Supreme Court

Obama Administration Lost Big at the Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court ruled 9-0 today in the case of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which looked at whether the "ministerial exception" to federal anti-discrimination law shielded a parochial school from a workplace disability lawsuit filed by a discharged teacher. As the Cato Institute's Walter Olson observes, "The Obama administration had taken the disturbing position that there should be no ministerial exception at all to stand between churches and the full panoply of official employment regulation." The Supreme Court saw things differently.

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  1. I applaud the decision but I don’t really see why one form of voluntary association gets an exception both other forms have to follow the regulations. The solution is not to make the Churches follow the regulations but to get rid of them altogether obviously.

    1. Yeah, my thoughts exactly.

    2. Well arguably the reason is that there’s a near-explicit protection of discrimination in the course of free exercise but only an implicit one of discrimination otherwise. I agree that it should not be this way; if something should be proscribed it should not be allowed for some because their religion demands it.

      1. Well arguably the reason

        DRINK!

        1. Nooooo!

      2. One of the many ways the Constitution could have been written better. Something along the lines of “Congress shall make no law prohibiting the freedom of association” or some such. That would throw out a shit ton of laws, though I suspect even if they had written it that way the government would have carved it up by now.

        1. Yeah, look what they’ve done to the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and so on. An amendment like that would’ve been a smart idea, but like the others, it wouldn’t have lasted long against those who see constitutional protections as obstacles to be overcome.

        2. I like the “respecting” part. It doesn’t say that Congress can’t make any laws to prohibit something; it says that Congress can’t make any laws relating to it, period.

    3. I applaud the decision but I don’t really see why one form of voluntary association gets an exception.

      Morally, sure, but the reasoning here is rooted in the First Amendment. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, and thus they shall make no law regarding how it selects, pays or removes its ministers. The teacher in question had an advanced degree in theology, was a member of the religion, joined the church’s school as a “called” teacher, and taught religious courses at the school.

  2. In college, I worked as a clerk for a law firm that represented a lot of plaintiffs in employment litigation. As you can imagine, a lot of these people just deserved to have their useless asses fired…oh, but no, let’s sue about it. (My favorite was the falling-down drunk charge nurse from some hospital over in Kitsap. She’d be found by her bosses sleeping off one of her binges on any bed available, when she was supposed to be on-duty. They coddled her and entreated her to rehab for a year before firing her. Oh, but firing her was “employment discrimination.” Yeah, OK. Whatever, toots.)

    The receptionist would look at me in amazement, when one of these overentitled trainwrecks would come into the office, and mutter, “Sheezus, doesn’t anybody just get FIRED anymore?”

    Apparently not.

    If you have narcolepsy, how do you think you’re going to be able to teach, really? You really believe the school should just keep paying you to come in and take a snooze or two right in the middle of class? You don’t think that’s just the tiniest bit impractical and ridiculous?

    Entitlement. It’s the Raid that kills America dead, really.

    1. But zero…it’s just not fair. Life isn’t fair, so we have to force people into trying to make it fair.

    2. I often wonder…how can someone go through life thinking they’re owed so much? I just don’t get it. If I got caught sleeping on my job, I’d expect to get fired and I’d even make the confrontation easier on my boss if I could.

    3. Of course it’s fucking employment discrimination. If you apply for a job and don’t get hired while some other schlub does, you’ve been discriminated against. So. Fucking. What?

    4. Just because I’m narcoleptic shouldn’t get in the way of my dream to be an airline pilot! It’s not FAIR!

      1. My narcolepsy kept me from being hired by a major auction house. It was so unfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

        Sorry, I dozed off. What were we talking about again?

      2. It won’t prevent you from being an Air Traffic Controller, apparently. Those guys were “retrained”, not fired…

      3. Dream requires sleep.

    5. Yeah, OK. Whatever, toots.

      As if to reinforce your point, if she could have just convinced a jury that someone had called her “toots,” she’d still be working there today, and richer to the tune of a few hundred grand.

      (Her firing stood, I hope . . .)

    6. I spent a few months in a situation similar to the one you describe. I remember the unions were a big problem, but mostly it was that some people have a ridiculous sense of entitlement. Some outrageous cases; some clearly knew they were pulling a scam, others simply believed they were owed a pass.

    7. “Overentitled”

      So let’s get this straight… we want to do away with most rules and regulations and transfer everything to the torts system, then treat people’s right to sue with suspicion?

      1. Nope – not “the right” to sue. The decision to sue in specific cases when there’s no real tort, and especially when the would-be “plaintiff” is actually the problem (see zero’s drunk-nurse example above).

        But you knew that, di…wait, I’ll bet you didn’t know that. You really ARE that stupid.

        Try to survive the night, little one.

        1. So what do you propose to do about the “problem” of frivolous lawsuits?

          C’mon freedom lover, whose neck do you want to put your boot on this time?

          1. Why don’t we start with Britain’s “loser pays”, oh clueless one?

            1. Start with? Then what?

              I thought it important for you to know what real-world policymakers are doing about the “problem.” They’re trying to destroy the rules that protect people then make it harder for them to sue by giving special favors in law to the interests groups that own them.

              Your free-wheeling world of maximum freedom isn’t going to always have pretty outcomes. Seems odd when you choose favor restricting people’s rights to do what they want in the name of order.

              1. Fuck, you’re an idiot. But I knew this. Good bye.

          2. C’mon freedom lover, whose neck do you want to put your boot on this time?

            How about yours?

            1. All I’ve done is exercise free speech… you can’t handle freedom on a fucking libertarian message board.

              Yeah a free market sounds great woohoo. As long as all the little people have master’s boot on their necks, of course.

              1. You use the term “speech” loosely.

                I, for example, consider it drivel.

          3. So what do you propose to do about the “problem” of frivolous lawsuits?
            ————————–
            let’s start with loser pays and see what happens.

      2. Whoosh!

        That sound was you missing the fucking point. As per usual.

      3. So let’s get this straight… we want to do away with most rules and regulations and transfer everything to the torts system, then treat people’s right to sue with suspicion?

        Shouldn’t every lawsuit be treated with suspicion? You know, that whole “innocent until proven guilty” thing.

        1. Oh wait, I forgot; in Tonyland you’re automatically guilty and must prove a negative if you happen to have earned any significant amount of wealth in your lifetime. Because you stole it by murdering old people and not giving hobos free healthcare.

        2. Yeah the courts are actually pretty good at figuring out what’s frivolous all by themselves without any help from your stomping boots.

          1. See, the fewer laws you have, the fewer things can be ruled illegal, thereby making it harder for people to sue over dumb shit.

            It’s a system Tony. Try to keep up.

            1. You’re right it’s so difficult to keep up with the idea that there should be fewer laws. Which laws? Doesn’t matter, fewer is better… let’s start with all the ones that benefit vulnerable people, though.

              1. let’s start with all the ones that benefit vulnerable people, though.

                Which laws, specifically?

                Benefit those most vulnerable… at who’s expense?

                1. Since when do rights have to be accounted for? You lavish rights on wealth owners even if they come at others’ expense and say we can’t possibly challenge their entitlement to every cent they get their hands on.

                  So maybe at minor expense to those people you think rightly deserve all the government guns to themselves.

                  1. Since when do rights have to be accounted for?
                    ———————-
                    probably since the time the ink dried on the Constitution, and it dates back to the Declaration and the self-evident truth that each of us has certain rights simply by being alive. The rest of what you liberals call rights are really entitlements.

                  2. Tony|1.11.12 @ 9:58PM|#
                    “You lavish rights on wealth owners even if they come at others’ expense”
                    Cite, shithead?

                    “and say we can’t possibly challenge their entitlement to every cent they get their hands on.”
                    Yes, shithead.

                  3. Every individual’s rights come at the expense of other.

                    Example: You have the right not to be punched in the face for saying stupid shit.

                    Do you have any idea how much that pisses me off?

          2. Yeah the courts are actually pretty good at figuring out what’s frivolous

            Tony, bringing the funny, as always.

            1. Yeah hilarious that you want to put your totalitarian foot down on the courts because they don’t always do what you want.

              You guys are sooo sophisticated in your appreciation of freedom.

      4. Tony|1.11.12 @ 7:58PM|#
        “Overentitled”
        So let’s get this straight… ”

        Shithead, you’ve *never* gotten anything straight.
        You have never honestly discussed anything, except for once, shithead.

  3. I’m kinda shocked the Hosanna-Tabor decision was unanimous. Not even the Wise Latina voted in dissent?

    What a beatdown.

    1. Maybe the DNC influenced her decision?

    2. Yeah . . .

      When SCOTUS votes unanimously, you have to know that whoever was on the losing side is a fucking dipshit.

      1. Congress whose laws were being defended? It’s just lawyering, don’t have an episode.

        1. You seem astonished by the idea that Congress could be a bunch of dipshits.

      2. Except those rare cases in which the 0 side is right.

        1. See Pace v. Alabama

          1. Pace v. Alabama, 106 U.S. 583 (1883)

            1883.

            shut the fuck up now.

    3. What does this even mean? Seriously.

  4. If the government can tell a religious organization they can’t discriminate against those who don’t hold its views, then you can’t really be a religious organization anymore. The Administration’s position would have effectively allowed it to ban religion.

    1. That’s the kind of culture war bullshit that would have sent Rick Santorum to the White House.

    2. Why should someone get to do something I am prohibited from doing because he says God told him to?

      1. Because the Constitution has this clause in it about the freedom of Religion. Religious Freedom is an enumerated right in the Constitution. It therefore gets treated differently than other things.

        1. That’s funny; so religious people receive extra protection?

          Aren’t Americans, you know, “equal under the law”?

          1. Take it up with the framers

          2. No, everyone gets the same protections. It extends to non-religious people too because they can’t be compelled by the government to be a member of any religion, or punished for not being religious or being the wrong kind of religious. Everyone is protected by the establishment clause.

            1. Yes, and the Ethical Culture Society gets freedom to choose its own leadership without government intervention. They don’t think God told them anything because they don’t believe in God. Yet they still have religious freedom and protection against government oppression.

              If there are constitutional arguments to protect secular employees, have at it! I wouldn’t begrudge it to them.

              1. employeres

                1. Oh, heck, employers.

                  If there’s an error there I won’t correct it – what the heck, it’s probably meant to happen.

          3. As practiced in America, Atheism is a religion.

        2. Is your answer really “because the law says so?” I already agreed to the lawfulness of your opinion above.

          1. Churches are discriminatory by their very nature. To say that they cannot discriminate effectively nullifies the church, which really prevents people from being free to worship any god of their choosing. Kind of the whole reason people started coming here in the first place.

            1. I don’t disagree with you, but what’s so special about religion that morally justifies exemptions from restrictions that other people and groups face?

              1. I didn’t understand the question at first, but I think you’re setting up a straw man that I believe other groups should suffer discrimination lawsuits. I do not hold this position; and in fact think all employment is discriminatory. If you don’t discriminate, why not just choose at random?

                Certain people are better at certain tasks than others.

                1. It was not my intention to attribute that position to you.

                  Although I’m still not sure about John.

              2. I guess I’m confused. They fired the guy because he had a medical issue, not because he did not adhere to their dogma. I don’t see why the ministerial exemption should apply for non-ideological firings.

                1. The school maintained that by filing the lawsuit and failing to use the LCMS’s Internal Dispute Resolution System, Perich did not adhere to a religious tenet.

                  1. “The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?” 1 Cor 6:7

                    http://bible.cc/1_corinthians/6-7.htm

            2. note entirely historically correct. Pilgrims didn’t come to this continent for religious freedom, as is commonly told; they came here to establish a ‘city on a hill’. Surely enough, within 20 years of the colonization, the puritans were running things in the mother country.

        3. Religious Freedom is an enumerated right in the Constitution. It therefore gets treated differently than other things.

          The Ninth Amendment says hello.

          1. Hi ninth amendment!

            You are aware that you weren’t put into the Constitution with the intent to introduce general anarcho-capitalist principles into every level of American government, right?

      2. You assume the problem is with allowing religious institutions to discriminate, when the real problem is them NOT allowing you to do so.

        1. Ding ding ding. We have a winner.

    3. If the government can tell a religious organization they can’t discriminate against those who don’t hold its views, then you can’t really be a religious organization anymore.

      I think that’s the idea. There are those who hold the view that if, for example, there’s to be a Catholic church, it should be a more progressive entity. If they’re to abide its existence, then by damn, there’d better be female priests presiding over same-sex marriages, starting yesterday!

      1. Actually I think that fight is coming. If gay marraige is established as a civil right than if a minister/church won’t marry gays they may not be allowed to marry anyone and could face losing their tax excempt status as a discriminating entity. It may not pass muster with the courts but it will no doubt be tried. Similar to the latest gay adoption deal where that church had to shut down it’s adoption services because it wouldn’t cater to gays. Will be interesting to see how that plays out.

        1. No way; can’t force yourself to be part of a church that wants no part of you. Sides, marriages can be conducted by magistrates and judges.

          1. I don’t know. If someone wanted to press the issue, and someone always does, I can see it happening.

            1. I can see it tried at a local level, but I just can’t imagine it making it to the Supreme Court, let alone the Court actually hearing the case.

              1. it would never happen. churches can refuse to perform interracial marriages if they want. they have latitude in that front.

                saying you have a right to marry says NOTHING about you having a right to be married in any particular church

                period. full stop

                1. “it would never happen”

                  You know I’vesaid that about a lot of shit over the course of my life that is happening now so don’t be shocked if it does.

                2. The concern is not that a church would be directly forced to marry Adam and Steve. That wouldn’t happen. But what you will see at some point is a push to remove the power of Catholic clergy to marry anyone unless they also perform same-sex marriages.

                  1. Also churches could be sued to make their *property* available to same-sex weddings. “We’ll provide our own minister, we just want to be able to rent the Church’s meeting hall when no-one else is using it. They rent to opposite-sex wedding parties, you’re not for discrimination, are you?”

                  2. That was my point

        2. The adoption thing was the church being unwilling to do the job it was required to do.

          The Catholic church got a lot of cash from the government to provide adoption services, but then the government made it a stipulation that the money be used for gay parents as well. The church said that they wouldn’t do that and lost their sugar.

          Their freedom of religion doesn’t extend to reaching into my fucking pocket to pay for them to be prejudiced fucktards. Sorry find your own cash.

          Religious organizations are tax exempt and, in the case above, law exempt they should in no goddamn way receive a fucking cent of taxpayer loot. Whether it be through (coerced) government charity or through the awarding of contracts.

          1. good point

          2. I didn’t remember this particular case, but I’m actually pretty impressed that the church stuck to its self imposed morals. Far more than any bureaucrat would’ve done.

            1. Not that I agree with the premise of those morals. Just impressed at the adherence in face of bribery.

            2. Here’s a story in the NYT that was linked here.

              I don’t mind someone, or a group, standing up for what they believe in, but (not to belabor the point…buuuut) I don’t want to pay for it.

          3. Can you run an adoption agency without the state being involved? If so, then I totally agree with you. If they want to play by their own rules, then they should use their own money. But I wonder if you cannot run an adoption agency without taking state money. If you can’t, then the state has no right to tell them how to run it.

            1. Are you ‘tarded? So the state can have no say in what contractors do?

              If Northrupp was bought out by quakers they should still get huge contracts to make helicopters without guns?

              Besides, the church’s discrimination is religiously based, for the government to financially support that religious belief, could be argued, to contradict the establishment clause.

              1. And yes, I’m pretty sure there are private adoption agencies. It’s just that the church wants to put their greasy hands in my pocket.

              2. Are you retarded? Think about it. If the state says “if you are going to run an adoption agency you have to come to us and take our money”, then the state is effectively forcing everyone to play by their rules.

                In short, the state can set rules on what people do with its money. But the state can’t do that if it is forcing people to take its money. Get it?

        3. Wasn’t there a photographer who was sued (successfully?) because they refused to serve as a photographer for a gay wedding?

            1. See also the religious group ordered to make its property available to SSM.

  5. This was a very interesting case about tensions in freedom… and the apex of libertarian thought uses that headline?

    1. You’re right, Tony. That was bad, VERY BAD headline to use!

    2. Libertarian thought only has nadirs, no apices.

  6. Can I start a religion that only allows me to associate with large-breasted women?

    1. Catholicism?

      1. Not an excess of large breasted women in Catholicism, but we do have a nice cash bar.

      2. Lot’s of busty babes at every Greek Orthodox sponsored Greek festival I’ve ever been to.

    2. Let me be the first to convert and drop some coins in the collection plate and when do we start the next service, Reverend Tulpa?

      *looks up pleadingly*

    3. Sure. But then you have to convert the large-breasted women.

    4. Won’t you be lonely…budumbom

    5. There are many of these churches.

      They’re called strip clubs.

    6. Judaism. Jewish girls tend to have nice racks.

      1. Quantity IS Quality.

        Chesty Morgan

        SFW wiki entry.

  7. Friends, better read the syllabus from SCOTUS, interesting reading. This is entirely about: since she was classified as one of the “called”, she was eligible to teach. When things went south, her sect said she was no longer “called”, and therefore not eligible to teach. SCOTUS falls back on the 1st Amendment that the government can not interfere in religion (i.e. determine whom is “called”). End of story. EEO does not apply. This is not about BO, nor W. It is a very simple reading of the 1st.

    The beauty of this is, in Roberts’ decision, he really does a good job of strengthening the ‘high wall better state and religion’. We may see “Under God” out of the pledge, and “In God We Trust” off of our coinage. And Roberts may be the man who does it.

    1. Well the pledge and our coinage are probably going the way of the dodo anyways.

      1. The currency isn’t backed by anything *except* God.

        With a commodity-backed currency, on the other hand…

    2. derp, Justice department pursuing case.

  8. Also, to the Obamster and the odious EEOC:

    Youuuuu picked a looooooser!

    And youuuuuu suck at theeeeee law!

    HAHAHAHAHA HAAAAAAA HAAAA!
    HAHAHAHAHA HAAAAAAA HAAAA!

    /Eric Cartman

  9. Everryone says something stupid sometimes. Hell, I do it on a daily basis, as many here can attest.

    What I dont understand is how someone can say something completely fucking idiotic every single time they open their mouth.

    Tony, please explain

    1. I know it’s painful hearing that you actually hate freedom when it’s applied to the little guy, and that you really only want it for people with lots of money, but look at what you believe!

      1. derpity derp

      2. AAAHGGGH, help! Tony is beating the shit out of me!

      3. And still, a perfect record.

      4. Right again, Tony. We hate eminent domain decisions because we’re on the side of the rich and powerful.

        1. The problem is you think government guns should be employed to protect a business owner’s right to expel racial minorities, but not to protect those minorities’ right to engage in commerce.

          Unless you’re anarchists you’re for collectively funded government guns for certain purposes. Only those purposes that tend to affect property and wealth owners, but nobody else. Yet you claim the moral high ground. It’s ludicrous.

          1. You don’t have the right to force others to play with you.

            1. You don’t have the right to use my money to enforce racial discrimination.

      5. Freedom is slavery. Slavery is freedom.

        1. Tony Logic 101:
          Live and let live = “sociopathy”
          The government violating individual rights at random = “responsibility”

  10. O/t, but I’m sure it will affefct everyone that has had a childhood.

    Hostess, maker of Twinkies, Zingers, and fruit pies, files for bankruptcy.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/…..96574.html

    1. Damnit, and I only learned of the glorious deep fried twinkie last year.

      1. Don’t worry. There’s still deep fried oreos.

        1. Wow, I imagine that being really good. Never had one, but I’m thinking it’s like a super-sugary smore with chocolate.

    2. Worst case scenario is that Hostess will be liquidated and the prodcutive assets such as Twinkies will be sold to other snack-food companies.

  11. Huge victory for separation of church and state; minor victory for freedom of association, kinda…

  12. OT: Listening to radio today I heard a lot of callers trying to defend the drug legalization issue unsuccessfully. I think the whole “victimless crime” aspect needs to be brought up again soon so they don’t sound like bumbling idiots whenever someone uses the “Well, why don’t we just legalize rape and murder then!?” fallacy.

  13. It is a person’als place where you can meet success’ful rich men, classy mature women, rich women looking for marriage, or just meet beautiful friends and singles. Good luck! :)——S.u.c.c.e.s.s.f.u.l.m.i.n.g.l.e . ? ? M–

    1. Thats a great hook. I am sure many long and successful relationships will come out of meetings there, where people are drawn to love by the promise of…..money.

      1. I met all my wives through this site.

  14. Shithead actually posted this:

    Tony|1.11.12 @ 8:18PM|#
    “Start with? Then what?
    I thought it important for you to know what real-world policymakers are doing about the “problem.” They’re trying to destroy the rules that protect people then make it harder for them to sue by giving special favors in law to the interests groups that own them.”

    This from shithead who constantly favors government coercion and is hypocritical enough to make this claim or stupid enough not to see the obvious.
    Or both.

  15. How pathetic!!!!!You assume the problem is with allowing religious institutions to discriminate, when the real problem is them NOT allowing you to do so.
    BBA STUDY

  16. I don’t know the case and I don’t follow the SCOTUS. But I’m glad to finally see a 9-0 decision. All these 5-4’s are seriously screwed up.

  17. imo, whatever one thinks about the RESULT (again, law doesn’t go by resultsanalysis), it is entirely correct on the law, and not surprising to see a 9-0, although heartening.

  18. The problem is you think government guns should be employed to protect a business owner’s right to expel racial minorities, but not to protect those minorities’ right to engage in commerce.

  19. If the government can tell a religious organization they can’t discriminate against those who don’t hold its views, then you can’t really be a religious organization anymore. The Administration’s position would have effectively allowed it to ban religion.

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