Update to the Hobby Lobby decision comes as a result of a SCOTUS injunction the day before the 4th of July 2014
The nonprofit Wheaton College filed a petition to keep it from having to a file self-certification document certifying it is a religious organization and should be exempt from having to provide contraceptives. Sotomayer writes:
“Let me be absolutely clear: I do not doubt that Wheaton genuinely believes that signing the self-certification form is contrary to its religious beliefs; but, thinking one’s religious beliefs are substantially burdened … does not make it so.” She adds, “Not every sincerely felt ‘burden’ is a ‘substantial’ one, and it is for courts, not litigants, to identify which are.”
The court granted the emergency injunction from Wheaton College.
What the plaintiffs in the nonprofit cases are seeking is to be treated like churches – no contraception for anyone. But the majority claims that “nothing in this interim order affects the ability of the applicant’s employees and students to obtain, without cost, the full range of FDA approved contraceptives,” because the government already knows about their objection from the lawsuit and can tell the insurer itself. But without the form, Sotomayor argues, how could the administration “ever identify the organizations eligible for the accommodation and perform the administrative tasks necessary to make the accommodation work?”
Hat Tip: Karoli, Crooks and Liars
Hobby Lobby won its case at SCOTUS and is now exempt from having to pay for contraceptive devices or pharma for its female employees. At one commenter pointed out at a different blog, this did not include any pharma for men they may need to father a child or just for fun. This is not the Hobby Lobby hypocrisy I am pointing to although it is fair game in critiquing the company’s viewpoint.
While Hobby Lobby does not want to foot the bill for contraception, it has no problem in investing retirement funds in companies which manufacture emergency birth control measures which is something Hobby Lobby exhausted itself in explaining to the court. David at Crooks and Liars reports on a recent CNN broadcast concerning Hobby Lobby. Given its erroneous reporting on the VA recently, CNN has not been high on my list of reputable sources for news.
“While CNN host Ashleigh Banfield on Wednesday highlighted the “hypocrisy” of Hobby Lobby for investing in companies that made the same birth control products that it refused to provide to female employees,” CNN Business Correspondent Alison Kosik gives Hobby Lobby the benefit of the doubt by suggesting Hobby Lobby may have overlooked where its retirement funds may be going. Yea right and one word, “baloney!” and I could have used two words but AB is kind of a family-type-of-blog :). These are religious fanatics who wear their religion on their sleeve and will not hesitate a second to cram it down your throat to gain an advantage. They convinced the world they were being put-upon by the PPACA, President Obama, and the US government until it comes to making a buck.
Maybe SCOTUS will do a “do-over” and rethink their decision which will have some far reaching consequences going into the future as detailed in a recent LA Times Op-Ed The broad reach of the narrow Hobby Lobby ruling by Erwin Chemerinsky. As taken from the Op-Ed:
– “Christian Scientists could claim that they do not have to provide any health insurance to their employees.”
– “a family-owned business ‘could’ require as a condition of employment that no money paid as salary will be used to buy contraceptives, or other things that violate the employers’ religious beliefs?”
– Justice Samuel A. Alito, “it might apply to racial discrimination by saying, ‘The government has a compelling interest in providing equal opportunity to participate in the workforce without regard to race, and prohibitions on racial discrimination are precisely tailored to achieve that critical goal.'”
– “what of employers who have a religious belief that women with children should not work outside their homes, or businesses that claim a religious basis for sexual-orientation discrimination?”
And of a reconsideration by the court? Doubtful with this crop of activist conservative judges as JackD pointed in the comments . . . and the door is open for other exemptions for those fictional entities called corporations.