Kill On Your Own Dime, Says Hobby Lobby

The Supreme Court’s two decisions yesterday, one permitting some businesses to operate just like they were flesh and blood, tongue-talking Bible-toters, the other damaging labor unions by making freeloading legal, should be seen as a fairly big return on the investments that business interests have made in the political system and the courts, especially in getting five conservative justices in place to make these kinds of decisions that ultimately diminish workers’ rights and favor the moneyed class. As Doug Kendall of the Constitutional Accountability Center noted, the Chamber of Commerce has had a very good year.

In any case, what I want to quickly focus on is that Hobby Lobby case. I don’t want to rehearse the legal arguments or the long-term effects the decision may have. Whether the ruling is read narrowly or broadly in the future, what it comes down to is this naked reality: the “sincerely held religious beliefs” hobby lobby iudthat the Court says it is protecting are beliefs that assert that women who use emergency contraception or IUDs are murdering their children.

Yes. That’s what the owners of these businesses believe. These women are killing their kids, if they use certain methods of contraception that the owners, falsely (here and here), claim are abortifacients. And the owners want no part of it. Mind you, it is okay for these murdering women to keep their jobs at the owners’ businesses, so long as the killers pay for the murder weapons themselves.

Weird, no? Well, yes, but that’s what happens when religious conservatives own businesses and, well, own a majority on the highest court in the land.

 

 

17 Comments

  1. Weird? No. Someone has to work around here….
    Hardly surprising, we see that in a two-party split, 60-80% of welfare recipients are Democrats
    http://super-economy.blogspot.com/2012/02/do-welfare-recipients-mostly-vote.html

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll tell you what is weird. Inserting into this conversation “welfare recipients.” That’s weird. You guys are fixated on the 47%, aren’t you? If I were you, and I wanted to win another national election, I’d fixate on them in a different way. Trashing poor people hasn’t won you many elections lately.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. King Beauregard

     /  July 1, 2014

    Hobby Lobby also does brisk business China, which still practices a policy of forced abortions.

    So much for the deeply held beliefs of Hobby Lobby.

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    • King Beauregard

       /  July 1, 2014

      “brisk business WITH China”

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    • As a matter of fact, KB, my wife and I have shopped at HL from time to time and while noticing that they have excellent artful crafts at good prices, I have never noticed anything there that’s made in the USA. Nada. One can be sure that in addition to the China abortion issue, that child labor is involved. Talk about hypocrites!

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      • King Beauregard

         /  July 1, 2014

        How did Jesus put it, in the Elizabethan English he was known to favor? Ah, here it is:

        “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

        Good luck on Judgment Day, HL guys, explaining why you sided with Mammon.

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        • Honestly, up until the lawsuit, I was somewhat sympathetic to the Greens because of what they were trying to do relative to their workforce (like voluntarily raising their minumumwage to $14). The lawsuit, and the ridiculous notion behind it, soured me on them. As did the revelation that the company has been, via its retirement plan, investing in companies that make contraceptives and abortion-inducing medications that the Greens should find at least as offensive as the Affordable Care Act’s mandate.

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    • I hadn’t thought about that when I first wrote this piece. But it is absolutely true that Hobby Lobby benefits from all the policies in China, even the ones that persecute Christians.

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  3. ansonburlingame

     /  July 1, 2014

    Duane,
    About three days ago my wife and I were discussing which way we each felt SCOTUS would “go” on these two decisions. I guessed wrong in each case. So in that sense each decision seemed to me at least to be a rather big departure from established precedent, even law if you will. But I am not a legal expert either.

    I will point out that this is the first time that the Freedom of Religion Act, passed by Congress and signed into law some 20 years ago by Bill Clinton himself, has been used to form a new precedent by SCOTUS. So in a sense a new law (relatively speaking) has now been used to form a new approach to religion, maybe only in a very narrow sense (but we shall see on that count), is not such an earth-shaking new ruling by SCOTUS. As best I can tell Alito said this is what Congress and the Executive branch asked for, what they asked for is not unconstitutional (yet) so my call is to allow them to procede with RFA. A majority agreed with him.

    NPR today ran a clip of Clinton’s speech when he sign RFA. He GLORIFIED that new (early 1990s) law. He spoke as if he would have agreed with SCOTUS today, back then, maybe! But you can bet he won’t agree with SCOTUS now.

    Frankly I am rather surprised that your first two blogs (out of the gate so to speak) about SCOTUS rulings today is NOT all about potential damage to unions by the “other” ruling. To me that one spells more long term doom to unions than does the RFA decision spell doom for separation of church and State.

    But I am not ready to launch support or condemnation on either ruling, yet. I have more to absorb on both of them and NPR is doing a pretty good job right now with advocates and detractors on both rulings, so far!!

    Anson

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    • Let’s keep in mind, although it is hard to do for some people, that Bill and Hillary are two different people. She will, I am sure, distance herself from at least some of his old policies and some of the bills he signed into law, or at least admit they didn’t work out so well. If she doesn’t do that to some degree, liberals will be reluctant to go all-in with her.

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  4. Our own Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill voted to confirm Alito and Roberts. I wrote to her asking her to oppose their confirmations, and if they were put on the Supreme Court, the country would regret it. Her response was that President Bush should be able to decide who he wants for the court, and both had been vetted prior to their nominations. I reminded her of this in 2012, and she had no response. The Democratic Party, through its fears and lack of intestinal fortitude, is responsible for the current Supreme Court. They were afraid of political retribution if Alito and Roberts were opposed. This lack of action and fear of retribution is causing the problems we now have with the Court.

    Liked by 1 person

    • After Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts, and after what Republicans have done to Obama, few Democrats will ever bend the knee to the old concept that the President should have his way with such nominations. 

      The GOP’s behavior since January of 2009 has made it impossible for there to be any kind of truce in the political wars, so long as the Tea Party has any real influence in the party. If Democrats should ever lose the legislature and the White’s House, they should prosecute a war against the Republicans every bit as fierce as the one the right has prosecuted against Obama. Our side can’t afford to always play nice when we are out of power, especially when Republicans have no problem sabotaging the well-being of the country to gain that power. In other words, we can’t reward their strategy with political surrender.

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  5. ansonburlingame

     /  July 2, 2014

    Ah, so we now need a litmus test of one’s politics to appoint someone to the supreme court of the land. I always thought we wanted the best judges to take that position, regardless of political inclinations??

    Next step perhaps should be to change the Constitution, eliminate life-time tenure as a federal judge, and call for a slate of new judges to be put in place each time the White House and/or Senate change political majorities?

    How many years did America endure the “Warren Court”?

    In this particular case involving Hobby Lobby, SCOTUS read a “new” law passed by Congress and signed by a Democrat in the WH, interpreted that new law and thus this decision. Seems to me that SCOTUS was adhereing to the “will of the people” (as reflected in the majority voting in Congress), in this case. And that vote back in the early 90s was all about “religious freedom” it seems to me. It also passed with a near unanimous vote I am told, back then.

    But then you can argue “interpretation” of RFA of course, until the cows come home to roost!!

    One other point, a legal definition as I understand it. According to NPR when Congress writes the word “person” it means any person, including those responsible for making “corporate decisions”. It Congress only wants individual “persons”, meaning private citizens only acting for themselves that is OK but Congress must make that distinction in the particular legislation enacted. In the case of RFA Congress did not specficially exclude “corporate person’s” and thus …….., again according to NPR, not me!!

    Anson

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, Congress, including many Democrats, are to blame for part of the mess.

      But I want to challenge you on your “litmus test” claim. Of course Democrats who elect a president expect that president to pick nominees that reflect the values that Democrats hold. John Roberts is obviously very qualified, in terms of his legal training and smarts, to hold the job of Supreme Court justice. But if Barack Obama were to nominate someone like him to the Court, every Democrat in the country would be pissed and rightly so. And obviously Republicans feel the same way about it when they hold the White’s House.

      The formula for picking all judges is excellence + liberal values, as far as I’m concerned.

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  6. ansonburlingame

     /  July 2, 2014

    One other idle thought. IF a “corporation is not a person” (and I don’t think it is), then the decision makers in a corportation should be ELECTED, by majority vote of the employees of any corporation. Forget those old folks on a Board of Directors whose job it is to hire and fire any CEO, or the owner of a company when a BOD is not embodied. It is not “fair” to force employees to work for men or women whose politics or religion they do not like, right? The last time I checked however, no employee is forced to work for anyone. They have a distinct “right to quit” anytime they like as well, for political reasons, religious reasons or simply “don’t like the man” for whom they work!!

    Funny thing about corporations. They are not democracies. They are owned and run by INDIVIDUALS who certainly are “persons”. Must we now encorporate a litmus test for “politics” before anyone can own or run a company, public company or private one not making any difference? At least in a “public company” a form of democracy is in place in that shareholders can vote down a BOD or CEO, I suppose. Are shareholders “persons”?

    Anson

    Liked by 1 person

    • The bottom line is that the Greens’ business is now more than a business. According to the Supreme Court, it qualifies as a person who can hold religious convictions (and presumably pray and speak in tongues and everything else that a flesh-and-bone religious zealot can do). I, for one, find that astounding, not to mention very weird.

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  7. ansonburlingame

     /  July 3, 2014

    Of course you find it “weird” Duane, even despicable if you want to go that far. This whole argument started with Citizen’s United and you liberals still beat that drum every chance you get. My point is simple. The decision makers in any corporation are “persons” and by holding such positions they have a right to follow their beliefs unless such beliefs violate a law. I know good CEO’s that made MANY very unpopular decisions but by and large those decisions were in the best interests of the “non person” company for whom they worked.

    As well unions are made up of “persons” and should represent the needs and wants of the “persons” they represent. When a union and a company, two “non-persons” (but both persons organizations made up of “persons”), clash well is it non person organizations or acutally people clashing? I better stop there as I will confuse myself if not careful!!!

    OH, you do want a political litmus test, must be a liberal, for judges, right? At least you are honest. I remain firm to accept a good judge only and let the law handle politics, the law as written by the representatives of people. So which is it you don’t ;like in the Hobby Lobby affair, the law (RFA), the interpretation of that law by five judges, or the politics of the whole shebang?? You seem to disagree with the law, RFA, based on your comment above. So go “write your congressman” about that point and leave SCOTUS and plaintiffs alone.

    Anson

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