:20 AM

–They’d be silly to do that. They’ll just sell the company to someone. And did you know the Greens also own the Hemisphere stores (and they’re apparently not complaining about birth control for those stores).

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:27 AM

What is it about the Constitution that Liberals don’t understand?

EVERYTHING.

kingsjester on March 25, 2014 at 11:27 AM

They did cite Citizens United v. FCC.

Now on a political and personal basis, who knows what the SC will do with this case.

HonestLib on March 25, 2014 at 10:58 AM
Oh you did it now. You brought up the “most evil case ever”. You better retract that, or other libs will hate you forever.

nobar on March 25, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Chuckle……al lot of them do hate me…oh well.

HonestLib on March 25, 2014 at 11:28 AM

The problem here for Obama and his sycophants, is they believed that they could institute a form of socialism/communism not directly through the state, but through state control of business. If the SCOTUS rules otherwise their whole philosophy goes up in flames.

Look for a narrow 5-4 decision against HHS.

Tater Salad on March 25, 2014 at 11:28 AM

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Keep digging that hole, jimmy.

22044 on March 25, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Just wondering….what do the employees of Hobby Lobby have to say about all this?

Do they support the owners or not?

BobMbx on March 25, 2014 at 11:29 AM

–Hobby Lobby can’t force employees to attend church services, can’t require employees to believe what one religion practices, can’t discipline employees for not practicing religion or not believing certain things, etc. So–since corporations work through their employees–explain how Hobby Lobby is practicing religion.

Corporations work through their employees? Corporations perform no action which is not done by an employee? If the corporation states they are giving 100 million to food banks because Jesus told them too they are practicing religion.

Also, this is an employee benefit and corporations can’t discriminate against employees on the basis of religion.

Hoping Hobby Lobby loses.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:24 AM

How is Hobby Lobby discriminating against an employee based on religion? Do certain employees receive a benefit due to their religion and others not? They aren’t paying for certain Birth Control for any employee. All are treated the same.

Rocks on March 25, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Is the government ‘fascist’ because it requires business to pay overtime?
Because of child labor laws?
Because of workplace safety regulations?

I won’t be surprised if you answer ‘yes’.

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Therefore, business should require to provide food and shelter, right?

In fact, they should provide everything for the employees….wait, they do, they provide a paycheck to purchase what they need.

Child safety laws, now where is that sold? Workplace safety, what store carries that?

You should really think through your foolish retorts…but I am glad you post…keep posting, you are F’in Brilliant!!

right2bright on March 25, 2014 at 11:29 AM

–Hobby Lobby can’t force employees to attend church services, can’t require employees to believe what one religion practices, can’t discipline employees for not practicing religion or not believing certain things, etc. So–since corporations work through their employees–explain how Hobby Lobby is practicing religion.

First, you typed this – note that NO one is penalized for anything here.

Also, this is an employee benefit and corporations can’t discriminate against employees on the basis of religion.

Hoping Hobby Lobby loses.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Then you type this, perturbed and illogical mind. If it’s an “employee benefit”, it’s none of the gov’t’s business, and shouldn’t be.

Your comment is dichotomous. Maybe you’ll clarify.

Also, pay for your own damned pleasure pills. It should never be the business of any employer to do so, unless they want to, in which case they’d be foolish, but free to be so.

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 11:29 AM

BobMbx on March 25, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Lot’s of flexibility in how “work week” and “non-exempt” can be defined.

oldroy on March 25, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Chief Justice John Roberts likes to keep the high court’s rulings as narrow as possible on most big issues. He looks for ways to minimize the Court’s footprint by avoiding the biggest question—which, in this case, would be whether corporations are protected by the First Amendment’s “free exercise” clause.

Oh, is that what Roberts did with the Obamacare opinion and ruling? To me it seemed as though he was just making it up as he went along.

With that perspective, I have zero faith the court will rule in a balanced and equitable way. Their concerns apparently go far beyond the actual law, wading well into vanity and protection of their personal power base. People see it and know it intuitively. It is why oral surgeons have higher favorability ratings.

Conestoga challenged the mandate as an affront to the beliefs of its owners, the Hahn family. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, siding with the Justice Department, said the corporation and the people who own it are two different entities.

Separating the owners from the entity they created, manage and operate reminds me of a phrase…what was it….oh, yes- “you didn’t build that”. That inventiveness and legal gymnastics are only second to the Roberts Obamacare decision. I would like to know on what basis the court actually made that separation.

The courts have been completely corrupted by liberals and this is the result. It is no longer about the law. It is about crafting the law in a way it becomes a slave to ideology. The Framers saw it coming. It is why they gave them almost a zero role in our Republic. It is also why the concept of judicial review in Marbury v. Madison was one of the most destructive decisions in our history.

Marcus Traianus on March 25, 2014 at 11:30 AM

You should really think through your foolish retorts…but I am glad you post…keep posting, you are F’in Brilliant!!

right2bright on March 25, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Send verbie a thank you note for the free entertainment.

Send one to

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Sorry, send one to jim56, too, unless he clarifies what he meant.

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Hobby Lobby can’t force employees to attend church services, can’t require employees to believe what one religion practices, can’t discipline employees for not practicing religion or not believing certain things, etc.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Congratulations, dumba$$, you just contradicted yourself. You’re claiming that HL cannot force employers yet you’re OK with the government forcing Christian employees to contribute to the contraception mandate.

Thank you for proving us right.

Kingfisher on March 25, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Kingfisher on March 25, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Thank you. I thought I saw a dichotomy in that comment. Here’s hoping that jim clarifies.

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 11:32 AM

simple solution.
every business in the country drop their employees to part time and not offer any insurance.
and when the feds change rules again drop their hours even more.
business should not be forced to provide any medical benefits, sort of defeats the word benefits.
irony is medical benefits were added as an incentive due to fed rules restricting businesses from giving employees raises.
people want insurance then buy it on their own like they do car and homeowners insurance.

dmacleo on March 25, 2014 at 11:32 AM

But making a corporation pay overtime or provide health insurance is something else altogether. And it reveals your twisted notion of liberty.

gwelf on March 25, 2014 at 11:11 AM

So to clarify your position – the contraception/religious liberty argument is moot for you – because you see it that oppose any requirement to offer/provide health insurance at all…correct?

And come on…save me the ‘I love liberty and you don’t!’ line.
You’re free to run around naked in the hills and seek some utopian hunter-gatherer paradise if you want.
Send us a post card…if you can swallow the indignity of such an oppressive and fascist societal necessity as a postal service.

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Lot’s of flexibility in how “work week” and “non-exempt” can be defined.

oldroy on March 25, 2014 at 11:29 AM

I’m sorry, what was your original question?

I thought it was to point out the law that requires overtime.

BobMbx on March 25, 2014 at 11:32 AM

What is it about the Constitution that Liberals don’t understand?

EVERYTHING.

kingsjester on March 25, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Well… It WAS written in cursive you see…

Roy Rogers on March 25, 2014 at 11:33 AM

dmacleo on March 25, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Agree – the gov’t should get out of the healthcare business. The employers should too.

Also, the gov’t should get out of the marriage business.

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 11:33 AM

If you can’t see the big distinction between “You can’t make an 8 year old work on a factory floor” and “You must spend money on your employees as a defacto arm of the state in implementing state policy” then you really don’t know what liberty is.

gwelf on March 25, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Well stated.

cthemfly on March 25, 2014 at 11:34 AM

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Certainly not if it’s privately held, as in the case of HL.

22044 on March 25, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Seems like the SC could easily draw a distinction between privately-held businesses and publicly-held (listed) businesses.

Nutstuyu on March 25, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Also, pay for your own damned pleasure pills. It should never be the business of any employer to do so, unless they want to, in which case they’d be foolish, but free to be so.

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 11:29 AM

If contraception is okay, is Viagra than have to be supplied? How about alcohol, which often leads to the use of contraceptives…where does it stop, forcing business to buy unnecessary drugs?

This is what is so amazing…for a few bucks any woman can buy whatever she needs, whenever she needs it…less than a cup of coffee from Starbucks…

Simply amazing the greed of the liberal mind…beggars.

So much for the “independent” woman…

right2bright on March 25, 2014 at 11:34 AM

I’m sorry, what was your original question?

I thought it was to point out the law that requires overtime.

BobMbx on March 25, 2014 at 11:32 AM

It doesn’t apply to everyone.

oldroy on March 25, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Why is every Chick-fil-A outlet closed on Sundays?

Resist We Much on March 25, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Jumping up and down and raising hands, rocking back and forth, and asking….can I answer…..can I answer teacher……can I answer PLEASE!!!!!

Worked at Chick-Fil-A for five years and know Truett and helped train Dan and Bubba many years ago.

HonestLib on March 25, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Fareway grocery stores are also closed on Sunday’s…

OmahaConservative on March 25, 2014 at 11:35 AM

I got nothing.

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 11:32 AM

“Severely” edited…for accuracy. :)

22044 on March 25, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Constitutional rights….that people have them – not entities and corporations.

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Strange that unions seem to have them…

Shay on March 25, 2014 at 11:35 AM

So to clarify your position – the contraception/religious liberty argument is moot for you – because you see it that oppose any requirement to offer/provide health insurance at all…correct?

Yes, you got it!!!

Send us a post card…if you can swallow the indignity of such an oppressive and fascist societal necessity as a postal service.

verbaluce on March 25, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Privatize the stupid postal ‘service’. It’s a money pit, for losers, at taxpayers’ expense.

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Seems like the SC could easily draw a distinction between privately-held businesses and publicly-held (listed) businesses.

Nutstuyu on March 25, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Admittedly, there are minds greater than mine on this board who could address that matter.

22044 on March 25, 2014 at 11:36 AM

What I would want is a blanket “You cannot force a person to go against their religious values”

OregonPolitician on March 25, 2014 at 10:48 AM

.
I’m no Constitutional Scholar but it seems to me that, having already given person-hood to corporations in the Citizens United 1st Amendment case, and this being a 1st Amendment case re: the free exercise of religion, it seems to be a logical step for the same SCOTUS to decide that if corporations can speak politically they can then, also, exercise their religious views through their company policies. That would be a statement such as you describe and I think it is entirely possible that they can and will arrive at such a decision.

jffree1 on March 25, 2014 at 11:24 AM

.
Good memory, and excellent point . . . . . . . . . but it should have been “logical” (I thought) for Chief Justice Roberts to have voted against the ACA in 2012.

listens2glenn on March 25, 2014 at 11:36 AM

verbie, more than half the country are exempted by obama on obama’care’.

Lalalalalalalalalalala

Explain that.

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 11:36 AM

It doesn’t apply to everyone.

oldroy on March 25, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Neither does the capital gains tax, but its still the law.

So is there, or isn’t there, a law that requires overtime to be paid?

BobMbx on March 25, 2014 at 11:37 AM

simple solution.
every business in the country drop their employees to part time and not offer any insurance.
and when the feds change rules again drop their hours even more.
business should not be forced to provide any medical benefits, sort of defeats the word benefits.
irony is medical benefits were added as an incentive due to fed rules restricting businesses from giving employees raises.
people want insurance then buy it on their own like they do car and homeowners insurance.

dmacleo on March 25, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Or make everyone a “contractor”. I get paid a lump sum every month for services, no benefits, no withholdings. It’s up to me to pay for my own stuff.

Nutstuyu on March 25, 2014 at 11:37 AM

but it should have been “logical” (I thought) for Chief Justice Roberts to have voted against the ACA in 2012.

listens2glenn on March 25, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Count on the azzhole to do it again, to vote against the constitution.

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Just wondering….what do the employees of Hobby Lobby have to say about all this?
 
BobMbx on March 25, 2014 at 11:29 AM

 
Of course they do. Like verbaluce explained, employees don’t have the right to impose their religious convictions (or lack of) on anyone else, and they’re free to find another job.

rogerb on March 25, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Worked at Chick-Fil-A for five years and know Truett and helped train Dan and Bubba many years ago.

HonestLib on March 25, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Clap, clap, clap :)

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2014 at 11:36 AM

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Roy Rogers on March 25, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Liberals have conflagrated work rules (overtime pay, child labor laws and the like) with work benefits. Obama and his minions don’t know the difference.

Tater Salad on March 25, 2014 at 11:40 AM

They’d be silly to do that.

jim56 on March 25, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Not really. If the decision-making authority of the business owner doesn’t include conscience protections for people of faith….why would they deliberately and intentionally choose to put themselves in a position where they are forced to violate their conscience and their religious beliefs?

At best, if Hobby Lobby loses, they’ll stop offering health insurance. Lots of people will be worse off for it if they do.
At worst, if QHBP requirements hold, Hobby Lobby might have to pay back fines, at which point I think they probably will close their doors.

lineholder on March 25, 2014 at 11:40 AM

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