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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Just One Of God's Humble Profits


On many levels, the Hobby Lobby case is a mess of bad facts, political opportunism, and questionable legal theories that might be laughable had some federal courts not taken them seriously. Take for instance Hobby Lobby's argument that providing coverage for Plan B and Ella substantially limits its religious freedom. The company admits in its complaint that until it considered filing the suit in 2012, its generous health insurance plan actually covered Plan B and Ella (though not IUDs). The burden of this coverage was apparently so insignificant that God, and Hobby Lobby executives, never noticed it until the mandate became a political issue.

The most well-publicized and controversial element of the case is Hobby Lobby's assertion that a for-profit corporation can have the constitutionally protected right to the free exercise of religion. It's a strange notion, but the court opened the door to this argument when it ruled in Citizens United that a corporation has First Amendment rights. So now the justices will have to consider whether corporations can pray, believe in an afterlife, and thus, be absolved of ACA's contraception mandate. But that's hardly the only thorny issue the court has to grapple with.

I know it's sheer fantasy given how these cases work, but I would bust a gut if the Roberts Court found that Hobby Lobby had absolutely no First Amendment rights as an artificial person, thereby overturning Citizens United.  Even a little obiter dictum or headnote added by a clerk would make me happy...


PS--Corporations shouldn't believe in an afterlife.  They are immortal by design.

March 23, 2014 | Permalink


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One of the problems is Hobby Lobby considers Plan B (well, now, anyway, not before, as the quote points out) an abortifacient. It isn't, which prompts the question "What are they complaining about, and on what grounds?" Which gets the court entangled in religious doctrine (or the lack of it).

Still don't understand why the lower courts took this seriously (it didn't, after all, come up from the 5th Circuit. That court truly is crazy.)

Posted by: Rmj | Mar 23, 2014 11:43:10 PM

The lawless Roberts court has shown, time and again, that it is not bound by precedent, Constitution, or logic.

Expect the crazy.

Posted by: Snarki, child of Loki | Mar 24, 2014 8:59:55 AM

If corporations are persons, they certainly don't have MORE rights than an individual, so they should be subject to being drafted, involuntarily and be required to render service and to being taxed in every way that people can be. They should never be allowed exemptions from taxes in ways that PEOPLE AS PERSONS aren't.

I'd go on but I'm afraid someone might be holding their breath over this and that might not be healthful. Not for real persons who are reliant on unpolluted air, anyway.

Posted by: Anthony McCarthy | Mar 24, 2014 10:06:24 AM

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