June 30, 2014

The Supreme Court — in Hobby Lobby — upholds religious exemptions to Obamacare.

"RFRA applies to regulations that govern the activities of closely held for-profit corporations like Conestoga, HL and Mardel."

Once RFRA (the Religious Freedom Restoration Act) covers Hobby Lobby and other for-profit corporations, the government could still win if it could show that what it's done is the least restrictive way to meet a compelling interest.

Here's the opinion PDF. It's 5-4, written by Justice Alito. Along with Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas, Justice Kennedy joins the Alito opinion. He also writes a concurrence. The dissenting opinion is written by Ginsburg.

ADDED: From the opinion:
In holding that the HHS mandate is unlawful, we reject HHS’s argument that the owners of the companies forfeited all RFRA protection when they decided to organize their businesses as corporations rather than sole proprietorships or general partnerships. The plain terms of RFRA make it perfectly clear that Congress did not discriminate in this way against men and women who wish to run their businesses as for-profit corporations in the manner required by their religious beliefs.
The Court found a substantial burden to the religion of the owners of the businesses in being required to facilitate what they see as abortions or to pay fines that could be as "as much as $1.3 million per day, or about $475 million per year, in the case of one of the companies."

Under the statute (RFRA), that substantial burden triggers strict scrutiny, and the Court assumes for the purpose of the opinion that the HHS regulations have a compelling interest, because is so easy to say: Even if the interest is compelling, HHS hasn't used the least restrictive means for serving it.

HHS has already put into place a system for contraceptive coverage for religious nonprofit corporations, and it gave "no reason why the same system cannot be made available when the owners of for-profit corporations have similar religious objections."

Here's some push-back to the dissent:
We do not hold, as the principal dissent alleges, that for-profit corporations and other commercial enterprises can “opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.” Post, at 1 (opinion of GINSBURG, J.). Nor do we hold, as the dissent implies, that such corporations have free rein to take steps that impose “disadvantages . . . on others” or that require “the general public [to] pick up the tab.” Post, at 1–2. And we certainly do not hold or suggest that “RFRA demands accommodation of a for-profit corporation’s religious beliefs no matter the impact that accommodation may have on . . . thousands of women employed by Hobby Lobby.” Post, at 2.1 
If HHS would just give the religious for-profit corporations the same accommodation it already gives to the nonprofit religious corporations, the effect on women employees "would be precisely zero."

I need to spend more time with the opinion, but for now, I'll say that it may be harder for the government to figure out which for-profit corporations warrant the accommodation, but that's the consequence of Congress's own statute RFRA, so it's a problem of the government's own making, not a compelling interest itself to be served by denying religious accommodations. RFRA itself is a monument to the government's lack of interest in avoiding the trouble of figuring out things like this.

UPDATE: I've just spent a lot of time and I've read every word of all of the opinions. I have a bunch of things to say, but maybe not too much before tomorrow, other than to say that contrary to the quote from SCOTUSblog that begins this post, the case isn't restricted to closely held corporations. Any corporation can use RFRA, but it's unlikely that a publicly traded corporation will be able to establish that there is a substantial burden on its exercise of religion, which is what is needed under RFRA to force the government to show that it has a compelling interest and has used the least restrictive means to serve that interest.

188 comments:

MountainMan said...

Good job, professor. I believe you called this one right from the beginning.

Factory Yoyo said...

I have to say I just don't get it...Obamacare is way under water poll-wise, doesn't cost less, in fact costs more, kicked people off insurance, was passed under the most dubious of circumstances, is bad law full of holes and unconstitutional "administrative implementations", didn't appreciatively make more people insured, and is not bending the cost curve down. So why the hell are we looking at a SC to put this monstrosity out of its misery? If it was strictly about the policy, it would be mothballed. But the Great O has to have at least ONE accomplishment, even if it has caused our country more money and more rancor.

Thorley Winston said...

So basically the Court realized that there is no "commercial activity" exception to the First Amendment. Yes, I know that this was decided based on the RFRA (a statute) and not the Free Exercise Clause but those who were obsessing over whether corporations are persons were basically asking for the Courts to create an create an exception to rights that were supposed to be protected by the Constitution, even if they were loathe to admit it.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


I hope they only upheld religious exemptions for 'after conception' items. A credible argument can be made for those.

Pre-conception items should not be exempted, especially if based on the anti-science papal encyclical against all forms of 'birth control'. The 'reasoning' that pope used was ignorant of the dual function of sex in homo sapiens: procreation and pair bonding.

If God had anything to do with our sexual instincts, 'He' intended both functions, as we now know.

PB Reader said...

In the house of cards that is Obamacare, this card was near the top, not the bottom, unfortunately. It seems we must dismantle the house from the top town. It will take a long time. During which, the left will still claim that Obamacare still exists and is thus a success. the Republicans must persist in their dismantling a card at a time, waiting for a gust of wind to blow it all apart. Finances should be this gust of wind.

khesanh0802 said...

The court has the courage that Bart Stupak and several others lacked. If they had the same courage we would not be dealing with Obamacare.

The Drill SGT said...

Simpler SCOTUS Version: What don't you DOJ lawyers understand about basic English

garage mahal said...

Decision only affects women, and only affects women having sex. But NO war on women here guys.

Jane the Actuary said...

And " the least restrictive way" to provide contraception to every woman who wants it is to just give the stuff away. "Contraception stamps," maybe. Not to mandate that employers provide it to their employees, plus Medicaid, and a patchwork of programs if you're neither eligible for Medicaid nor insured.

Matthew Sablan said...

I expected a limite druling like this, but from what I'm seeing, maybe it is broader than I thought. I'm curious to read the dissent at some point.

SGT Ted said...

About time that the USSC tamped down on the rampant female entitlement attitude that is operative in demanding that employers subsidize women's recreational sex choices.

traditionalguy said...

But will Pope Francis see this case as saving the unborn or as the rich stealing from the poor?

It's not easy to be a pro life Leninist.

Ann Althouse said...

"Decision only affects women, and only affects women having sex. But NO war on women here guys."

1. You're assuming the companies had no female owners and that women also have religious objections to govt's burdens.

2. You're forgetting that contraceptives are only used when women have sex with men.

3. If it's a war on women, the Democrats are responsible for it, since RFRA is a Clinton Administration achievement. (Just about every member of Congress voted for it.)

traditionalguy said...

Now if this was a war on redskin sluts it might have political traction. I'll listen to ElRushbo and see.

Levi Starks said...

The twitter sphere is ticked.
" literally Burn hobby lobby down" seems to be the common theme.

It seems like a more practical approach would be to burn down 5/9 of the Supreme Court.

TCom said...

Males don't get the use of any abortive drugs at all, garagey. We don't even have a pill.

Yeah, only women have a lack of choice here. Uh huh.

SGT Ted said...

Decision only affects women, and only affects women having sex. But NO war on women here guys.

Women aren't special snowflakes, deserving of extra special consideration from others in an equal society.

Asking women to pay for their own sex based wants isn't any sort of sexism. In fact, demanding that women get special consideration when it comes to their vagay is sexism defined.

The Modern Woman can pay for their own recreational sex consequences.

If a man has to pay for 22 years for a kid he didn't want, with no say in the matter, women can damn well open up their wallets and pay for their own contraception and abortions when they don't want a kid.

The casual sexist supremacist and female entitlement attitude of the feminist left needs to be called out for what it is.

Jim Hu said...

Is it so hard to do the thought experiment where the Hobby Lobby decision would protect a business with progressive owners?

The Texas Republicans just came down in favor of gay conversion therapy. Imagine a mandate to cover that.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

To paraphrase George Will, when they make religious belief a coveted status that confers privileges, religious belief proliferates.

KLDAVIS said...

The griping about the general public picking up the tab is delicious.

Jay said...

I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution.

-Senator Barack Obama, 3/30/07

gerry said...

Pre-conception items should not be exempted, especially if based on the anti-science papal encyclical against all forms of 'birth control'. The 'reasoning' that pope used was ignorant of the dual function of sex in homo sapiens: procreation and pair bonding.

If God had anything to do with our sexual instincts, 'He' intended both functions, as we now know.



You really ought to read Humanae Vitae before exposing yourself as so ignorant of its contents:

*****************************
9. In the light of these facts the characteristic features and exigencies of married love are clearly indicated, and it is of the highest importance to evaluate them exactly.

This love is above all fully human, a compound of sense and spirit. It is not, then, merely a question of natural instinct or emotional drive. It is also, and above all, an act of the free will, whose trust is such that it is meant not only to survive the joys and sorrows of daily life, but also to grow, so that husband and wife become in a way one heart and one soul, and together attain their human fulfillment.

It is a love which is total—that very special form of personal friendship in which husband and wife generously share everything, allowing no unreasonable exceptions and not thinking solely of their own convenience. Whoever really loves his partner loves not only for what he receives, but loves that partner for the partner's own sake, content to be able to enrich the other with the gift of himself.

Married love is also faithful and exclusive of all other, and this until death. This is how husband and wife understood it on the day on which, fully aware of what they were doing, they freely vowed themselves to one another in marriage. Though this fidelity of husband and wife sometimes presents difficulties, no one has the right to assert that it is impossible; it is, on the contrary, always honorable and meritorious. The example of countless married couples proves not only that fidelity is in accord with the nature of marriage, but also that it is the source of profound and enduring happiness.

Finally, this love is fecund. It is not confined wholly to the loving interchange of husband and wife; it also contrives to go beyond this to bring new life into being. "Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the procreation and education of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents' welfare."
***********************
In other words, marital love has both bonding and generative aspects.

tim maguire said...

They chose to form as a for-profit corporation; I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be held to the same standard as other for-profit corporations.

If corporate personhood is the reason for the special treatment, then I have to note that I've never seen Hobby Lobby in church. If corporations are people, they are agnostics.

tim in vermont said...

"Pre-conception items should not be exempted, especially if based on the anti-science papal encyclical against all forms of 'birth control'. "

^^^This!

Because God knows that contraceptives are incredibly expensive and place an undue burden on people's right to free sex!

tim in vermont said...

Hey Lefty! Since you brought up George Will, are you all in with the CDC's definitions of the various forms of sexual assault?

eddie willers said...

limite druling

Marvelous typo.

surfed said...

Concise and cogent analysis. Thanx Professor.

Paco Wové said...

"women also have religious objections to govt's burdens."

I don't think the concept of 'government as burden' computes with Garage.

YoungHegelian said...

I think what will get lost in much analysis of this ruling is the importance that the concept of a closely-held corporation plays in the ruling.

The fact that closely held corporations are almost always corporations whose stock is owned by a small group of people makes it easy for the courts to determine the "sincerity" of the claimed religious belief. It's much easier to see if five people are sincere Christians than to check to see if every stockholder of Exxon-Mobil makes it to the pew on Sunday.

Levi Starks said...

Imagine the response if a man said "I need the government to provide me with a way to stop getting women pregnant"
I think we all know the answer to that one.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I need to spend more time with the opinion...

If you want to spend so much time with the opinion, why don't you marry it.

AJ Lynch said...

Boy, that Ginsburg is one angry chick.

garage mahal said...

3. If it's a war on women, the Democrats are responsible for it, since RFRA is a Clinton Administration achievement. (Just about every member of Congress voted for it.)

You're forgetting four justices didn't buy into that.

damikesc said...

So, 4 Justices like the idea of treating different corporations differently?

Equality under the law for all is no longer part of the equation?

The fact that closely held corporations are almost always corporations whose stock is owned by a small group of people makes it easy for the courts to determine the "sincerity" of the claimed religious belief. It's much easier to see if five people are sincere Christians than to check to see if every stockholder of Exxon-Mobil makes it to the pew on Sunday.

I fail to see why the sincerity of view matters. How can you write a limit to restrict the RFRA in this case? Why would Hobby Lobby deserve benefits GE doesn't get?

You're forgetting four justices didn't buy into that.

Those four justices don't seem to view ANY credible limit on governmental power. Heck, didn't Breyer try to claim the First Amendment was a group right, not an individual right?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

tim maguire said...

They chose to form as a for-profit corporation; I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be held to the same standard as other for-profit corporations.

They are held to the same standard. The RFRA is part of that standard, and does not limit itself to individuals and nonprofits.

tds said...

Does hysteria surrounding hobby lobby decision confirms:

1. Robert Conquest's 2nd law: Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.
2. antiFederalists were right?

Brando said...

This did seem like an odd hill for the Obamaphiles to choose to fight on. Let's pick this apart:

1) Subsidizing birth control is a great thing for society.

2) Obamacare is also a great thing for society! The law has many key moving parts, such as subsidies, state and federal exchanges, individual mandate, requirement of guaranteed issue and community pricing--which are "musts" for the law to work.

3) Obamacare also has a number of smaller, not so essential elements, including the contraception mandate.

4) Obamacare barely passed as it was--it was and remains very controversial.

5) Here's a great idea--let's risk the passage of the law, a potential loss at the Supreme Court, and also piss off a number of religious people who would not otherwise necessarily be opposed to the health care law, by insisting that employers offer subsidized contraception coverage!

6) After all, how else can we provide subsidized contraception coverage to more people? It's not as though we could just fund it directly with government money or anything simple like that. No, much better to tell employers that they have to provide it.

I get that this helps make it so Obamacare doesn't increase the deficit (more than it already does, anyway) the way that a direct subsidy would. But politically speaking this is an unforced error. After all, once you're already exempting nonprofit religious groups from the mandate, does it hurt that much to allow for-profit groups to opt out? This isn't exactly the linchpin of the ACA and the Court was right--there are far less intrusive ways of getting subsidized contraception to people.

I suspect this can be chalked up to "in the coccoon" thinking on the part of the Obamaphiles. The gang at the coffee house in SoHo probably thought it was a great idea while they took a break from writing their novels.

n.n said...

tim maguire:

Incorporation is a marriage. Corporations are a family, full of loving and not so loving people. Just like every other family they are not agnostic. There is a predominant faith which follows from a consensus or individual expression.

Richard Dolan said...

"RFRA itself is a monument to the government's lack of interest in avoiding the trouble of figuring out things like this."

Yes, and there was an odd exchange towards the end of both the Court's opinion and the Ginsburg dissent about that. The Ginsburg dissent argues that the judiciary has no business trying to figure out when a governmentally imposed requirement amounts to an unreasonable burden on a person's exercise of religious freedom. The Ginsburg dissent devotes several pages to that argument. The Court pointedly rejects that portion of the dissent as contrary to the very purpose in enacting RFRA and RLUIPA. In delving into those issues, the Court points out that the only inquiry about the exercise of religious freedom required under the RFRA and RLUIPA is whether the religious tenet at issue is sincerely held or was feigned to obtain an advantage. Courts routinely handle those kinds of inquiries in assessing the intent or state of mind of a litigant, and there is nothing special about the religious context that makes the task unusually difficult. If the religious belief is sincerely held and is burdened by the governmental requirement at hand, the remaining issue is a familiar balancing test: whether the burden is justified by the governmental interest, and whether the government has chosen the least burdensome way of achieving its objective.

Plaintiffs won in these cases because the Court answered that last question, focusing on the least burdensome means (among the reasonable alternatives) of achieving the government's interest. While the context was highly controversial, the legal analysis that led to the Court's conclusion was just the opposite -- quite pedestrian, really.

tim in vermont said...

"anti-science papal encyclical against all forms of 'birth control'. "

What do you think the words "anti science mean, anyway.

DKWalser said...

They chose to form as a for-profit corporation; I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be held to the same standard as other for-profit corporations.

If corporate personhood is the reason for the special treatment, then I have to note that I've never seen Hobby Lobby in church. If corporations are people, they are agnostics.


I'm sorry, but this is just silly. Suppose that you own a business and operate it in your own name. Under your reading of the statute, you would be able to avoid paying for contraceptives for your employees (assuming a sincere religious objection). But, if you incorporate your business (still owned 100% by you), you would now be required to pay for contraceptives? That would be an absurd result.

The Court correctly held that your rights under RFRA do not depend on the form you choose to do business. Nor are husbands and wives who choose to operate their businesses as partnership denied their rights under RFRA. Congress could have limited RFRA rights to individuals by excluding corporations and partnerships. Congress did not do that and it would have been wrong from the Court to take upon itself the role of setting public policy.

Michael said...

Garage:

Nitwit. The four justices were not opining on the RFRA.

Zedediah Grimm said...

Garage said: "You're forgetting four justices didn't buy into that."

Guess what Sparky? The same could be said about the constitutionality of the ACA. What the fuck makes one the definitive "law of the land"™ and the other a narrow victory by the 5 "old, white men"™ on the court who OBVIOUSLY hate women?

I eagerly await you tying logic into knots to explain that.

Keep your vagina out of my wallet.

tds said...

Ginsburg's dissent: "as "a decision of startling breadth" that would allow corporations to "opt out of any law … they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.""

Now if people/companies could just decide themselves this would really pi**-off the liberals.

Michael K said...

"Decision only affects women, and only affects women having sex. But NO war on women here guys."

So, the religious men who have to pay for things that their religion opposes are not affected ? Didn't someone once tell you that smoking, or whatever you've been doing, would stunt your intelligence?

Drago said...

garage mahal: 3. If it's a war on women, the Democrats are responsible for it, since RFRA is a Clinton Administration achievement. (Just about every member of Congress voted for it.)

"You're forgetting four justices didn't buy into that."

Four Justices don't "buy into" the fact (FACT) that the RFRA is a Clinton Administration achievement?

LOL

So, if 4 Justices don't "buy into" gravity, does it go away too?

What other historical/physical facts go away if 4 justices don't "buy into" them?

JRoberts said...

Did SCOTUS define "closely held"? If not, we could have additional cases until it is clarified.

Also, I know I've grown cynical, but I imagine every special interest group across the left-right spectrum is busy today cranking out fund raising appeals related to these two big SCOTUS rulings.

Finally, if justice Ginsberg is now seen as a great "hero of women" as a result of her dissent, maybe the libs screaming for her retirement will back off.

garage mahal said...

I don't think the concept of 'government as burden' computes with Garage.

A burden the Church of Hobby Lobby didn't even notice until 2010.

Levi Starks said...

Once the government began inserting itself between the employee, and the employer we opened ourselves up to a vast array of problems that should have been left up to the free market to solve. I can live with government imposed safety regulations, restrictions on the length of the work day. This case is about whether the government can force a private business to provide a free benefit to a subset of employees based solely on their gender/age group. Religion should have nothing to do with it. It's wrong on its face.

SMGalbraith said...

Garage: Not providing free contraception, ad libitum, is waging a war on women?

The owners of Hobby Lobby, all US citizens, do provide some free contraception. They just don't want to provide what they believe are contraceptives that kill a fetus.

But the female employees may, of course, use the money that Hobby Lobby pays them and purchase it themselves. Hobby Lobby is not opposed to that.

And, of course, poor women receive free contraception through the federal and state Medicaid programs.

So, again how is this waging a war on women?

Saint Croix said...

One interesting aspect is that Roberts gave two big opinions to Alito, not Kennedy.

Drago said...

Jay said...
“I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution.”

-Senator Barack Obama, 3/30/07

Even better, according to Dem Senator Menendez, obama is going to "borrow" the power of congress to enact immigration changes.

"borrow" the power the congress.

After spending years having to hear lectures from the left regarding the unitary executive, we have reached a point where simply writing Fen's Law to describe the astonishing hypocrisy is inadequate.

Jim Howard said...

All this over something that Walmart sells for four dollars!

Nonapod said...

If you want to spend so much time with the opinion, why don't you marry it.

Society isn't ready for marriage between a Law Professor and a Supreme Court opinion. A civil union maybe, but not a marriage.

MountainMan said...

tim maguire said...

"They chose to form as a for-profit corporation; I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be held to the same standard as other for-profit corporations. "

Prof. Althouse or someone familiar with corporate law can probably explain better, but Hobby Lobby is not a publicly held corporation. You and other members of the public cannot buy their stock. They are a privately or closely held corporation and the Green family owns the company in its entirety. When they founded the business (with just $600, BTW) the chose to run it according to biblical principles and their faith and they have done that since they went into business. They and Chick-Fil-A are very similar in their approach to business (i.e., closed on Sundays, etc.).

Phil D said...

"The 'reasoning' that pope used was ignorant of the dual function of sex in homo sapiens: procreation and pair bonding."

Translation please, or are you being sarcastic?

Jason said...

GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!

eric said...

This is interesting from Powerlineblog:

"Our friend Mark Arnold, a distinguished appellate attorney, writes that the decision in Hobby Lobby is “all smoke and mirrors” because “the less restrictive alternative that the majority settled on is a certification by Hobby Lobby that it opposes contraceptive coverage, after which the insurance company must provide that coverage for free.” Accordingly, “the premium charged to Hobby Lobby will necessarily include the cost of the free contraception.”

If this is true, it would seem that Hobby Lobby actually lost.

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
Decision only affects women, and only affects women having sex. But NO war on women here guys."

Actually, it only affects some women, and not that many. So you must believe that it's just a war on some women, based on employment.

Which makes you an idiot.

madisonfella said...

Good! Now business owners won't have to choose between following the law and following their religion.

A guy I know has been wanting to fire one of his workers for over a year because the employee is in an interracial marriage, which goes directly against the owner's religious beliefs. Plus, employers can now use scripture to justify paying female workers less than men get paid.

Yes, this indeed is a glorious day for America. Lucky for us Christianity is, and always will be, the majority religion in our country. Would be kind of weird if employees were forced to follow Sharia Law in order to work at a factory.

PackerBronco said...

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

You just threw the whole concept of religious freedom out the window by arguing that the only religious freedoms that the state should recognize are the ones that it considers rational.

Religious freedom is a given. It is not for the state to determine which religious beliefs make sense and which do not.

The state should only act when it has compelling interest to do so.

If lack of access to contraceptives is a major health crisis, I sure haven't noticed it.

PackerBronco said...

Blogger Levi Starks said...
Imagine the response if a man said "I need the government to provide me with a way to stop getting women pregnant"
I think we all know the answer to that one.


I don't.

Unknown said...

Free birth control: abstinence.

If there is a "right" to have unfettered sex, a very large number of women are guilty of violating my Constitutional rights.

Curious George said...

"AJ Lynch said...
Boy, that Ginsburg is one angry chick."

Are you sure?

Sigivald said...

I am baffled by the idea that Mommy Employer has to pay for one's birth control, and that not doing so is So Horrible It Must Be Stopped.

I've always bought my own; somehow I survived - and isn't this decision all about the Morning After Pill?

If I understand that part right, it's also quite cheap - so there's no real question of "access", just of "someone else paying for it - because the co-pay is totally different from having to just buy it."*

(And I know Canadians who had to buy their own IUDs, because Mommy State won't pay for them.

But oddly Canadians I know are all upset about this decision that they don't even understand the details of.

I guess it's different when it's Because Jesus instead of Because Government Is Cheap.)

(* I've purchased medication in cash because it was so cheap my insurance co-pay was higher than the cost.

Is this supposed to offend me?)

Mary Beth said...

So, are we going to have to hear SCOTUS get slammed at the next SotU like we did after Citizen's United? (Those that listen to it, anyway. I quit after that one.)

Rusty said...

What? garage get sand in his vagina again?

Bruce Hayden said...

Pre-conception items should not be exempted, especially if based on the anti-science papal encyclical against all forms of 'birth control'. The 'reasoning' that pope used was ignorant of the dual function of sex in homo sapiens: procreation and pair bonding.

Maybe that would have been the case if Hobby Lobby, et al. had fought that fight. But, they didn't, allowing the Supreme Court majority an easier way out, which is that HL, et al. were willing to pay for methods of birth control that prevented conception, but not such that worked essentially to either cause an abortion or a miscarriage. In their view, if the birth control prevented fertilization, then fine. But not if it didn't, but instead, for example, prevented implantation of a fertilized egg. That they were willing to pay for all but four of the mandated types of birth control was highlighted by the Court, and esp. when it came to least restrictive means analysis - i.e. a less restrictive means would allow them to pay for just non-aborting/miscarrying types of birth control (which are most of those covered), or, alternatively, the government could pay.

Maybe that is next, a closely held company that protests paying for all contraceptives, in line with Roman Catholic theology. That would actually be interesting, given the religion practiced by the five in the majority (along, of course, with a sixth, in dissent). I think that if someone posed the problem as Roman Catholic theology, and pointed out that this isn't really open to debate in their church, they would have a hard time at least not finding a deep felt religious belief. It isn't like the debate right now in the PCUSA about their support for Palestinians over Jewish Israelis, where many of the rank and file are giving the mother church an ultimatum that they either withdraw, or they or their churches will. The ruling clergy in the RC church, starting with the Popes, have not given their members a choice in this matter. Which is why it would be interesting, esp. in view of the HL case today.

elkh1 said...

Now every for-profit can become religious. On the other hand, if Sandra Flukes paid for her own condoms, all these Hobby Lobby, Lobby Hobby things, could be avoided.

For me, any mandate to force a free people to do what they do not want to do is unlawful. Only the Son of Heaven has the Mandate from Heaven to make his subjects do things against their un-free wills.

If terrorism is "man caused disaster", why can't mandate be "legally required"? We are supposed to obey the Rule of Law, not the Rule of HHS.

Seeing Red said...

shorter GM: food should be free or war!

Peter said...

Interesting political fallout?

If RFRA is the problem then passing legislation to modify RFRA is the obvious remedy.

BUT RFRA was popular legislation; I'd guess that trying to modify it would not be good politics?

gerry said...

Wow. Leftists really are haters.

Seeing Red said...

My body my choice no means no - take responsibility and pay for it you're a feminist hear you whine.

David said...

The ruling endangers the health of women. The president (or the president's spokesperson) says so.

LilyBart said...

Actually, I think the problem here is Government DICTATING what healthcare insurance HAS to look like.

Healthcare is very important to people and very expensive. The government dictating insurance will always cause friction, anger, and unrest.

They need to back off mandating healthcare insurance solutions. Let people be free.

David said...

Eyal ben Iris Teshurah

Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim

Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah


Dead in a field near Hebron. You don't hear much about a war on women in Israel. Too busy with actual war, which endangered the health of three teenagers in the most extreme way possible.

LilyBart said...

For me, any mandate to force a free people to do what they do not want to do is unlawful. Only the Son of Heaven has the Mandate from Heaven to make his subjects do things against their un-free wills.

I agree. But interestingly enough, the Son of Heaven doesn't force people to do things against their will - he gives them their choice, and lets them live with the consequences of those choices.

David said...

If racism is a problem (and it is) does a trumped up war on women avoid the real and difficult issue?

All that energy, expended mostly to influence and supposedly assist mostly educated and affluent white women.

jimbino said...

But the public WILL pick up the tab, since perinatal care involved in pregnancy costs $10,000 per episode while avoiding pregnancy through contraception or abortion is much cheaper.

John said...

Madisonfella said:

A guy I know has been wanting to fire one of his workers for over a year because the employee is in an interracial marriage, which goes directly against the owner's religious beliefs. Plus, employers can now use scripture to justify paying female workers less than men get paid.

Phew! I smell bullshit.

Quit stinking up the place MF.

John Henry

LilyBart said...

The Hobby Lobby ruling.....jeopardizes the health of women who are employed by these companies,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

Seriously? This is non-sense. Jeopardizes the health? Just because you can't get someone else to pick up the tab for your relatively cheap b/c your HEALTH is jeopardized?

John said...

Sigvald said:

* I've purchased medication in cash because it was so cheap my insurance co-pay was higher than the cost.

I am on 4 daily meds that I get from VA. Since I am not indigent I have to pay for them. $8 each per month.

I can get the same meds at Sam's Club for $6 per month.

Only problem is that VA won't give me a prescription that I can use in a pharmacy. And for $8 per month, it is not worth the hassle to get a doctor to write me scripts.

John Henry

LilyBart said...

If you want ALL the choices available to you - pay for it yourself. If you expect others to pay, you'll have to live with their restrictions.

John said...

David said:

"The ruling endangers the health of women. The president (or the president's spokesperson) says so."

Are you joshing us or are you being earnest?

John Henry

Bob Ellison said...

The picture Drudge has up right now of John Roberts shows that Roberts has a chin just like that of the late Kirk Douglas.

In fact, they look so much alike that I'd say John Roberts should play Kirk Douglas in any upcoming Kirk Douglas biopic.

YoungHegelian said...

@damikesc,


I fail to see why the sincerity of view matters.

That's not up to me. Ask Congress & the judges why they thought it important. I'm just reporting the text of the law, to wit: (footnote 28, page 35 of linked PDF of ruling)

To qualify for RFRA’s protection, an asserted belief must be “sincere”; a corporation’s pretextual assertion of a religious belief in order to obtain an exemption for financial reasons would fail. Cf.e.g. United States v. Quaintance, 608 F. 3d 717, 718–719 (CA10 2010).

Bob Ellison said...

Hey! In February 2013, a John Roberts wrote an article about Kirk Douglas.

Coincidence? I think not.

Uh-oh. I'm way off-topic on a serious subject. 75 comments down, though. Maybe the Professor will let it slide.

Bruce Hayden said...

3) Obamacare also has a number of smaller, not so essential elements, including the contraception mandate.

4) Obamacare barely passed as it was--it was and remains very controversial.


Actually, I think that #3 is somewhat false. My understanding is that the question was left open, with a promise by the Obama Administration that it wouldn't impose at least an abortion mandate, and maybe even a contraceptive mandate. And that allowed a few pro-life Dems to vote the law, putting it over the top. But, then, to the surprise of few, all-but-excommunicated lapsed Roman Catholic Sec. Sebelius imposed the birth control mandate, including the four types of BC that appear to work as abortifacient. There was nothing in the law that I know of that required that she mandate such, or that she mandate all 20 types of FDA approved birth control be available without co-pays. But, it was important to the Obama reelection campaign that he be seen as the savior of single women in this country, for the Julia votes, and, so, the coverage was mandated by HHS.

Bob R said...

I can't believe Lizzy Warren denied me access to a a heart operation just 15 minutes ago. I got a feeling she is going to deny me access to a liposuction pretty soon.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

eric said...

...the less restrictive alternative that the majority settled on is a certification by Hobby Lobby that it opposes contraceptive coverage, after which the insurance company must provide that coverage for free...

The court did not settle on this less restrictive option. They used this as an example of a possible alternative that the government already acknowledged is less burdensome and meets its compelling interest.

The question of whether or not this option is still too burdensome was not addressed in this case, but is the subject of another lawsuit by different plaintiffs.

tim maguire said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...
tim maguire said...

They chose to form as a for-profit corporation; I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be held to the same standard as other for-profit corporations.


They are held to the same standard. The RFRA is part of that standard, and does not limit itself to individuals and nonprofits.


Ummm...no. This whole case is about Hobby Lobby not having the provide something other corporations have to provide, giving them an unfair advantage in the marketplace (a small advantage, maybe, but an advantage nonetheless).


I'm sorry, but this is just silly.

No, Mr. Walser, your objection is silly. People forming businesses incorporate for certain advantages, limited liability being paramount among them. Are those advantages silly? If you choose to incorporate, you choose to incorporate. If you don't like what incorporating entails, you are free to choose not to incorporate.

Gahrie said...

You know what? Nobody is paying for my World of Warcraft subscription, or my Mountain Dew and Cheesy Poofs. I declare a war on overweight male gamers!

gerry said...

A burden the Church of Hobby Lobby didn't even notice until 2010.

I don't think they had any legal standing until 2010. You cannot pursue relief until a burden is imposed.

Tell your talking points service to pay attention. Or to get a brain.

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tim in vermont said...

Pair bonding and copulation are both mechanisms to fulfill the Biblical directive to "go forth and multiply."

The internet is so full of people who never examine their premises.

tim in vermont said...

"But the public WILL pick up the tab, since perinatal care involved in pregnancy costs $10,000 per episode while avoiding pregnancy through contraception or abortion is much cheaper."

Does anybody else wonder where jimbo is going to find people to take care of him in his old age?

You're welcome Jimbo, but helping to provide the nation with a new generation was my pleasure. And not just the 30 seconds that started the process...

tim in vermont said...

"I can't believe Lizzy Warren denied me access to a a heart operation just 15 minutes ago. I got a feeling she is going to deny me access to a liposuction pretty soon."

Well, the Democrats did put a tax on pacemakers. I am not sure if making heartbeats more expensive isn't worse than making sex more expensive.

Matt said...

Viagara and vasectomies are still covered by Hobby Lobby. Clearly this is a ruling that affects women more than men.

Also note that Hobby Lobby sells numerous from China. You know, the China that forces women to have abortions. And yet Hobby Lobby claims to be Evangelical Christian. Yeah, right. More like Christian only for their female employees but not for those they make business deals with. Or men they employee.

Ann Althouse said...

YIKES. I did not mean to remove all those comments.

I misread what page I was on moderating!

I will restore these, and I apologize for the dire appearance of deletions.

victoria said...

Bad bad bad


Vicki from Pasadena

Ann Althouse said...

Gahrie said:

"You know what? Nobody is paying for my World of Warcraft subscription, or my Mountain Dew and Cheesy Poofs. I declare a war on overweight male gamers! "

JHapp said...

I think Biden best expressed the compelling interest of the government best when he said:
“We need it badly from a purely – purely economic point of view, ... a constant, unrelenting stream" of new people for generations. “Not dribbling,” Biden explained, but “Significant flows.”

Ann Althouse said...

Gerry said:

"'A burden the Church of Hobby Lobby didn't even notice until 2010.'

I don't think they had any legal standing until 2010. You cannot pursue relief until a burden is imposed.

Tell your talking points service to pay attention. Or to get a brain. "

Ann Althouse said...

Gerry said:

"I suspect this can be chalked up to "in the coccoon" thinking on the part of the Obamaphiles."

Or, they saw it as an opportunity to force their beliefs upon those who believe otherwise. "

Ann Althouse said...

Gerry said:

"'My body my choice no means no - take responsibility and pay for it you're a feminist hear you whine.'

I'll take my rosary off your ovaries when you get your vagina out of my wallet. "

Ann Althouse said...

Gerry said:

"'A burden the Church of Hobby Lobby didn't even notice until 2010."

"That's because until then, it wasn't a burden that violated Constitutional rights. "

Ann Althouse said...

Titus said:

"I enjoy when one sign gets angry and the other is happy.

What does hobby lobby sell? "

Ann Althouse said...

Gahrie said:

"'Does anyone remember a few years ago, when conservatives talked about the moslem caliphate, and the liberal "experts" claimed it was a pipe dream? '

"Go back and look at the Romney/Obama debates. Everything that Romney warned us about (and took shit from the Democrats and MSM for) is coming true."

Ann Althouse said...

PackerBronco said:

"Madisonfella said:

'A guy I know has been wanting to fire one of his workers for over a year because the employee is in an interracial marriage, which goes directly against the owner's religious beliefs. Plus, employers can now use scripture to justify paying female workers less than men get paid.'

"That's nice dear. Now please go back to your sandbox. The grownups are trying to have an adult conversation. "

Ann Althouse said...

Dust Bunny Queen said:

"'Did SCOTUS define "closely held"? If not, we could have additional cases until it is clarified.'

"They don't need to define it. That term is already well defined as common and well known business structure. The IRS has a ton of rules and regulations that affect closely held corporations differently than publicly traded corporations "

Ann Althouse said...

Ignorance is Bliss said:

"Ignorance is Bliss has left a new comment on your post "In Harris v. Quinn, "The Court recognizes a catego...":

madisonfella said...

Unions should be banned...

And same thing with corporations...

I think that most people who are anti-union would be perfectly fine with unions if it weren't for laws that unlevel the playing field.

Workers are free to stop working for their employer any time they want and to go find a different employer. Get rid of the law that takes away the employer's right do the equivalent. That and a few similar changes would solve much of the problem.

We don't need more government interference, we need less."

Ann Althouse said...

Ignorance Is Bliss Said:

"LilyBart said...

'The government dictating insurance will always cause friction...'

"Don't worry, the next set of HHS mandates will cover lubricants."

Ann Althouse said...

Ignorance is bliss said:

"tim maguire said...

Ummm...no. This whole case is about Hobby Lobby not having the provide something other corporations have to provide, giving them an unfair advantage in the marketplace (a small advantage, maybe, but an advantage nonetheless).

Ummm...yes. The RFRA is part of the standard established by law. It does not distinguish between individuals, nonprofits, and for-profits. If you don't think that this should be the standard then argue for the repeal ( or modification ) of the RFRA.

The Supreme Court's ruling was correct based on existing law. "

Ann Althouse said...

Brando wrote:

"'Actually, I think that #3 is somewhat false. My understanding is that the question was left open, with a promise by the Obama Administration that it wouldn't impose at least an abortion mandate, and maybe even a contraceptive mandate. And that allowed a few pro-life Dems to vote the law, putting it over the top. But, then, to the surprise of few, all-but-excommunicated lapsed Roman Catholic Sec. Sebelius imposed the birth control mandate, including the four types of BC that appear to work as abortifacient. There was nothing in the law that I know of that required that she mandate such, or that she mandate all 20 types of FDA approved birth control be available without co-pays. But, it was important to the Obama reelection campaign that he be seen as the savior of single women in this country, for the Julia votes, and, so, the coverage was mandated by HHS.'

"They had their reasons for pushing the contraception mandate--but as far as the entire structure of the ACA is concerned, it's not essential. If for example you were to take away the individual mandate, the Obamacare system would collapse as healthy people couldn't be forced into the exchanges, and if you took away the community rating element, the system would also fall apart because then insurers would jack up the premiums for the less healthy, forcing them off the exchanges and leaving them uninsured. So I can see why each of those elements were necessary for the law and why the Obamacare decision was so important in the summer of '12.

But the contraception mandate--had that been left out, or if for-profits like Hobby Lobby were given the same exemptions that nonprofits were given, there'd be no need for this fight or court case.

"If I were in Obama's shoes, there's no way I'd pick an unneeded fight when my law was already under attack and I needed all the help I could get. The fact that he went ahead anyway (through his HHS) just shows this guy is arrogant, clueless or a bit of both.

"Anyway, it's another Court loss for his administration that hasn't had a lot of good news lately (the capture of the Benghazi attacker seems to have been overwhelmed by about ten different setbacks/scandals lately)."

Bruce Hayden said...

They chose to form as a for-profit corporation; I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be held to the same standard as other for-profit corporations.

Interestingly, the Court did address this, but maybe not to the satisfaction of the progressive statists who wished to impose this mandate. What they essentially said was that neither incorporating nor operating a company for profit don't strip you of your 1st Amdt./RFRA rights. If GM could convince a court that its stockholders had a deep felt religious aversion to paying for abortifacient type birth control, they would likely also fall under the RFRA exception here. Of course, we know that GM couldn't do that, which is why closely held companies, like Hobby Lobby, are far more likely to qualify. It isn't the corporate form, nor operating for profit that matter, but rather, whether you can show a deep seated religious belief.

Ann Althouse said...

Young Hegelian wrote:

"I'm not a lawyer, so I may be missing something important, but I really gotta say: the more I see of Justice Ginsburg's jurisprudence, the less I understand where she's coming from. I try not to ape conservative memes just for the fun of it, but, sorry, guys, it really does seem to me that she's just making shit up as she goes along!

"From her dissent: "The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield." No, it's not the courts that laid that minefield. It was Congress, who failed to reconcile the demands of the RFRA with the demands of the ACA. It's not the job of the SCOTUS to make sure that Congress hasn't tied its shoelaces together. The SCOTUS simply isn't up to that task. I can't see how, in the light of the text of the RFRA, the exemptions already granted to non-profits by the ACA, and the weak legal arguments made by HHS, that the majority opinion isn't correct in this case."

Ann Althouse said...

Holdfast wrote:

"There was nothing in the law that I know of that required that she mandate such, or that she mandate all 20 types of FDA approved birth control be available without co-pays. But, it was important to the Obama reelection campaign that he be seen as the savior of single women in this country, for the Julia votes, and, so, the coverage was mandated by HHS."

"Remind me again why B.C. has no co-pays, while medication to treat cancer and heart disease does? Aren't life-saving drugs just a little more important? Isn't this a war on men? Oh sure, you'll say that men also benefit when women take B.C., which is true, but we can't trust it, because neither we nor the President can compel the woman to take the B.C., so if we have any doubt we have to pay for our own, unsubisidized rubbers. But it's a war on womyn to slightly roll back some of their special privileges? "

Ann Althouse said...

carlosdev wrote:

"So technically speaking what you are saying (by agreeing with SCOTUS) is that the religious rights of the employer supercede those of the employees. Now we are in a situation because of this decision where religious rights are given qualitative status."

Matt said...

As Ginsburg noted in her dissent: Almost any closely held companies — which make up a substantial chunk of the American economy — can now claim a religious orientation, and they can now seek to excuse themselves from all sorts of obligations, including honoring certain anti-discrimination laws.

Ann Althouse said...

roesch/voltaire wrote:

"Professor Leiter does a nice job of giving a short summary of this, but concludes: "I think it would have been better, and equally plausible, to simply hold that corporations are not "persons" for RFRA purposes; and it would have been far more plausible to deny that there was any substantial burden on the religiosu beliefs of the Hahns and Greens by requiring them to pay for health insurance that their employees might use for medical services of which their employers disapprove for religious reasons." "

Ann Althouse said...

caplight45 wrote:

"'One of the problems for those unhappy with today's HL decision is that for three generations they have couched their arguments and marketing of their agenda in the language of "Rights." When SCOTUS found things like the right to birth control and abortion based in a "Right to Privacy," it was understood that there was no such right in the Constitution per se but rather it was to be found in its "penumbras" (Justice Blackmun's term I think). Now they are up against a RIGHT (yes caps!) that is explicitly stated as the first Amendment to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. No penumbras, emanations and vibes of freedom. It's right there, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." Congress passed overwhelmingly, the RFRA to further codify protections of this Amendment under President Clinton. Again, this is a narrow ruling on the RFRA but the unhappy folks are still invoking the language of rights (in Chicken Little fashion).
In large measure today's ruling reflects, IMO, the desire, I think I might say arrogance, of the Administration in refusing to properly consider the RFRA, and refusing to seriously attempt to engage its critics. But hey, it is a great fund raiser for NARAL, NOW, Emily's List and a host of other organizations."

"And of course the Professor can tell me I don't know squat about Con Law and I will humbly withdraw from the field.Speaking of which her take down of Garage at 10:11 was worthy of a combat scene in Vikings or Game of Thrones: Garage lunges and thrusts. AA feints, cuts of his arm, swirls in a 280 and lops off his head as the dying eyes look back in disbelief. "

Ann Althouse said...

David said all of what appears in italics:

In a nation where access to contraception is a constitutional right, and contraception is inexpensive and universally available, the Supreme Court has ruled under a statute passed by Congress that a particular corporation can not be required to pay for contraceptive services for its employees. That ruling enforces a Congressional act designed to protect freedom of religious belief.

No one is prevented from engaging in contraception. No one is contending that contraception should be regulated or limited. No one disagrees that contraception is a constitutional right. The persons directly affected by the ruling remain free to control their bodies, but are not entitled to have their employer pay for contraception. These persons are also free to work elsewhere if they choose.

This is presented as a great crisis of health and safety for American women and a denigration of their civil rights (and indeed of their inherent rights under "Natural Law.")

Is this the best crisis we can come up with in our time? What does it say about our society that so many people are foaming with rage over this decision? What do these people care about? What does our society value, and why are we so tied up by such an inconsequential ruling--a ruling that could be overturned by a vote of our legislature without a constitutional objection of a single judge?

Have we become this trivial? This insensitive to the serious wrongs and problems that haunt the world? Or do we actually know how trivial this is, but remain consumed by the more serious game that this triviality reflects?

Something is really wrong that this dispute has generated such reaction, even (especially?) from the office of our President.

Ann Althouse said...

Larry Nelson said: "Ironic that most of those who cannot afford contraception,
are incentivized by the welfare state not to use it anyhow. "

Ann Althouse said...

Bob Ellison said (in italics):

Josh Earnest, Obama's spokesperson, said, "there are now a group of women of indeterminate size...". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk0XNp9ekzs#t=38s

This guy speaks for a living. He's paid to speak. That's how he earns money.

Anyway, I'm no carny, but I can tell a 100-pounder from a 200 or 300. Within 50 yards or so, anyway. (Excuse me, Josh: that's 100 cubits, or maybe indeterminate stone.)

Ann Althouse said...

John Constantius said:

A guy I know has been wanting to fire one of his workers for over a year because the employee is in an interracial marriage, which goes directly against the owner's religious beliefs.

I too call bullshit. Unlike Europe, in America an employer can generally fire someone for any reason they want or no reason whatsoever, so long as it isn't race, religion or gender. An employer can decide they don't like the shirt you wore today or just decide they don't feel like paying you anymore. This "guy you know" could just fire the "offending employee" and keep quiet about the reasons and all would be fine.

In other words, you made that up and really should stop. Nice story for your friends at the coffee bar though.

Ann Althouse said...

John Henry said:

With about half the stores and open only 6 days a week Chick Fil A moved more chicken than KFC last year moving into the top 10 of all fast food chains.

Yeah, that gay boycott really hurt them.

I wonder how Hobby Lobby will do this year?

Wanna bet they have a very good year?

Ann Althouse said...

fivewheels said:

Have you seen what's happening on SCOTUSblog's Twitter? Leftists and feminists are tweet-bombing them with outrage because they don't understand it's not the actual Supreme Court they're tweeting at. @SCOTUSblog's replies have been pretty funny.

Ann Althouse said...

traditionalguy said: "It apparently is not a business but the owner's religious hobby. I think they sell hobby horses, but only for boys of course, and that means for Manly boys only. White is the only available color. And they refuse to use Amazon's UPS delivery because all UPS trucks are Brown Trucks. "

Ann Althouse said...

fivewheels said: "Have you seen what's happening on SCOTUSblog's Twitter? Leftists and feminists are tweet-bombing them with outrage because they don't understand it's not the actual Supreme Court they're tweeting at. @SCOTUSblog's replies have been pretty funny. "

Ann Althouse said...

DKWalser wrote:

"...People forming businesses incorporate for certain advantages, limited liability being paramount among them. Are those advantages silly? If you choose to incorporate, you choose to incorporate. If you don't like what incorporating entails, you are free to choose not to incorporate.'

There are two substantial problems with your argument: First, at the time Hobby Lobby chose to incorporate there was no requirement that corporations (but not other employers) provide free contraception benefits. So it cannot be argued that this is merely one of the burdens the owners freely chose to accept when they sought the benefits of incorporation. Had such a requirement existed when Hobby Lobby was formed, you would have an argument. It didn't and you don't.

Second, as the Court pointed out, the purpose of granting corporations rights under a statute or the Constitution is to protect the rights of the human beings who are stakeholders in the corporation. The Constitution prevents the government from taking property without fair compensation. We grant corporations this protection because it protects the interests of the owners of the corporation. The Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches. We grant corporations this protection because it protects the privacy interests of corporate employees, officers, and shareholders. The Constitution requires due process. Again, corporations are granted due process rights to protect the stakeholders in the corporation.

Here, Congress granted "persons" certain rights under the RFRA. Congress could have, but chose not to, limit those rights to natural persons. Instead, Congress extended those rights to corporations to protect the rights of the owners of the corporation. In treating corporations as persons for this purpose, Congress followed its general rule for such things. Had it limited the RFRA to natural persons, it would have been an exception to the rule.

You might be able to articulate some public policy reason why the Green family should have rights under the RFRA but be denied those same rights since they chose to do business through a corporation. If so, you should make that argument rather than baldly asserting that they voluntarily surrendered those rights by incorporating. Such an assertion is silly at best.

Ann Althouse said...


tim in vermont has left a new comment on your post "The Supreme Court — in Hobby Lobby — upholds relig...":

"'What does hobby lobby sell?"

"All I know is that lefties aren't allowed to buy it anymore. No more HO trains for Hos."

Ann Althouse said...

deepelemblues has left a new comment on your post "The Supreme Court — in Hobby Lobby — upholds relig...":

"Ummm...no. This whole case is about Hobby Lobby not having the provide something other corporations have to provide, giving them an unfair advantage in the marketplace (a small advantage, maybe, but an advantage nonetheless). "

If that's the way you want to frame it then the question is is this unfair advantage more egregious than forcing them to subsidize something against their religious beliefs. I would say no considering that freedom of religious conscience is still established as a very strong institution in society.

"No, Mr. Walser, your objection is silly. People forming businesses incorporate for certain advantages, limited liability being paramount among them. Are those advantages silly? If you choose to incorporate, you choose to incorporate. If you don't like what incorporating entails, you are free to choose not to incorporate."

People are free to restrict their livelihood based on their religious convictions if they choose to do so. Having the government place them in the position of having to violate their consciences to make more for themselves is the kind of burden this country was created to avoid.

Ann Althouse said...

Seeing Red has left a new comment on your post "The Supreme Court — in Hobby Lobby — upholds relig...":

"Flove that, jerry! "

Ann Althouse said...

fivewheels has left a new comment on your post "The Supreme Court — in Hobby Lobby — upholds relig...":

"I followed SCOTUSblog, and Twitter's immediate three recommended follows were the actual Supreme Court account, Ezra Klein and Jeffrey Toobin. Blegh. "

Ann Althouse said...

rhhardin

Lawn sign.

YoungHegelian said...

Wow, Professor, that was a lot of work for you to save our comments from the shredder like that!

Above & beyond the call of duty, I'd say.

Thank you! You don't have to post this unless you want to.

Phil 3:14 said...

Everything in moderation.

rhhardin said...

Lawn Sign

(link restored)

Bob Ellison said...

Yeah, what YoungHegelian said. That looks like a lot of copy-and-paste-and-link-and-post. Thank you, Professor, for what must have been crap-work for keeping the discussion alive.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"Wow, Professor, that was a lot of work for you to save our comments from the shredder like that!

Above & beyond the call of duty, I'd say.

Thank you! You don't have to post this unless you want to."

I concur.

Titus said...

I don't care much about this case but I do care about 5-4 decisions-I find them boring and predictable.

I enjoy the unexpected decisions in the court.

But more importantly I care about what is the must have cd for the summer. Ptown, Ogunquit and Fire Island all had is blaring from every nook and cranny. Stores, clubs (with club versions, natch), inns, cars, etc.

And it is....

Guess flyover oldies....

Lana's Ultraviolence..pure heaven.

tits and go listen you may even like it-it is kind of 50's and 60's ish- you make be able to relate.

damikesc said...

To qualify for RFRA’s protection, an asserted belief must be “sincere”; a corporation’s pretextual assertion of a religious belief in order to obtain an exemption for financial reasons would fail. Cf.e.g. United States v. Quaintance, 608 F. 3d 717, 718–719 (CA10 2010).

I understand it is the verbiage of the bill, but without a definition of "sincere", it is meaningless in any useful measure.

Nichevo said...

You forgot my reply to jimbino , professor. You reposted a double post but you missed mine. It's late, you probably need sleep, I know I do.

Browndog said...

Something wierd, this way comes.

Not sure why Althouse had to keep an evil comment or two out of the comments, but--to each her own.

Seems like a lot of work for naught.

I look forward to reading the unabridged comments from Althouse readers regarding this subject (tomorrow?)....as I always do.

gregq said...

amikesc said...

I fail to see why the sincerity of view matters. How can you write a limit to restrict the RFRA in this case? Why would Hobby Lobby deserve benefits GE doesn't get?

Because RFRA is written that way. It says a "neutral law" that imposes a "substantial burden" on a "sincerely held religious belief" faces "strict scrutiny." It applies to any law written after RFRA was passed, where that law does not explicitly exempt itself from the RFRA.

The fact that four "Justices" voted against this ruling shows what dishonest scum all four are, because this was an open and shut slam dunk for Hobby Lobby so long as the law was actually followed.

Shameful, simply shameful.

gregq said...

Now, what is the "least restrictive" remedy? The Supreme Court very carefully didn't say. But it's pretty obvious: the least restrictive remedy would be for the Federal Government to pay for the contraceptives. Now, WILL the Federal Gov't pay for them? no. Not a chance in hell that will pass any time before Obama's gone.

Will that special snowflake Anthony Kennedy follow the law to that conclusion? Who knows.

Deirdre Mundy said...

I have a question--

So, if a company refuses to pay for your drug of choice because of religious reasons, they're evil, should be burnt to the ground, are saying women aren't people, etc. etc.

But if the Obamacare exchange refuses to pay for a preferred drug because it's too expensive, that's OK?

Why? Either way, some old guy who doesn't know you is making decisions about what you can and can't get covered.

It's like these people are so caught up in D v R that they've lost any ability to reason. Or, alternatively, they're just arguing in bad faith.

Sometimes, I find myself really disliking my fellow citizens.

richard mcenroe said...

"So why the hell are we looking at a SC to put this monstrosity out of its misery?"

Because whichever party is in power will use it as a money machine to reward its faithful while the money holds out.

Look at all the straight-up cash giveaways to outfits like SEIU in the existing bill.

And Boehner has already said he won't repeal it.

LilyBart said...

Wow, Professor, that was a lot of work for you to save our comments from the shredder like that!

Above & beyond the call of duty, I'd say.


Yes, very admirable.

jr565 said...

althouse wrote:
"3. If it's a war on women, the Democrats are responsible for it, since RFRA is a Clinton Administration achievement. (Just about every member of Congress voted for it.)"

It seems like EVERYTHING the dems are railing against now are because of Clinton. Deregulation of Banks, DOMA, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Iraq having WMD's. the RFRA.
That clinton is one woman hating,gay hating,deregulating, dog wagging son of a b.

jr565 said...

So funny. Hillary is going to have to speak out against this decision which upholds the law passed while her husband was president.
Republicans are going to have a field day making her live up to her rules.

Pianoman said...

The Left has lost its shit over this ruling for some reason. I saw calls for boycotts, and also calls for burning down all their stores. Of course there's also the tired old CHRISTIANS ARE TEH EVILZ AND THEY WANTZ TEH WIMMENZ BAREFOOT AND PREGNERT screeching as well.

This ruling really hit a nerve, similar to Citizens United.

Matthew Sablan said...

The more I read commentary from the activist left on this, the more convinced I am that they have a Twitter-deep understanding of the case, which sees the decision as a prelude to a dystopian Herland as opposed to a very limited ruling on very specific circumstances.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Viagara and vasectomies..."

... are not abortifacients, which I believe is ALL this case was about.

madisonfella said...

Also want to say kudos to Althouse for restoring the accidentally deleted comments.

damikesc said...

The more I read, this case is so narrow in focus that the mania on the Left is openly silly.

furious_a said...

You're forgetting four justices didn't buy into that.

You're forgetting four justices didn't buy into NFIB v. Sebelius. Actually, it probably never occurred to Garage in the first place, bless his heart.

Brando said...

Think of this from a cultural standpoint. The "winners" here were corporations and religious Christians, the "losers" were the government and people who might get their birth control more conveniently. It doesn't really matter what the legal issues are or what's at stake--in the mind of the coccooned leftist this is a calamity and deserves anger and scorn.

That's the problem with culture warriors--they see everything as good vs. evil, and nuance be damned.