Hobby Lobby case before SCOTUS today

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Jim's picture

There's a lot of interesting interplay with this case. For example:

  • In the US corporations have a certain "person-hood" recognition: "[since 1819]  the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized corporations as having the same rights as natural persons to contract and to enforce contracts" 
  • In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, SCOTUS  "held that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting political independent expenditures by corporations, associations, or labor unions" (issue corporate campaign contributions)
  • That ruling really rankled liberals and in fact Senator Al Franken wants to see Citizen's United over-ruled. 
  • So this case, the Hobby Lobby case, raises the issue ... do corporations have religious rights? I doubt SCOTUS will rule this way but it will be interesting. 
Jim's picture

Birth control rule seems to divide Supreme Court

Seemingly divided, the Supreme Court struggled Tuesday with the question of whether companies have religious rights, a case challenging President Barack Obama's health overhaul and its guarantee of birth control in employees' preventive care plans.

Peppering attorneys with questions in a 90-minute argument, the justices weighed the rights of for-profit companies against the rights of female employees. The discussion ranged to abortion, too, and even whether a female worker could be forced to wear an all-covering burka.

The outcome could turn on the views of Justice Anthony Kennedy, often the decisive vote, as his colleagues appeared otherwise to divide along liberal and conservative lines.

ChrisC's picture

also interesting was the connection made to the 1982 Amish social security case... hadn't heard about it until today. the decision there included this logic:

When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity. Granting an exemption from social security taxes to an employer operates to impose the employer's religious faith on the employees.