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Supreme Court Rules Against Obamacare’s Contraceptive Mandate in Hobby Lobby Case

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 today that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act violated federal law by placing a substantial burden on the exercise of religion when it required “closely held” private corporations such as Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. to cover certain forms of birth control in their employee health plans.

Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito held that this provision of the health care law, as applied to Hobby Lobby, ran afoul of the terms of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a 1993 law signed by President Bill Clinton which says the government may not "substantially burden a person's exercise of religion," unless it has a "compelling" justification and has used "the least restrictive means" available.

“Under RFRA, a Government action that imposes a substantial burden on religious exercise must serve a compelling government interest, and we assume that the HHS regulations satisfy this requirement. But in order for the HHS mandate to be sustained,” Alito continued, “it must also constitute the least restrictive means of serving that interest, and the mandate plainly fails that test. There are other ways in which Congress or HHS could equally ensure that every woman has cost-free access to the particular contraceptives at issue here and, indeed, to all FDA-approved contraceptives.”

Writing in dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg charged the majority with issuing “a decision of startling breadth." In her view, "the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations...can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

The Court’s opinion in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. is available here.

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  • Cytotoxic||

    That it was such a narrow decision is appalling. The Fuckheaded Four should be disbarred.

  • ||

    Agreed. Should have been much broader. I'm not done reading the opinion yet but it's narrow almost beyond belief.

  • Acosmist||

    Ginsburg is startled there might be limits on government?

    Classic Ginsburg!

  • wef||

    Well, let's hope that Ginsburg is correct in her breathless warning about commercial enterprises being able to opt out of any non-tax law that "they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.” With a little imagination and a few good lawyers, the courts could quickly find that religious beliefs are quite conveniently flexible.

  • Zeb||

    I think that is the only outcome truly compatible with freedom of religion. If any court gets to decide what is or is not a legitimate practice, then you aren't free to practice your religion. If you say something is a religious belief, then it is.

  • robc||

    I wonder what Ginsburg thinks "congress shall make no law" means?

  • GroundTruth||

    Glad to see her hold out at long as possible. Not to wish her personal ill, but if she dies the day the next president is inaugurated (which seems to be about the schedule she is on) she will open a seat for a more rational (i.e. not such a leftist) person. OTOH, if she were really committed to her cause (a socialist nanny state), she would resign very soon and let BO select her heir.

  • Brett L||

    Ego is the best defense against the enemies of freedom.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I imagine she considers it the nonsensical ravings of a bunch of old white fossils.

    Liberal intellectual brainwashed twunt that she is….

  • wef||

    If you say something is a religious belief, then it is.

    Can I get an 'Amen!' to that, my brothers and sisters?

  • ||

    What will happen (should that come to pass) is that the government will start judging what are 'seriously held' beliefs and what are not.

    Hell, they already do in areas like drug law and Social Security.

  • Zeb||

    Of course that is what they will do, and already do to a large extent. But where in the first amendment does it say that religion has to be serious? Or that religious beliefs have to be seriously held? I'm serious. If I want to create a new religion which is completely silly and made up out of whole cloth, I say that is just as much of a religion as one that's been around for thousands of years. And a court having the power to determine whether or not it is a legitimate religion by itself violates the first amendment.

    Of course, this will make it impossible to pass any law that isn't protecting people from each other and basically bring about libertopia overnight. So it will never happen.

  • Chumby||

    Ruth "Mistress Bader" Ginsburg.

  • Restoras||

    Let the derp flow!

  • Marshall Gill||

    For those who may have missed it, we actually saw Peak Derp this weekend. With any luck this dude will show up for this thread.

    http://reason.com/blog/2014/06.....nt_4604461

    I am all for saving every zygote/embryo/fetus that is produced along with every sperm and egg. I just don't want people to murder an innocent baby to save them. Will you stop murdering babies to save fetuses? In the last 60 seconds while you read this, you let 108 innocent babies die. How does that make you feel?

    Murderers!!!

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I'm trying to parse that but I'm having some comprehension difficulties. Where's Derpetologist when you need him?

  • Knarf Yenrab!||

    Just think of how many babies (not to mention adults, old people, moths, and tomato plants) you murdered before you were born.

  • Rob||

    I haven't been around much lately and missed what was clearly an epic display of internet performance art. I think I would rather visit Warty's dungeon than try to have a meaningful conversation with "RussellCrawford". Peak derp indeed.

  • PM||

    Anybody up for some salty ham tears?

  • The Tone Police||

    Start harvesting the stories from the Prog sites. I've got HuffPo covered.

  • ||

    Jezebel is of course a sad, stupid panda.

  • WTF||

    Because without forcing someone else to pay for it, you have no 'access'.

    Derp de derpity derp!

  • Knarf Yenrab!||

    Everyone knows that doctors won't see you unless you have employer-provided coverage. No doctor would ever, ever want a customer to pay via cash or cheque, as that would undermine the whole medical establishment.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    it's officially okay, according to the highest court in the US, for a woman's boss to determine what sort of pregnancy prevention methods she can obtain with her compensation package.

    It's also officially okay, for a woman to not accept said compensation package and find one they find more appealing.

  • WTF||

    Or, accept compensation package and pay for the rest of what she wants herself.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure that compensation packages also generally include cash which can be used for anything.

  • PM||

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure that compensation packages also generally include cash which can be used for anything.

    Provided it isn't prohibited by regulation, of course.

  • Zeb||

    There's always the black market.

  • Otisjay||

    Oh god. the comments. How the hell do they get up in the morning without the government setting there alarm.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Elizabeth Plank ‏@feministabulous 27m

    All of the people who voted in favour of #HobbyLobby have one thing in common and it's not a vagina. #SCOTUS

  • Knarf Yenrab!||

    Apparently the presence of a vagina means that you should be able to force others to provide goods and services they don't want to provide.

    Here I thought that required a wedding ring first.

  • RJ The Terrible||

    The wedding ring is different - you can choose to not give her a ring, and with it your balls and wallet. The feminists are looking to take away choice. Considering that they claim to be all about choice - this is classic prog-derp.

  • Ranter||

    Boing Boing is also full of angry, prog rage...
    Most of them break down into three main whiny categories:

    - Corporations are evil and greed and stuff

    - HL can't be religious and be in business since they aren't following every other part of the Bible to the LETTER

    - I'm going to refuse to patronize Hobby Lobby when I put together my steampunk/cosplay/dipshit costumes

    Only one of those seems to make any sense, but the rest of the assclowns are wailing that the govt has to come up with another way to force people to do shit they find abhorrent.

  • JW||

    You must provide me with kosher or halal tears!

  • The Tone Police||

    TIME TO GORGE ON TEARS OH MY GOD SO HAPPY

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    "the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations...can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

    Ruthie baby, only Christian companies enjoy this special protection - you Jewish bitch. (Alito)

    "This decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to mean that all insurance mandates, that is for blood transfusions or vaccinations, necessarily fail if they conflict with an employer's religious beliefs."

  • PM||

    Delicious. Simply delicious.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Your tears of butthurt are delicious.

  • Suicidy||

    When you use the term 'butthurt', you instantly sound like a 12 year old middle school student. Forever losing any credibility you ever had, have, or will have.

    So don't do that.

  • Los Doyers||

    U butthurt, bro?

  • Fluffy||

    Please fulfill the promise implicit in your name.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Really, "Suicidy"? From what I can recall, every post I've seen of yours recommended physical violence towards someone who disagrees with you. In fact, because of this I always assumed you were in middle school. The irony of you telling others about credibility is stunning.

  • ||

    Is that you Buttplug ?

    Don't forget to switch back to the right sock puppet when responding.

  • sarcasmic||

    I blame Bush.

  • Lord Humungus||

    bwahahahhahah

  • Slammer||

    Man, you are a hateful, racist POS.

  • Sevo||

    Why anyone here treats that slimy turd with one bit of civility is beyond me.
    His only redeeming quality is that he appears to be human, so he shouldn't be harvested for the meat.

  • RJ The Terrible||

    wrong, I would harvest and feed him (it?) to the dogs.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.

    But I thought SCOTUS recreated OCare as a tax law.

    I'm haz a confuse.

  • WTF||

    Sometimes it's a tax, sometimes it's not. Depends on Roberts' mood.

  • It's a wagon wheel!||

    I'd like a little of that schadenfreude please. While it's hot.

  • John||

    The liberal defenses of this were appallingly stupid. They basically claimed that since the ACA came after the RFRA that the ACA has to be read to have amended the RFRA. That sounds nice accept except that there is nothing in the ACA about a contraception mandate and the ACA was passed only because its supporters didn't put such a mandate in the law. The mandate is completely a creature of regulatory law.

    The dissent in this case stands for the proposition that regulatory mandates can trump statutorily created and Constitutionally guaranteed rights. Talk about the dark night of Fascism falling on America.

  • Cytotoxic||

    They basically claimed that since the ACA came after the RFRA that the ACA has to be read to have amended the RFRA.

    WTF? How what I don't even

    I would make a better judge than these a-holes. I am more qualified just because my brain is derp-free in total contrast to these 'people'.

  • John||

    If the ACA had actually had a contraception mandate, it is possible to read that as by implication partially repealing the RFRA with regards to contraception. I wouldn't agree with that interpretation but it wouldn't be totally unreasonable.

    The problem is that the ACA doesn't have a contraceptive mandate. The mandate was created by regulation. And there is no way that the regulation trumps the statute. The dissent is saying that since Congress didn't specifically say there wasn't a mandate and gave HHS these broad powers, HHS is free to violate the RFRA. And that is just madness.

  • ||

    Yeah, that is laughable. In a bad way.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    it is possible to read that as by implication partially repealing the RFRA with regards to contraception.

    Without something explicit in OCare ("any provisions of RFRA to the contrary notwithstanding"), this would be an . . . interesting interpretation.

    Certainly not beyond the mental gymnastics that SCOTUs has shown us in the past.

  • John||

    As I said, I wouldn't agree with it. But it would be less laughable than what they tried.

  • some guy||

    The dissent is saying that since Congress didn't specifically say there wasn't a mandate and gave HHS these broad powers, HHS is free to violate the RFRA.

    Congress shouldn't have the power to abdicate its authority, but that was certainly its intent with this law. Can we blame Ginsburg for making a fair reading of the intent of the law?

    /s

  • straffinrun||

    When the constitution comes alive and devours half the executive branch for overreach I'll become it's biggest supporter.

  • Brett L||

    I'm pretty fucking angry that this only holds because of previous statute. Fuck the majority with rusty chainsaw. For the important counterfactual, imagine that a mandate came down requiring companies to pay for female circumcision. Would that only be thrown out because of the RFRA? Fuck no. So obviously, there is a deeper principle here that the five in the majority should have affirmed. But they can't because Roberts' penaltax decision.

  • John||

    I agree Brett. Any reasonable reading of the 1st Amendment precludes the government from mandating people do things against their religion.

  • ||

    But they can't because Roberts' penaltax decision.

    Yeah, my "favorite" part was how the Court assumed the Government had a compelling interest in requiring BC coverage. We're so doomed.

  • Rhywun||

    Why don't they just dump birth control drugs in the drinking water and be done with it.

  • Lord Humungus||

    +1 Purity of Essence

  • Los Doyers||

    Or into the Boston river, as a show of strength against this tyrannical and womenz hatin Supreme Court.

  • Los Doyers||

    Boston harbor*

  • ||

    Just waiting for my manager at work to start ranting about this. Too bad the decision was such a limited one and rested on the 1993 law.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I agree with Ruth.

    I don't want my tax dollars to go to murder a bunch of strangers.

  • PM||

    I don't want my tax dollars to go to murder a bunch of strangers.

    So... you're a pro-lifer now?

  • Alice Bowie||

    :)

    I'm pro-life for the people that are living and since the mother is the individual responsible for maintaining that life inside her I think it is her decision.

  • Horatio||

    "mother is the individual responsible for maintaining [or preventing or aborting] that life inside her"

    So, you agree she should shell out for her birth control then? Good.

  • JWatts||

    It's certainly her decision to buy her own birth control.

    Only a deep statist would think that it's a public good to force her company to provide free birth control to her.

  • DesigNate||

    Corporations murder people now?

  • Alice Bowie||

    That's not what I meant.

    What I mean is that I pay taxes and have no control on how the money is spent (I.E. Wars in Mid East).

    I'd love to be exempt from paying for war or have my tax dollars go elsewhere.

  • Idle Hands||

    I don't think you realize but you just encapsulated why taxation is immoral and why many people are libertarians in two sentences.

  • Lord Humungus||

    +1 One Cigar

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    I don't think you realize

    Indeed, way over Alice's head.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Indeed, way over Alice's head.

    Not so much that, but I perceive it as a lack of imagination. They can't picture how a system so free from force could possibly work.

  • Sevo||

    Alice Bowie|6.30.14 @ 11:04AM|#
    "That's not what I meant."

    Yeah, Alice, that's the problem. Brain-dead lefties ALWAYS get what they claim to not want.

  • ||

    I think what you really mean is "I don't mind paying taxes for murdering people, as long as other people are forced to pay for other people's birth control. "

  • Lord Humungus||

    Of course they do /standard lefty boilerplate

  • Cytotoxic||

    So to be clear: this does NOT overturn Ocare, right? How much damage does it do to Ocare?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    None, really. It disarms the primary Christ-nut argument and makes someone else pay for birth control pills.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I thought it was the opposite.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    How can the Christers complain about Obamacare now? Their little pet project of ridding the world of birth control is given an incredible boost.

    The Catholic Mafia is greasing up to screw some alter boy in the ass to celebrate.

  • PM||

    Yes, yes, late the butthurt flow through you.

  • WTF||

    CHRISTFAGS!!11!!!!BUSHPIGS!!11!!!!!

  • Rhywun||

    My god you're a repulsive person.

  • Marshall Gill||

    person

    Citation needed.

  • DesigNate||

    I subscribe to the Mike M school of P.B. = Weigel theory of derponomics.

  • Rhywun||

    I don't. Weigel is a still more or less public figure. If the link were ever proven he'd be sunk. ... Right?

  • PM||

    If the link were ever proven he'd be sunk. ... Right?

    I'd say there's about an 8% chance.

  • DesigNate||

    When's the last time a hack journalist was held to any kind of standard?

  • Los Doyers||

    That would be *altar*, you troll. Now stop trying to alter my joyous mood as I watch the prog tear tsunami engulf the interwebs.

  • albo||

    It says closely held corps are exempt because the government has less religiously-intrusive ways of accomplishing the contraceptive mandate, such as paying for it themselves.

    And by "Themselves," that means "the taxpayers," obviously. So that raises another constitutionality question, in my book

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Hobby Lobby is closely held.

    Koch Industries is too. 65,000 employees - interesting. I doubt they have the HL mentality though. They probably don't care about the contraception (they would about the ruling, of course).

  • wareagle||

    HL doesn't 'care' about bc, either, in the vein of whether its employees use it. It cares quite a bit about it being forced to buy BC.

  • Sevo||

    wareagle|6.30.14 @ 11:21AM|#
    "HL doesn't 'care' about bc, either,"

    The turd knows that; it's handing out some misdirection in the hopes someone is as dumb as it.

  • Brian D||

    It disarms the primary Christ-nut argument and makes someone else the person who wants birth control pills pay for birth control pills.
  • KDN||

    Someone else, such as the person that actually wants the pill. What a terrible concept! However will we survive as a society!?

  • PM||

    Doesn't remotely overturn Obamacare, just specifically the birth control mandate. Basically what this means is that privately-held companies who would otherwise be subject to the law can opt out of providing insurance coverage that includes no-cost birth control, as required by the law.

  • DesigNate||

    I don't think it does any damage to Ocare itself, seeing as this was a regulatory mandate by HHS and not actually codified in the law (as I understand it at least).

  • UnCivilServant||

    About as much as Obummer did himself.

  • ||

    It does minor damage to the employer mandate, which isn't really fully in effect yet anyway. It keeps getting delayed by the administration.

    This bolsters the case ot not implement it at all.

  • albo||

    The narrow way this decision reads, Ginsburg is either senile or smoking bath salts. It's opening no flood gates to anything

  • JWatts||

    Any restriction of government power to provide freebies is counter to Ginsburg's philosophy.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

  • Rhywun||

    Jesus that website is a vortex of suck. I had to give up trying to load the damn page.

  • Antilles||

    Not being religious, I've never been a fan of those who demand special treatment because of their silly, made-up beliefs. However, it seems to have paid off here. Hopefully this will be the first step toward separating our healthcare coverage from our jobs entirely.

  • ||

    There should be a generic protection for Freedom of Conscience, regardless of whether it is religiously based or not.

    It is immoral and illiberal to force people to do things that go against their conscience.

  • albo||

    Which is another good argument against big government. The more of life's responsibilities the government starts to grab for itself by mandating, regulating and funding, the more it's likely to intrude into matters of individual conscience.

    So, let's stop it.

  • Antilles||

    Agreed. It's downright baffling that as individuals we can't opt out of certain obligations that run contrary to our personal beliefs without being browbeaten into submission. Yet someone can refer to an ancient book as 'evidence' to avoid doing things they don't want to, and most people accept that as a valid excuse.

  • ||

    Yes. In theory right now you could force a vegan to eat meat, as long as they only have rational, evidence-based objections to meat-eating. As soon as they come up with some psychotic ravings by a naked hippie they claim is a prophet, THAT's when it becomes illegal.
    Compete absurdity.

  • Libertarius||

    I only LOL at this because it's much better than crying.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Since, in the conscription context, the Supremes have allowed believers in nontheistic spirituality to claim conscientious objector status, then by analogy they should be willing to allow nontheists to claim religious freedom in other contexts.

  • JW||

    Let the shrieking and rending of garments, begin.

  • Not a Libertarian||

    Surely the Shrieking had already commenced above.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I don't know if you fuckers have noticed this or not but I love and thrive on conflict like this.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Trolls gonna troll.

    Yo.

  • Akira||

    You guys give him WAAAAAAAAAAY too much attention. I'm serious.

  • ||

    How old were you when your father abandoned you ?

  • PM||

    Supreme Court rules women can be discriminated against in health decisions

    The U.S. Supreme Court has given corporations even more personhood by deciding that they can have religious beliefs in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores. They ruled that closely held companies are exempt from the contraceptive coverage mandate for their employees' health insurance, and are exempt from that provision of the Affordable Care Act. The decision, 5-4 and the majority opinion written by Alito, is being described as "narrow." It is narrow, in that basically only applies to women.

    It's begun

  • Alice Bowie||

    It is true. I bet if Sandra Day O'Connor was still there this would never had happened.

  • John||

    Doubtful. Sandra Day was her own woman and viewed women as real human beings not children in constant need of care and feeding of the state.

  • John||

    And if you are going to blame anyone for this, blame the Pelosi Reid 09 Congress. They were the ones who didn't specifically write an exception into the RFRA in the ACA. They are the ones who lied and left this up to HHS to do. If it had been in the statute, it might have been upheld.

  • ||

    it wouldn't have been passed if there was an RFRA exemption in the statute.

    They had to specifically insert language stating that abortion would not be covered to get it to pass the house.

  • John||

    OF course it wouldn't have. And that makes the liberal defense of the HHS regulations appallingly dishonest and stupid. The act only passed because they lied and claimed HHS wouldn't do this. Now after HHS does it, the act's defenders claim Congress intended it all along.

  • DesigNate||

    Don't be retarded Alice. Especially since THERE IS NO PROVISION IN THE FUCKING ACA THAT MANDATES IT.

    Mmm, yummy, yummy tears.

  • John||

    Haven't they developed a male contraception pill?

    There are so many levels of idiocy and neurosis in their position on this. First, it assumes that all women are completely independent of their husbands or b/fs. If your wife or g/f can't get contraception coverage, you have to pay for it just as much as she does. Second, it assumes the needs of women trump all other considerations including constitutionally protected rights. Hobby Lobby's right to free exercise in their view must fall when compared to a woman's right to free birth control. I am unaware of any other societal need, other than maybe defending the country from foreign terrorists, that a court has ruled trumps a person's constitutional rights.

  • ||

    Haven't they developed a male contraception pill?

    Men have been voluntarily and transiently sterilizing themselves with steroidal hormones since the 60s, just like women.

    The difference is, a woman gets hormonal and kills her husband or develops cancer and estrogen has nothing to do with it. A man gets 'roid rage' and beats a woman or develops cancer and the drug becomes Schedule I.

  • ||

    You mean the salty tears? Yes.

  • Brian D||

    A decision saying that other people don't have to pay for a few specific types of contraception = trampling over women's rights.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I saw a picture of some protesters on a new article on the ruling. One of their signs said "My birth control: none of my boss's business". The irony didn't seem to dawn on them.

  • PapayaSF||

    Hilarious.

  • ||

    The U.S. Supreme Court has given corporations even more personhood by deciding that they can have religious beliefs in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores.

    Lying, or hasn't read the opinion?

  • Jordan||

    Both, plus just plain stupid.

  • John||

    Both with a dash of stupid. Corporations are "persons" in the legal sense. There is no more or less of a "person". The court didn't grant corporations more personhood since they already had it and have always had such.

    They don't even understand their own arguments. They just throw out buzzwords.

  • JWatts||

    I'm going with, So deeply buried in their own ideology that their incapable of seeing anything even remotely subjectively.

  • Libertarius||

    Umm, lack of subjectivity is most definitely *not* a failing of the left...wow

  • straffinrun||

    Hey Sandra, I heard Conestoga wood is hiring. Maybe you could fashion yourself something nice out of the excess wood.

  • Dinerboy||

    Maybe, if the government didn't write these sorts of laws in the first place, Ginsberg et al would have less cause to hyperventilate.

  • New Normal||

    I still don't understand how because it is a corporation, the government can force individuals to do something that violates their rights? Isn't that basically the argument of the Obama administration?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I was going to quote the opening of Psalm 68, but I think I'll go to a more secular song:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIHuF8WvdFk

  • sarcasmic||

    How's about some Psalm 69.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Taking offensiveness to previously-unplumbed depths!

  • SusanM||

    Even better, how about Hymn 43?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    If I understood what it meant, I might be offended.

  • SusanM||

    I get that a lot... ;)

  • Devil's Advocate||

    Same title, but better lyrics:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8FNi6QxsUU

  • John C. Randolph||

    a decision of startling breadth

    Not nearly as broad as saying it's OK for government to force me to buy medical insurance from Obama's cronies, you useless old bat.

    -jcr

  • PapayaSF||

    Indeed.

  • Jordan||

    All insurance mandates should be struck down on freedom of association grounds. But I guess this is the best we're going to get.

  • Lord Humungus||

    ^this^ - how Roberts, that idiot, can square these two rulings.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Roberts isn't an idiot. He is evil.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I weep for democracy.

    WEEP, I tell you.

  • Brett L||

    One of my wife's lawyer friends, who I often agree with (she worked on the Innocence Project in law school) posted something to the effect of: "Once the employer agrees to pay for health insurance, it should be between me and my doctor". I'm trying not to flay her. I stuck with, "I agree completely. Why does the government force a third party to be involved with our health insurance."

  • Jordan||

    That doesn't even make sense. Your doctor doesn't determine what your health insurance covers.

  • ||

    Exactly. The correct ruling would have struck down the employer mandate in it's entirity.
    Employees should buy their own health insurance, and then they can decide what they want it to cover.

  • John||

    That is idiotic. The insurance coverage is what gets paid for by them. You are free to get anything you like from your doctor, you just have to pay for it yourself.

    Coverage is not Care.

  • sarcasmic||

    We're talking about people who feel that health insurance, health care, and coverage are all synonyms. So if insurance doesn't cover something, you can't get it at all.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I know, I was so pissed last week when I couldn't get new wipers for my truck because my insurance didn't cover it.

  • Zeb||

    Since Dr/ Groovus seems to have disappeared, I will point out one further distinction that lots of people fail to make that he used to point out often.
    What people often call "heath care" is more properly referred to as "medical care".

  • Idle Hands||

    "Coverage is not Care."
    Well that may be the case but the Dems, while campaigning for O-care, so conflated the terms that I'm not sure Merriam Webster didn't change the definition while I wasn't looking.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    All employees contribute to their health insurance premium.

    Hobby Lobby is forcing their belief system on (admittedly) volunteer workers.

    So this ruling supports HL but would not support a Jehovah's Witness company's refusal to pay for blood transfusions.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Hobby Lobby isn't forcing anything. They're seeking an exemption to the force exerted by the government.

    Stop being a mendacious fuck.

  • Jordan||

    Hobby Lobby is forcing their belief system on (admittedly) volunteer workers.

    In other words, they aren't actually forcing their beliefs on anyone.

  • PM||

    The Jehovah's Witness-owned company could always sue under the RFRA as well. This ruling doesn't preclude that possibility. It's, you know, specific to the actual facts of the case.

  • John||

    Yes it would, you fucking half wit. Tons of companies don't even provide health insurance. Indeed, thanks to the ACA, a lot fewer do now that before. So if a company is free not to provide insurance at all, it is certainly free to provide it sans blood transfusions or anything else.

    You are fucking retarded. Let the adults talk for a while. You don't help your cause.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    I suppose that when Hobby Lobby sets its pay scale, it is forcing that money into their employee's pockets?

    Or is it forcing them not to earn more?

    Little help here?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    When employers decide to hire someone they add all their benefits and taxes to salary to get net employee cost.

  • Jordan||

    And the employee is free to agree to those terms or leave.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Which is it, Plugs? Are employers forcing their paychecks on employees, or forcing employees not to earn more?

  • Brett L||

    Well, she's pretty smart. She just hasn't thought about this issue and is reflecting the opinions in the part of society she lives in. If I flamed everyone who thought that way, I'd be left with a small sub-set of libertarians and that would be it.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    C'mon, it's fun over here in the dark with all 6 of us. Join us.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Is there cake?

  • Brett L||

    The cake is a lie.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    That depends. Is it for a gay wedding?

  • Los Doyers||

    Do you have custom jackets? If so, scoot over.

  • Los Doyers||

    No. Just flay her. Smugly, smugly flay her.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    In other words "I've got what I want from you, how dare you try to change the terms of the arrangement?"

  • Brett L||

    She works for the State of California. I'm pretty sure everything from contraception to gender reassignment surgery is covered by her employer.

  • JW||

    "Once the state forces my employer to provide me with health insurance, it should give me everything I demand and fuck off."

  • Idle Hands||

    Derp "the world is my insurance policy" derp.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    "Once the employer agrees to pay for health insurance, it should be between me and my doctor"

    Once Party A agrees to purchase a product from Party B that Party C will benefit from, it* should be between Party C and Party D?

    *Whatever "it" is, and I have no clue what your wife's idiot lawyer friend is getting at.

  • PM||

    Hobby Lobby wins in narrow ruling

    The Supreme Court has ruled in a narrow 5-4 decision that a closely-held company can be exempt from the contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

    The closely watched case pitted the administration and its allies, including women’s health advocates, against the religious right, which has repeatedly accused President Barack Obama of waging a war on religion in the public square.
  • Rhywun||

    "women's health advocates"

    How the hell do they get away with such mendacity...?

    I don't want to pay for your sex life = I want women to drop dead, I guess.

  • Akira||

    You've got to remember that we're dealing with people who believe "government not doing X = X not being done by anyone at all", and this is often expanded to mean that if you're against government doing X, then you actually want to take things to the opposite extreme.

    If you're against free birth control, you are in the special forces in the War on Wimmins.

    If you doubt the efficacy of assault weapon bans and mag limits, it means you masturbate to photos of murdered children.

    If you are against regulations that place undue burdens on businesses, you're a crony-capitalist robber baron who wants to force the working poor to polish your monacles without paying them a "living wage".

  • ||

    The derp has already begun on my Facebook page.

    "Women having easy access to a variety of birth control options is not simply a woman's issue, but rather a human issue that affects us all. This is a sad ruling, even if the court decided to make it narrow. I find it morally objectionable that some would be arrogant enough to use their religion to force the actions of those they employ, and I think we all should. I hope the law can be adjusted to make the healthcare needs and concerns of the employed paramount to those of the employer."

  • albo||

    but rather a human issue that affects us all

    Every day, every person makes a decision or does an action that has an impact, large or small, on society as a whole. So, that's an argument to regulate everything, Ms. Facebook Derp.

  • PM||

    So, that's an argument to regulate everything

    Feature, not a bug.

  • JW||

    You're doing it wrong.

    "I don't want to see this."

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    some would be arrogant enough to use their religion to force the actions of those they employ

    Holy fuck, that's either mendacious or extremely stupid. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.

  • DFG||

    Exactly. Much of the opposition to this ruling implies that Hobby Lobby will now be allowed to prevent their employees from taking birth control, even if they pay for it themselves. Apparently there will now be IUD checks right next to the time clock at every Hobby Lobby employee entrance, and if one is detected the store manager is allowed to remove it.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    That doesn't even make sense. Your doctor doesn't determine what your health insurance covers.

    Now you've done it.

  • JW||

    Dear Sandra Fluke,

    JUMP.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "I haz to pay" = "Inaccessible"

    Okay.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Today, despite the SCOTUS delivering the correct ruling, the four opposing justices said that regulatory agencies can create any law they want so long as it is not specifically prohibited from doing so by an act of Congress. In short that new regulations override older laws.

    I used to joke about the Congress passing an enabling act. How naive of me. The US enabling act, when it comes, will be in the form of an obscure 5-4 scotus decision. And we're only one judge away from such a decision.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    We'll just call the Federal Register the new Constitution.

  • John||

    Exactly that. The dissent in this case if fucking terrifying.

  • Zeb||

    I guess this is good, but I worry about narrow religious freedom decisions like this because I think that they set a dangerous precedent by making special exceptions for certain religious beliefs. It seems to me that if a law violates anyone's freedom of religion, then it is unconstitutional and must not apply to anyone. Religious freedom should not mean special exemptions for religious people. Everyone should have the same rights, regardless of what religion they claim. If you keep treating particular religious beliefs as special cases, then you end up with government defining what is or is not a sincere religious belief, which sounds to me like the opposite of freedom of religion and comes damn close to government establishment of religion.

  • PM||

    It seems to me that if a law violates anyone's freedom of religion, then it is unconstitutional and must not apply to anyone.

    Coming from a court that saved this law from its own statutory language and the legal arguments of its defenders, you have to know that's never gonna happen.

  • Zeb||

    No, it probably isn't. Such a precedent would be a huge blow to fans of state power to regulate all kinds of things.

    I guess since the based the ruling on the RFRA and not directly on the First Amendment, maybe this isn't directly a constitutional question, but it seems to me that when ruling on the constitutionality of a law, the court ought to simply decide if the law violates the constitution or not and if it doesn't the whole law, or at least the relevant provision of the law, should be struck down. Either it's constitutional or not.

  • PM||

    Oh don't get me wrong, I don't disagree. The court will just never do it. I would upset the century old apple cart of virtually unlimited regulatory power granted to the state.

  • steedamike||

    Interesting point. The religious people (corporations) have their rights recognized (I almost said more rights) more than non-religious/secular people (corporations). No bueno.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    If I were a single man I think I'd bank and freeze some sperm for baby making purposes then get a vasectomy. In this way I'd have complete control over whether or not I procreated. There'd be no "oops" accidental pregnancies either before or after marriage.

    The ACA should include a frozen sperm mandate so all men can have reproductive freedom.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    And free vasectomies, obviously.

  • ||

    Lemme ask a loaded question.

    Since a lesbian wouldn't be taking birth control for reproductive purposes, this decision would be N/A, right?

    So we could end up with SCOTUS telling us that gay love trumps religion and business because science and equality, right?

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    A corporation is simply a form of organization First Amendment peacable assembly (which Congress shall make no law to abridge) used by human beings to achieve desired ends.

    FIFAlito

  • JW||

    Hobby Lobby Ruling: One Group of Religious Fanatics May Not Force Their Beliefs onto 2nd Group of Religious Fanatics.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    What is your definition of "force"?

  • JW||

    Whoosh.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Then could you enlighten me?

  • JW||

    1. Locate tongue
    2. Place in cheek

    From where I sit, the belief system required to embrace progressivism is no less an act of faith as is any religion.

  • ||

    Progressivism is a set of beliefs with a moral framework, just like any other religion. You are correct that pregressivism is basically about forcing other people to live according to progressive moral beliefs.

  • sarcasmic||

    And that's why progressives are hostile to liberty. Liberty means no one forcing others to do shit. They see liberty as requiring some higher force that forces those who would initiate force into not initiating force. Thus liberty and libertarianism is a great tyranny, forcing people to not use force.

  • ||

    The thing is they see "the market" as some disembodied entity, unconnected to human desires. Thus they say that people can't be free unless they are free from "market forces" which force them to behave in a certain way. Such as the "market force" of having to earn money to pay for things.

    But what they don't see is that by controlling "the market", they are controlling PEOPLE. They are contraining the choices of some people to provide "freedom" to others.

    The progressive idea of freedom is thus zero-sum. One person's freedom necessarily entails another person's constraint. They have no theory in which rights and freedoms are mutually consistent and non-exclusive. They have no ethical framework to define where one person's rights begin and another's ends. it's just pure political dominance that determine everything.

    That's why they are so big on identity politics. When rights are just arbitary inventions of the state, and your "freedom" is a matter of how good you are at dominating others, then it is better to attach yourself to a large, powerful, political lobby, and just fight for your team to the death.

    There is no such thing as a rational internally consistent ethical principle in which all people are treated as equals in their universe.

  • sarcasmic||

    Thus they say that people can't be free unless they are free from "market forces" which force them to behave in a certain way.

    CORE-POUR-RAY-SHUNS!!!1!!!!1

  • Moe19||

    Progressive synonyms:
    Access=You pay for my shit

  • Cloudbuster||

    I weep for the nation we used to have.

  • PM||

    BREAKING: Hobby Lobby Wins Right To Refuse To Cover Birth Control

    In its closely watched Hobby Lobby decision, the Supreme Court held that business owners with religious objections to birth control may defy federal rules requiring most employers to include contraceptive care in their health plans. According to SCOTUSBlog, this holding appears limited to closely held corporations such as Hobby Lobby, which is operated by a single wealthy family.

    Monday’s decision tears down a longstanding rule providing that religious liberty cannot be wielded to tear down the rights of others, especially in the employment context. As the Supreme Court held in its 1982 United States v. Lee decision, “[w]hen 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.” It is not yet clear, however, how far the Court went in tearing down this rule. As SCOTUSBlog explains, the Court’s opinion “strongly suggests it would reject broad religious claims to, for example, discriminate against gay employees.”
  • trshmnster the terrible||

    Monday’s decision tears down a longstanding rule providing that religious liberty cannot be wielded to tear down the rights of others

    This makes perfect sense when you have zero understanding of what a right is.

  • Sigivald||

    Well, it IS ThinkProgress.

    So they don't.

  • Rhywun||

    Needs more salty ham tears and less outright fucking lying.

  • ||

    Hobby Lobby's decision to not pay for contraception is not "binding" upon it's employees. It's employees are still free to pay for contraception out of their own pockets.

  • JW||

    According to my lefty friends, Hobby Lobby has assigned an armed goon to each of their employees, follows them into the drug store and smacks the contraception out of their hands with a crying baby Jesus doll.

  • Knarf Yenrab!||

    A real Christian would yank out his employees' diaphragms with needle-nose pliers.

  • ||

    Hobby Lobby's decision to not pay for contraception is not "binding" upon it's employees. It's employees are still free to pay for contraception out of their own pockets.

    It's even less "binding" than that! They're still free to walk into a private practice, abortion clinic, and/or Planned Parenthood and not pay for services goods and services rendered as appropriate.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Corporations aren't people!

    http://www.katerrific.com/wp-c...../hobby.jpg

  • Bam!||

    I'm not your friend, guy!

  • AlmightyJB||

    What's sad is how much this one issue is going to dominate the 2016 election. Moar culture warz. No substince.

  • John||

    I don't think it will. The economy keeps getting worse and things overseas keep getting more out of control. You have to remember the fed printed money and kept things from being too horrible in 2012. Their ability to do that is getting less each day. Things are getting bad enough people are going to stop giving a shit about this stuff. And if nothing else people are going to get bored with it. I don't think the culture war dog is going to hunt as well as it did in 2012.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    In recent years, which side kept bringing up culture-war issues and tried to force them on everyone else, up to and including threats of crippling fines?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    You can't really blame the victims of aggression for fighting back.

    And by taking the matter to the courts, these companies actually did what more secular plaintiffs failed to do - take a bite out of Obamacare.

  • Christophe||

    It's far away enough, and this ruling is narrow enough, that it probably won't.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    If I were a single man I think I'd bank and freeze some sperm for baby making purposes then get a vasectomy. In this way I'd have complete control over whether or not I procreated. There'd be no "oops" accidental pregnancies either before or after marriage.

    Fuck that. I'm creating a terror legion of clones at this very minute.

  • John||

    I am always amazed at how many men let their wives talk them into sterilizing themselves. Fuck that. I am not letting a doctor mutilate me for anyone.

  • ||

    I grew up with the joke,

    "Vasectomy, in English, means never having to tell your wife your girlfriend is pregnant."

    But maybe that's the men just talking themselves into it.

  • John||

    That is a good joke.

  • Antilles||

    This should be fun...

    Here's a link to that lefty loony bin called AlterNet:

    http://www.alternet.org/civil-.....ve-provide

    I'll be posting messages there throughout the day just to get them even more riled up.

  • JW||

    1990: "Don't like abortion? Don't have one."

    2014: "Don't like contraception? THAT'S TOO FUCKING BAD."

  • Eric||

    A pyrrhic victory for conservatives and libertarians here. Now poor Hobby Lobby workers go without subsidized contraception, get pregnant and have babies that they can't support. Thus creating a more of a dependent class that votes for lefty politicians.

    There will be a comprehensive chapter on this in Freakanomics 6 twenty years from now.

  • albo||

    No, the left ones will have an abortion.

  • Eric||

    There is a Freakanomics chapter on Roe v Wade's affect on crime: The theory goes that legal access to abortion in the early 70's resulted in fewer poor minorities being born, thus resulting in the dramatic decrease in crime that started in the 90's, when those who were aborted would have been teens and young adults.

    I'm sure that conservatives kneejerkedly reject this theory, but they're just as blind to logic as their progressive counterweights.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    First you have to arbitrarily decide abortion *isn't* a crime, which begs the question.

    If abortion were figured into the crime statistics, then depending on what weight you give abortion compared to, say robbery, then crime would probably be just as bad.

    And this assumes that abortion singles out potential criminals, Department of Pre-Crime style.

  • Eric||

    "First you have to arbitrarily decide abortion *isn't* a crime, which begs the question."

    This creates a relativist death spiral. Some might say that health care professionals making a profit off of sick people is a crime too.

    "And this assumes that abortion singles out potential criminals, Department of Pre-Crime style."

    I'd be inclined to allow demographic statistics to speak for themselves here. Anyway, you're argument is a bit of a non-sequitor. No one argued that there was any other motive to legalize abortion, other than to give women control of thier bodies, and/or make abortion safe. The study is rather, an analysis of effect, looking for causality.

  • Marshall Gill||

    I'd be inclined to allow demographic statistics to speak for themselves here

    Because the majority of crimes are committed by poor minorities? A much better demographic is young men. Men between the ages of 17 and 28 commit 75% of all crime. As our society ages, there are a smaller percentage of young, crime committing men. Freakeconomics is cute, but I wouldn't trust it for anything other than entertainment.

  • Christophe||

    The Roe V. Wade decision had a huge impact on abortion availability (in the real sense of the word). I'm not going to comment on the validity of the theory (I don't have the data in front of me), but it's reasonably plausible given the magnitudes involved.

    This decision reverses part of a law that didn't exist 10 years ago, and it doesn't affect other provisions of the same goods/services. On top of that, the decision is so narrow that it won't allow more than a tiny percentage of employers to opt-out of the contraceptive mandate.

    So on net, even if the theory of "cheaper/more accessible contraception/abortion leads to fewer socialist supporters" is 100% spot on, the effect of this ruling is to partially counter the impact due to the ACA's contraceptive mandate. Nothing more.

  • John||

    Legal abortion may well have reduced the crime rate. So would killing every under 25 male living under the poverty line. So what? The issue about abortion is always and has always been is it murder. If it is, then reducing crime doesn't justify it and if it isn't, it doesn't matter what its effects are because no effects good or bad outweigh a woman's right to autonomy over her body.

  • SRVolunteer||

    I'm more libertarian than conservative, but I understand the word eugenics.

  • Eric||

    Good for you....and your point please???

  • SRVolunteer||

    I value the religious freedom of Hobby Lobby owners more than my political interest in having more libertarian babies than socialist babies, assuming such an effect could be controlled.

  • steedamike||

    "the dramatic decrease in crime that started in the 90's"

    Another theory:

    http://www.motherjones.com/env.....k-gasoline

  • Robert||

    Does Freakonomics explain the preceding spike in crime? To me that's the anomaly that needs explaining, not the return to normal.

  • Mark22||

    For the record, I'm actually pro-choice myself, but you aren't going to win people over with such stupid arguments.

    That's not a "theory" in the sense of a something that has received any significant degree of scientific scrutiny, it's simply speculation.

    It's also missing the point: pro-lifers make a moral argument; they oppose utilitarian arguments. They view abortion as genocide, and the fact that a genocide makes the rest of the population better off doesn't justify it.

  • Eric||

    ^reply to albo^

  • ||

    “In a decision of startling breadth, the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs,” Justice Ginsburg said "

    I am giving thought to starting my own religion that protects my Constitutional Rights by religious belief. It will be against my religion to pay for war, government subsidies ( both corporate and individual ), Federal school mandates, and the list goes on !

    Join be my brothers and sisters in the new religion of Constitutional Brethren.

    Just call me Reverend OneOut and don't forget to tithe. Tithing is the key to prove your adherence and belief to the court system, so tithe heavily and often.

  • Sigivald||

    Ginsburg is simply wrong on her analysis, semi-surprisingly.

    The actual decision holds that they can do so if the proposed requirement is not sufficiently narrowly tailored and is not the least-invasive means of achieving a goal with a compelling justification. (See writeup at top.)

    I expect a little bit of posturing in dissents, but that's ridiculous and untenable by the logic of the majority ruling.

  • Robert||

    What I don't understand is, since the RFRA is statute law, how it can supersede the provisions of any statute adopted after it. If the PPACA contradicts parts of the RFRA, doesn't it supersede them, since it too is a statue and was adopted later? It's not as if the RFRA were a constitutional provision. I can see how the RFRA could be used to implicitly repeal any statutes earlier than itself, but not later.

  • Robert||

    Oh, OK, now I've read John's explanation above. The provision in question was not statute, so in administering the statutes, both the RFRA & PPACA have to be taken together in a way they don't contradict. Makes sense.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Even if this had been in the OCare statute, that wouldn't mean it was exempt from RFRA. RFRA is specifically a statute for the purpose of limiting other statutes (really, a legislative statement of what the free exercise clause actually means).

    If you don't explicitly opt out of RFRA, your statute is limited by RFRA. Otherwise, RFRA is a dead letter.

  • Omni||

    Here's Bob Bekel's meltdown...

    http://foxnewsinsider.com/2014.....bby-ruling

  • Sigivald||

    What I want to know is why it being "cost-free" is such a "compelling interest"?

    Don't HL employees get paid for their work? And isn't this actually about the Morning After Pill, which is cheap as hell?

    (Planned Parenthood says it bottoms out at $10 but "might" cost "as much as $50", no idea why - but $10 is under a lot of co-pays anyway.

    What kind of burden on employees is it to pay $10 for an OTC pill almost all of them are never going to need, compared to having to pay for it indirectly by having the company ensure it's "free"?)

    And further:

    1) Anything "cost free" from "insurance" is actually being paid for by the employees - because they're getting reduced cash compensation to make up the difference. No free lunches.

    2) If Congress thinks that's so damned important, why not just give it to everyone, unrelated to their employment?

    (Answer #2: Because that would be spectacularly unpopular, and then they'd have to admit it was the public budget paying for it, rather than handwaving and pretending it's "totally free" if an employer is forced to add a benefit.)

  • Cloudbuster||

    What we should be asking is where, under Article I of the Constitution, is Congress granted the power to take my money to give some slut free birth control?

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