After 6 Years of Litigation, Federal Court Permanently Enjoins ACA Abortion/Transgender Mandate

"Plaintiffs have shown success on the merits for its RFRA claim because the current Section 1557 regulatory scheme substantially burdens Christian Plaintiffs' religious exercise in clear violation of RFRA."

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In 2016, HHS promulgated a mandate "requiring medical providers to perform and insure abortions and gender-transition procedures." Since then, the case has floated in regulatory limbo over the course of three presidential administrations. Today, the District Court entered a permanent injunction blocking the mandate.

Read the opinion the get the full history, which is too lengthy to summarize. Here is a brief summary of the RFRA argument:

Here, the RFRA violation, the success on the merits, is all but conceded. No party disputes that the current Section 1557 regulatory scheme threatens to burden Christian Plaintiffs' religious exercise in the same way as the 2016 scheme: namely, by placing substantial pressure on Christian Plaintiffs, in the form of fines and civil liability, to perform and provide insurance coverage for gender-transition procedures and abortions. Like before, the current scheme continues to fall short of the "more focused" RFRA inquiry. See Franciscan, 414 F. Supp. 3d at 944 (quoting Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal, 546 U.S. 418, 430 (2006)). The government asserts no "harm [in] granting specific exemptions" to Christian Plaintiffs. See Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 573 U.S. 682, 726–27 (2014). Accordingly, for these reasons and those laid out in greater detail in the Court's October 15, 2019, Order, the Court holds that Christian Plaintiffs have shown success on the merits for its RFRA claim because the current Section 1557 regulatory scheme substantially burdens Christian Plaintiffs' religious exercise in clear violation of RFRA.13 Franciscan, 414 F. Supp. 3d at 941–44.

And in FN 13, the District Court suggests the federal government may have animus towards the plaintiffs:

The lack of briefing on this issue from the government, despite the Fifth Circuit's specific mandate, is concerning and speaks to, at best, the authenticity of HHS and the 2021 Interpretation's generalized promise to "comply with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act . . . and all other legal requirements," see 2021 Interpretation, and, at worst, may suggest some sort of religious animus in the failure to include reasonable religious exemptions in the formation and promulgation of the 2021 Interpretation.

This case will be at the Fifth Circuit soon enough.

Disclosure: The Franciscan Alliance is represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, my co-counsel in litigation against Governor (for the present moment) Andrew Cuomo.

NEXT: Attorney General Garland Should Reverse an Egregious Legal Ruling Denying Asylum to Refugees Fleeing Forced Labor at the Hands of Terrorist Groups

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  1. Good guys win one…

    1. Rev. Artie hardest hit. (Not that I’ll hear his reply. Thanks, mute button.)

  2. Our vestigial, receding bigots have rights, too.

    1. Bigot: One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

      Yes, even you have have rights.

      1. Your should fervently hope your betters, the culture war’s victors, are magnanimous toward the casualties.

        1. I’m fine with culture war victors. I supported a lot of it before the Democrats did, and the Republicans for that matter, with a scant 8 years between them.

          What I am not fine with is it becoming just another religion where anything goes.

        2. No, Artie, you’d better hope that your betters, the final war’s victor’s, will be more magnanimous than you scum bags are.

          But don’t bet on it

        3. Besides, I thought there was no religious animus here. Are you all alone, or do your “betters”, actually wielding power, agree with you?

          Agree secretly, so they don’t get in trouble, like all brave betters do.

          1. You guys get to whine as much as you want, and to enjoy your delusions of adequacy . . . but you will continue to comply, which is all I want or expect from you.

            1. “…you will continue to comply, which is all I want or expect from you.”

              You sound like one of the guys that your side is sending to women’s prisons.

    2. As you repeat here, ad nauseum. When was the last time you had an original thought?

      1. Mostly, I respond to the one-note polemics that current constitute the entirety of The Volokh Conspiracy.

        I would welcome expansion of this blog’s horizons (beyond White male ‘own the libs’ grievance theater).

        1. You calling anyone else “one note” is an amazing case of projection

  3. “…Like before, the current scheme continues to fall short of the “more focused” RFRA inquiry. See Franciscan, 414 F. Supp. 3d at 944 (quoting Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal, 546 U.S. 418, 430 (2006)). The government asserts no “harm [in] granting specific exemptions” to Christian Plaintiffs. See Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 573 U.S. 682, 726–27 (2014)….”

    Can someone explain the above to me? I am NOT INTERESTED in hearing a defense of abortion or gender reassignment surgery, and I am not interested in hearing OPPOSITION to these two procedures. That’s not my question.

    I don’t understand the quote about the govt not asserting any harm to plaintiff if this religious accommodation is granted. The only way this makes sense to me is if abortions are given at no charge, and gender reassignment surgeries are given at no charge–to those with religious-based health insurance–at all locations that provide these procedures to patients who DO have insurance with coverage. If the above is true, then of course no one would be harmed by the govt giving exceptions based on religious (or any other) beliefs. But this cannot be actually true, right? My own Blue Shield PPO plan allows me to get an abortion at, literally, a hundred facilities in the greater LA area. If I decide to go to UCLA Medical (hypothetically) with this lesser insurance, would UCLA really see me? How would it get reimbursement? From the federal govt? From the state govt?

    Assuming that my understanding is correct (ie, that many people will be blocked from having these two procedures done…and certainly from having them done at facilities those people would prefer); then isn’t that a textbook example of an injured plaintiff?

    I feel like I’m missing something. (Certainly possible, here…this is an issue I have not closely followed.)

    1. Almost trivially, a particular provider refusing to perform a procedure isn’t a harm, because they don’t have a monopoly on performing it. Not having something subsidized isn’t having it “blocked”, it merely means you need to pay for it yourself. Conveniently, employees are paid in this thing called “money”, which can be used to pay for things one’s employer doesn’t approve of.

      1. In America every product and service you purchase includes someone else’s health care costs…ipso facto—if you bought something in America you paid for someone else’s birth control, abortion, boner pills, or ding dong removal.

        1. In America every product and service you purchase includes someone’s donation to their church.

          Or their gun purchase.

          Please, try not to be a bigger moron than you normally are

          1. That pack of gum you just bought—it’s paying for a schlongolectomy. .

            1. She’d have to grow one first. In the meantime, she’s trying to pass as a male person.

      2. ” Conveniently, employees are paid in this thing called ‘money’, which can be used to pay for things one’s employer doesn’t approve of.”

        Except that employers control that future stream of money, and can turn off the spigot if you insist on things your employer doesn’t approve of, with a fairly short list of exceptions.

    2. I think the issue here doesn’t involve any that of that, and is much simpler. The government defaulted. It didn’t file a brief. It didn’t defend its position. So it waived its defenses. By not asserting any defense at all, it among other things didn’t assert that anyone would be harmed.

      So i don’t think the opinion here should be interpreted as a finding on the merits that nobody is harmed. Rather, it’s simply a finding of default together with the logical consequences of default – the government’s defenses get waived, and the plaintiffs cakewalk into a win.

      1. ReaderY
        I think that your explanation certainly makes more sense than Brett’s farcical attempt. But for your explanation to be correct; that would mean (1) it was an almost criminally incompetent job of lawyering, or (2) it was intentionally ‘thrown’ by the lawyers.

        I could understand that in a case where Outcome X was desired by a prior administration and Outcome Not-X is now desired. So, the new guys put up a token defense…or, of course, sometimes directly tell the court that the govt is changing its position. Is that what happened here? Does the current govt oppose women (for abortion) and pre-trans men/women having insurance policies that cover this? Is the current govt agnostic about this (but very much is in favor for carving out religious exemptions in all/most situation)?

        I’m just trying to figure out the backstory here.

        1. “The government asserts no “harm [in] granting specific exemptions” to Christian Plaintiffs. See Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores”

          In the Hobby Lobby case, SCOTUS ruled that a RFRA inquiry had to look into what specific harms would be caused by granting a specific exemption to specific plaintiffs.

          The Judge is saying the the government did not even bother to try to meet that burden, and thus failed the legal test.

          He’s not saying the government asserted that there would be no harms. He’s saying that the government failed to assert any harms.

        2. The 5th Circuit ordered the US to file a brief, and it didn’t file one. That sounds like a default. In addition, the administrative rulemaking process didn’t engage in the issues it was supposed to do under the Hobby Lobby line of cases. It dodnmt make any findings. So among other things it didn’t make a finding of harm.

          It’s possible that the Trump administration was either administratively incompetent, sympathetic to the plaintiffs, or both. Both seem plausible. The Biden administration role seems less clear. Perhaps the Biden administration just didn’t have time to do anything. Perhaps it accidentally dropped the ball. Or perhaps it is sending the sort of mixed signals it appears to have done on some of the immigration issues, stating to the Democratic Party’s progressive base that it will do things that it then quietly proceeds not to do.

          1. Here’s a friendly bit of advice:

            Never comment a case until you’ve at least skimmed the decision.

            The case was over, until the Biden Admin went to war against Christians.

            The Administration that “dropped the ball” was the Biden Admin.

            As you’d know if you simply bothered to click on the link and do a little reading

            1. “Here’s a friendly bit of advice:”

              Swell, here’s some back at you. Don’t comment in public until you reach an IQ of at least 95.

                1. Hint: 85 is not more than 95.

              1. Just another troll I muted here. Thanks for identifying. gbye.

                1. How did you figure out how to mute yourself?

                  1. Another friendly bit of advice: When all you have left is personal assaults, with no actual argument, that’s a solid hint that you’re utterly in the wrong.

                    And it lets the rest of us know that you’re too dishonest to be worth engaging with. Mocking, yes, but engaging with as if you coudl actually say anything in good faith?

                    No

        3. Look, my dermatologist doesn’t do abortions or wack off your junk. He’s a health care provider. Isn’t he harming people by this refusal?

          Abortion is a specialty. So is junk whacking off. You can’t reasonably construe a decision not to provide a specialty as a ‘harm’, that would have absurd implications. It is genuinely farcical.

          1. It’s schlongolectomy…and an abortion is a babyolectomy. 😉

          2. “Abortion is a specialty.”

            No, it isn’t. It’s taught in medical school, to people who want medical degrees. It’s become a specialty because the threat of violence to people who perform the surgical method of abortion pushes out doctors who might have performed one. So they do medical abortions, instead of surgical, and the wackjobs camping outside the abortion clinics are none the wiser that they’re stalking the wrong people.

            1. >>
              “Abortion is a specialty.”
              No, it isn’t. It’s taught in medical school, to people who want medical degrees.
              <<

              So is ObGyn. Every single medical student must do an ObGyn rotation.

              That doesn't mean ObGyn isn't a specialty, you pathetic moron.

              1. “That doesn’t mean ObGyn isn’t a specialty, you pathetic moron.”

                Which pathetic moron are you addressing? The one who told you that ObGyn isn’t a specialty?

                Hint: What makes ObGyn a specialty is that there are parts of it that are NOT taught to every single person who earns an MD degree.

                1. Bzzt, wrong. Thank you for playing, now FOAD.

                  There’s parts of everything that aren’t taught at Medical School. That’s why there’s Residency. Not every medical student does an abortion, or learns all the ins and outs of doing one.

                  1. You need to stop, STFU, take a moment and let your partisan zeal die down, and then try interacting with reality. Maybe learn to read while you’re cooling down.

                    1. HAHAHAHA

                      My “partisan zeal”?

                      This coming from the creature who says that no one should ever be allowed to deliver babies, unless he / she also kills them?

                      This from the lunatic who says that it’s dire authoritarianism for a State Governor to establish rules that public schools have to follow, but simple just for a State to issue rules that evry private business must follow?

                      You are an insane nut. Take your own advice, Mr “it’s all the fault of the Trump Admin that the Biden Admin didn’t follow up in court when ordered to defend their actions”, STFU, take the loss, and pull your head out of your backside

          3. “So is junk whacking off. You can’t reasonably construe a decision not to provide a specialty as a ‘harm’, that would have absurd implications. It is genuinely farcical.”

            It’s not just that. It turns out that for folks that aren’t sure which gender they are, they can give you both kinds of junk. Or turn you into a Ken doll.

            1. “It turns out that for folks that aren’t sure which gender they are, they can give you both kinds of junk.”

              More troubling, some people aren’t sure which gender they are because God set them up with both kinds of junk.

      2. Then there’s the idea government must use the least restrictive means, and it can and did pay for the abortion portion of strictly religious organizations like churches. Ergo nothing is stopping government from doing the same for these certain companies run by religious folk. Nothing except a lazy Congress, but Congress being lazy or unwilling doesn’t mean people have to give up their rights.

        1. You’re seeing laziness where there’s actually hysterical paralysis.

          1. No, what we’re actually seeing is that the politicians aren’t will to go on the record being for something, so they’re trying to illegally get the bureaucrats to do it for them.

            And what we’re also seeing is the judiciary actually enforcing the law, and not letting the bureaucrats violate it.

            “hysterical paralysis”: When the left wants something that the voters oppose, so the politicians, who want to get reelected, won’t provide it

            1. hysterical paralysis is what you get when you have one political party that desperately objects to the very existence of the entire federal government except the “guys with guns” part(s).

      3. You are putting lipstick on a pig, and it’s really ugly lipstick.

        The 5th Circuit panel ordered the Biden Admin to explain how their new rules didn’t violate the plaintiffs’ rights under RFRA.

        The Biden Admin refused to answer the question.

        Your options are:
        1:Their dog ate the brief
        2: Everyone at teh Biden DoJ is completely asleep
        3: They know damn well that their new rule tramples plaintiffs’ rights under RFRA, that’s the whole point of the new rule

        Are you really going to try to pretend that it’s anything other than #3?

        1. “The 5th Circuit panel ordered the Biden Admin to explain how their new rules didn’t”

          These the “new rules” from the Biden Admin that have been litigated for six years?

          1. You know, James, you’d appear a lot less stupid if you’d bother to read the opinion before you pretend to comment on it.

            Here, let me help you:
            While pending appeal, the landscape drastically shifted. HHS repealed the 2016 Rule and finalized a new rule in 2020.

            President Biden issued an executive order declaring that his administration would apply Bostock’s interpretation of Title VII to other statutes prohibiting sex discrimination.

            HHS began considering a new rule.

            Since the Fifth Circuit’s remandand presumably spurred by the President’ executive order and DOJ’s guidance, HHSissued guidance documentationthat it would now interpret Section 1557 to prohibit “gender identity” discrimination. “Notification of Interpretation and Enforcement”Dep’t ofHealth and Hum. Servs., Notification of Interpretation and Enforcement of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (May 10, 2021), https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ocr-bostock-notification.pdf (the “2021 Interpretation”).

            This ruling is about the 2021 Interpretation. Which is all Biden Admin.

            Just a note: This is a legal blog. If you’re not capable of reading a judicial opinion and understanding the words, you probably shouldn’t be posting here to tell other people who wrong they are about the case.
            And if you’re too f’ing lazy to read the opinion before “commenting”, but still feel the need to “correct” people who’ve actually taken the time to do so, I will treat you with all the respect you deserve

            1. “You know, James, you’d appear a lot less stupid if you’d bother to read the opinion before you pretend to comment on it.”

              You’d appear a lot let stupid if you just stopped telling people how stupid you are.

              1. So, just to wrap up here:

                Everything you said is wrong

                You know that everything you said is wrong

                You don’t care, because you don’t hold any of these positions because of a principle, it’s just an expression of your power lust.

                And you apparently ARE too stupid to actually read and understand a legal decision, which is why your comments are always so ignorant of the actual case.

                No one should ever take anything you write here seriously, because it’s all uninformed crap

                Have a nice life

                1. Let’s review:

                  You are delusional. It’s interfering with your ability to successfully interact with reality. You should seek and obtain competent help.

    3. I feel like I’m missing something. (Certainly possible, here…this is an issue I have not closely followed.)

      What you’re missing is that the plaintiffs were the ones opposed to these mandates.

      The quote that you provide above is that no harm will result from granting exemptions to the plaintiffs.

  4. “may suggest some sort of religious animus”

    Wow, isn’t that very strong and rare language. A severe rebuke of the government perhaps.

    1. I don’t think that makes sense. Generally speaking, defaults like failing to file a brief tend to help the other side. Not raising a defense and letting the other side cakewalk into a win doesn’t seem much like an act of animus against it. The government might deserve rebuke for failing to file a brief. But I don’t think it deserves a finding if animus.

      1. when you are mandated to submit a brief, and do not, there is a suspicion that you are afraid that you might be too honest in the brief and be caught out.

        1. Conspiracy theorists love spinning stories out of nothing at all, because it’s easier than spinning a story out of something that is actually real.

          1. Says the guy who’s posting multiple “comments” on a case he provably knows nothing about.

            1. You says what?

      2. The notion is that they didn’t file the brief because they genuinely lacked any basis for the policy besides religious animus, and so had nothing even vaguely plausible to put in the brief.

        1. What’s this? Brett Bellmore, of all people, assuming bad faith on the part of a politician who is not of his party? Say it ain’t so!

      3. But it is more than that here. The government was asked a question: why don’t you provide an exception for religious objections. The answer was silenced. That implies they had no good answer.

        Suppose an employer fires a black employee. That arguably raises a claim of employment discrimination. When asked, “Why did you fire X?” the employer generally has some legitimate excuse — we were downsizing, Fred is incompetent or rude, etc. If the employer’s answer is silence, that implies that the real reason is racism. At least, one COULD infer that.

        1. ” one COULD infer that.”

          You can infer literally anything from anything. This is so because what was inferred is not necessarily what was implied.

        2. “But it is more than that here. The government was asked a question: why don’t you provide an exception for religious objections. The answer was silenced. That implies they had no good answer.”

          The problem is this: How do you tell a person who has a sincere relibious belief from someone who says they have religious belief but actually have some other motivation? It’s fairly hard to answer that question straight up, but now try doing it without offending somebody, somewhere who feels that THEIR religion is being singled out!

    2. when you start with “speaks to at best…the HHS…promise” i.e., the government is probably lying, the ‘at worst’ will probably not be very pleasant.

  5. Judge O’Connor is as much a judicial activist as judges railed against by conservatives.

    1. I do so love when an idiot lefty babbles words that make no sense, just because he’s been told that magical incantation will make the bad conservatives go away.

      Judge O’Connor clearly followed the relevant Supreme Court precedents.

      He made a clearly valid ruling based on RFRA, a law that was passed with overwhelming Democrat majorities, and signed into law by Democrat President Clinton.

      Because back then asserting “religious freedom” was, to the left, something you did to support peyote use while pretending that you actually had principles.

      Now, children, let’s remember something: RFRA states that Congress can exempt any law from RFRA. All they have to do is say “RFRA does not apply to this law” in the law, when passing it.

      The Democrats weren’t willing / able to do that with ObamaCare. At least partially because they were blatantly lying to the American people, and claiming that ObamaCare would NOT be used to trample over Christian’s rights.

      If you have a problem with that, bitch at Obama and the Democrats who passed it on a Party line vote, not Judge O’Connor

      1. “RFRA, a law that was passed with overwhelming Democrat majorities, and signed into law by Democrat President Clinton.”

        Hint: It isn’t a “party-line vote” if the other party votes for it, too.

        I notice that you’re whining about trampling over Christian’s rights despite having previously claimed that you are not one.

        1. Yes, because only members of one religion are allowed to be worried that the government is trampling on religious rights.

          You beat your own stupidity.

          1. “You beat your own stupidity.”

            Don’t worry, you’re “winning” by a huge margin.

        2. 1: “The Democrats weren’t willing / able to do that with ObamaCare. At least partially because they were blatantly lying to the American people, and claiming that ObamaCare would NOT be used to trample over Christian’s rights.

          If you have a problem with that, bitch at Obama and the Democrats who passed it on a Party line vote, not Judge O’Connor”

          Now, if you’re not a total moron, you understand that “party line vote” refers to “ObamaCare”, the law that was passed without a single Republican supporting it. The law that did not include a RFRA exemption.

          2: “I notice that you’re whining about trampling over Christian’s rights despite having previously claimed that you are not one.”

          Why yes, I think that people who are not me are still entitled to rights. Thank you for demonstrating so clearly that, as a fine and upstanding member of the Left, the idea that one would care for other people’s rights is utterly foreign to you.

          1. Your previous claim not to be a militant Christian rings increasinly hollow.

          2. “Why yes, I think that people who are not me are still entitled to rights. Thank you for demonstrating so clearly that, as a fine and upstanding member of the Left, the idea that one would care for other people’s rights is utterly foreign to you.”

            You cannot possibly be a real person. I hope whichever programmer built your AI will give up and pull the plug soon.

  6. Kill babies, mutilate children, due process by Jews.

    1. Neither appropriate nor funny.

      1. Wow, well I see why I muted this commenter

      2. kinda sounded like something you’d say.

  7. The problem is that religious freedom and gender freedom are clashing. This decision gives religious freedom the edge.

    The real answer is freedom of association, so all the religious and gender partisans and bigots can go about their merry ways, sliming each other and offending as many people as they want, and everyone else can go about their business without having to worry about which control freaks are in charge of the coercive monopolistic government today, and which will be in charge tomorrow.

    But the control freaks on both sides hate freedom, period, let alone freedom of association, because that means someone out there is not being forced to bend to their will.

    1. No, RFRA gives religious freedom the edge, because ObamaCare did not exempt itself from RFRA.

      Besides which, there’s no such thing as “gender freedom”. What you fruitcakes are bitching abotu is not having “reality freedom”. Top which I say GFY.

      You want to which about reality? Do it with your own money, not anyone else’s

      1. “Besides which, there’s no such thing as ‘gender freedom’.”

        We humor your notion that you are a man.

      2. “ObamaCare did not exempt itself from RFRA.”

        The Republicans repealed and replaced ObamaCare on “Day One” of the Trump regime.

    2. “The problem is that religious freedom and gender freedom are clashing. This decision gives religious freedom the edge.”

      Well, only one of those is actually to be found in the Constitution, so it SHOULD have the edge.

      But your larger point is valid: The only reason we need to appeal to religious liberty in the first place is that we’re already being oppressed. In a free country, you wouldn’t need religious liberty, because you’d already be free to do out of any motive, religious or secular, anything that it made any sense to allow for religious reasons.

      The very fact we’re talking about religious liberty is a sign of our oppression.

      1. “you’d already be free to do out of any motive, religious or secular, anything that it made any sense to allow”

        It doesn’t make sense to allow medical providers to decline to provide medical treatment. Any gynecologist who wishes to perform 0 abortions is free to switch to proctology early in medical school.

        1. Hmm, so “anyone who wants to deliver babies must also be willing to murder them”

          You are a really sick, twisted, monster.

          1. You have a delusional mindset that causes you to (badly) misperceive reality. You should seek professional help.

            1. Hopefully, the relevant medical provider won’t deny service.

    3. The real answer is freedom of association, so all the religious and gender partisans and bigots can go about their merry ways, sliming each other and offending as many people as they want, and everyone else can go about their business without having to worry about which control freaks are in charge of the coercive monopolistic government today, and which will be in charge tomorrow.

      You’ve got my vote!

      But the control freaks on both sides hate freedom, period, let alone freedom of association, because that means someone out there is not being forced to bend to their will.

      Can you please elaborate? Who’re the non-Democrat “control freaks”?

      1. “Can you please elaborate? Who’re the non-Democrat “control freaks”?”

        One of them is Governor DeathSentence of Florida, who wants control of all the schools in the state of Florida.

        1. “Governor DeathSentence of Florida”

          Really? Why don’t you go out and compare Covid death rates between NY, NJ, and FL.

          Then, for more fun, compare them by age.

          It’s the Democrat Governors of NY and NJ who were death sentences for their aged populations

          1. Oh, and do understand I will call BS if you try to play teh CDC’s game:

            And it’s not like the CDC hasn’t done its part to make New York look better. Since the early days of the pandemic, the CDC has separated New York City from the rest of New York state in its COVID metrics.

            When New York City is separated from the rest of the state, New York appears to have had a much better response to COVID than it actually did—better than Florida, conveniently enough. Currently, the CDC puts New York (sans New York City) at the 28th-highest COVID death rate, while Florida is the 26th-highest. There is no entry for New York State that includes NYC, but NYC on its own has the highest death rate in the country, and the state as a whole would rank second, just behind New Jersey, if the city were included. No other metropolitan areas are separated from their states.

            1. So, your response to “this one state has done an extremely poor job of handling this public-health emergency” is “OH YEAH? WHATABOUT THIS OTHER STATE?!?!?”

              Hint: They can both be bad.

              1. Except there’s nothign bad about how Florida has handled Covid.

                They did the right things, at the right time, and are refusing to do stupid things, that are done for no purpose other than to get off on bullying people.

                Which is why their older population has much better results than older populations in States run by Democrats, because Ron DeSantis is an excellent governor who will soon be an excellent President.

                And this reality is why you’re not attempting to provide any numbers to back up your claims: because even you know they’re total BS

                1. “Except there’s nothign bad about how Florida has handled Covid.”

                  NOt if you’re on the virus’ side, and want it spread as far and wide as possible. But I’m not on team virus, like you are. Will Mr. DeSantis be President before, or after, KIng Oompa-Loompa is “reinstated”, in your delusion?

                  1. What a funny guy. Complains about not getting any numbers, after declaring an intention to call bullshit on any numbers provided. Grow the fuck up.

                    1. What a moron. Provides no numbers, whines that I’ll call him oput for bad numbers.

                      Here’s some good numbers:

                      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us

                      Sort by deaths per million populaiton, in decreasing order
                      1: New Jersey: 3,001
                      2: New York: 2,793
                      3: Massachusetts: 2,628
                      4: Mississippi: 2,591
                      5: Rhode Island: 2,590

                      US Average (between 21 & 22): 1,917
                      26: Florida: 1,859

                      Despite having younger populations, and despite the fact that Covid is a disease that mainly kills the old, the Democrat run States of NY & NJ have over 50% more deaths per person that FL.

                      I remind you, Mr moron, that you called him “Death Sentence”. Not “flu giver”, which is what it is in > 90% of the cases, just a bad flu.

                    2. “What a moron.”

                      You don’t have to say this. Your name already appears above everything you write.

                      Hint: Read the numbers provided before whining again about being provided no numbers.

                    3. ” the Democrat run States of NY & NJ have over 50% more deaths per person that FL”

                      Traditionally, the number of deaths per person is maxes out at 1.0 and remains steady at that value, regardless of location.

        2. So, James the moron is telling us that when the governor of the State makes rules for the State schools in his State, that makes him a “control freak” who “hate[s] freedom”.

          Because, apparently, in James’ pathetically twisted mind, only unelected Democrats are allowed to decide what happens in publicly funded schools. The people elected by the taxpayers? They get no say.

          1. Good Lord, you are a partisan twit.

            In James’ mind, local school boards are allowed to decide what happens in publicly-funded schools. You know, the ones elected by the taxpayers.

            1. Local school boards are
              1: Almost totally dominated by the “Teachers” Unions
              2: Not providing most of the cash for the schools.

              He who pays the piper, calls the tune.

              If those local school boards want to give up every dollar they’d otherwise get from the State, they can do it their way (which is a lot more generous an offer than you usually get when the State imposes an education mandate on the local schools).

              If they don’t, then it is proper that the have to meet the requirements of the funder. And those requirements are determined by the State Legislature and the State executive (that would be “the governor”, James)

              1. It’s my fault that you set up your school boards wrong? Hint: In most places, schools are funded by property tax, which are set by the county, not the state. You know, locally. If you don’t like who’s on the school board, vote for different people.

        3. The lie:
          “Florida has again broken a record when it comes to COVID-19 cases,” reported WSVN in Miami on Monday. “The state reported 28,317 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday to the Centers for Disease Control.”

          The truth:
          “Wrong again. The number of cases [the CDC] released for Florida today is incorrect. They combined MULTIPLE days into one. We anticipate CDC will correct the record,” the Florida Health Department tweeted.

          Wrong again. The number of cases @CDCgov released for Florida today is incorrect. They combined MULTIPLE days into one. We anticipate CDC will correct the record. https://t.co/nbKnBNLzvU
          — Florida Dept. Health (@HealthyFla) August 10, 2021

          The FDOH says they reported 15,319 cases on Sunday, and the three-day average was 18,795. The department says it follows the CDC’s guidelines for reporting cases, making the CDC’s error seem rather suspicious, especially since the error made it appear that Florida had more new infections reported in one day than in any single day since the pandemic started.

          1. Georgia also reported a huge surge in cases.

                1. Are you complaining about the borders with Alabama, Florida, or South Carolina?

    4. “The problem is that religious freedom and gender freedom are clashing. This decision gives religious freedom the edge.”

      No, they are not at a clash. The regulation at issue would force medical providers to perform procedures that violate their religion. The persons seeking those procedures have the simple option of finding someone else to perform it. So the clash is easily avoided by telling the individuals, “find another provider.”

      1. ” The regulation at issue would force medical providers to perform procedures that violate their religion.”

        Hold on. It’s easy enough to find a religion that forbids abortion. The Catholics, for example, elect a spokesman who is authorized to speak for the entire faith, and they don’t even allow people to put a little rubber thingy on the end of their dick.

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

        Which religion restricts gender-assignment surgery?

        1. Again, why don’t you look up the parties.

          Yeah, I know, that requires actual work. Easier to just spout ignorant snark.

          1. “why don’t you look up the parties.”

            When you master reading English at about a 5th grade level, point to where I asked “which of the parties claimed to be of a religion that objects to gender-assignment surgery”

  8. Elective surgery? Not on my dime.

    1. You might need to refresh your pricing information.

  9. What about those of us who don’t have a religious objection to these procedures but object for purely secular reasons?

    1. This! I have to admit that I tend to dislike giving religious groups such special treatment. Because it leads to the slippery slope of “You give the Baptist Church the ability to opt out of X, so I also want this…for my own private–but equally spiritual–reasons.” I’m really reluctant to have courts delve deeply into our private value systems. But if we’re gonna give these huge benefits to people who rely on religion (and refuse those benefits to identically-situated people who rely on non-religious beliefs), then how can the court avoid this?
      Court, last week: Are you telling me that you fired your cashier because he’s having a child out of wedlock. You can’t do that!
      Court, this week: Oh, you’re now telling me that you’re did it for religious reasons? Okay, that’s fine…go ahead.

      Consider me unconvinced.

      1. Well, then, you are free to go back to 1993 and scream at the Democrats who introduced and passed it:

        https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/103-1993/s331

        The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, Pub. L. No. 103-141, 107 Stat. 1488 (November 16, 1993), codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb through 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-4 (also known as RFRA), is a 1993 United States federal law that “ensures that interests in religious freedom are protected.” The bill was introduced by Congressman Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on March 11, 1993. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Ted Kennedy (D-MA) the same day. A unanimous U.S. House and a nearly unanimous U.S. Senate—three senators voted against passage—passed the bill, and President Bill Clinton signed it into law.

        1. They passed it to protect oppressed religious minorities. A group which does not include Christians in the United States..

          1. I see, so you think that one’s right to invoke RFRA depends on whether you or someone else is an “oppressed religious minority.”

            The dumbest thing I have heard today.

            1. Scroll down until you hit the commentary of one “Greg J”

              1. Or scroll up until you hit one by “Bored Lawyer”.

          2. Well, gosh.

            1: I guess that, in addition to being flaming hypocrites, they’re also really incompetent legislators. Since nowhere in the law did they write “this only protects people in a religion that has less than X% of the public as members”.

            2: Catholics are not the majority in the US. the Democrats are trying to oppress them, and RFRA is protecting them.

            Which makes them an “oppressed minority” by any reasonable definition of the term.

            Which, of course, is why you claim otherwise. because nothing you write is ever reasonable

            1. It’s the RFRA. That second R is “restoration”. The idea, as it was pitched, was to restore some freedom that had been restricted. Specifically, the ability of Native Americans to use peyote in their religious ceremonies… a right that had been stripped from them.

              It’s not supposed to be a “get out of jail free” for people to claim religious rights that hadn’t been taken from someone when it was passed.
              Perhaps it was, indeed, poorly drafted to achieve its stated goals, and that’s what got the Repubs on board.
              I hate to tell you this (again), but I’m not a Democrat, so blaming the D’s for crafting a poor law is hardly a problem. And as for pointing out that Clinton signed it, well, he also signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which led to the Great Recession.

              1. No, dumb shit, it was passed to “restore” the judicial environment pre Employment Division v. Smith. Which protected all sorts of people, and had never before protected peyote usage (which is why the case came to SCOTUS in the first place).

                The Democrats could have written and passed a law that was strictly for small tiem religions. They didn’t do so (which is why it passed unanimously in the House, and only got 3 no votes in the Senate).

                You can dislike the law all you want. But the law is being correctly applied here, based on the law that was passed, rather than the delusional crap in your sick twisted mind.

                1. If you ever make contact with objective reality, be sure to say so.

                2. If a person can learn from their experiences, we call that “being intelligent”. If a person can learn from other peoples’ experiences, we call that “being wise”. But if someone cannot learn from either their own or other people’s experience, we call that person Greg.

                3. “The Democrats could have written and passed a law that was strictly for small tiem religions. ”

                  This is an interesting view of Constitutional law.

      2. 1: I don’t think firing an employee for an out of wedlock child would pass muster in any situation other than an actual religious function and even then I seem to remember litigation involving employees of a religious school. IANAA…

        2: Memory from my undergrad days is of a Vietnam Draft case that went to SCOTUS twice involving someone claiming CO status without being associated with any religious sect, citing just his own personal values — and SCOTUS agreed the 2nd time.

        1. “1: I don’t think firing an employee for an out of wedlock child would pass muster in any situation other than an actual religious function and even then I seem to remember litigation involving employees of a religious school.”

          You might want to look up what “at will employment” means.

    2. “What about those of us who don’t have a religious objection to these procedures but object for purely secular reasons?”

      Get a job as a building contractor and nobody will ask you to perform any medical procedures at all.

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  11. Superstition-based skirmishes with respect to funding of health care (abortion, contraception, etc.) . . . one more problem that will be resolved by universal health care.

    Perhaps soon.

    Brace yourselves for more progress effected against your wishes, clingers.

    1. Can’t wait for six month waiting times for surgery!

      1. My hospital district just canceled all elective surgeries that require an overnight stay.
        You can look forward to those cases backing up when this moratorium is lifted.
        If it is ever lifted

        1. I know of two different hospitals that went bankrupt because they did that the last time — those elective surgeries involve a significant amount of profit that the hospitals need to balance their books.

          Elective surgery does not mean unnecessary surgery — and there is a great deal of increased morbidity and mortality from these delayed surgeries.

          1. Were these bankrupt hospital runs by friends of yours? Because THAT would be believable.

      2. “Can’t wait for six month waiting times for surgery!”

        Depending on what kind of surgery, sometimes people wait WAY longer than that.

  12. Why do people who have religious objections to providing medical care to people go into the field of medicine?

    1. Why don’t you look up the parties in the case to find out.

      1. It’s a generic question, not limited to the parties in a lawsuit, that’s why.

    2. Because, you pathetically stupid authoritarian scumbag, killing babies and whacking off genitals for no good reason isn’t proper or reasonable medical care.

      “You want to be a gynecologist? Why then, you must agree to sterilize any ‘defectives’ we send you.”

      Just how morally depraved do you have to think that you have to right to decide for everyone else how they’re allowed to spend their own, personal, lives and effort?

      We’re not your slaves. You want a service that we’re not willing to provide you? Then f*ck off, and go find someone who wants to provide it for you. You do not own us, and we don’t owe you jack sh!t

      1. “We’re not your slaves. ”

        Well, you ARE part slave. Specifically, slaves have assholes. You’re the asshole part.

      2. “You want to be a gynecologist? Why then, you must agree to sterilize any ‘defectives’ we send you.”

        Ahh… are you still tender about being sterilized?

        1. It really must suck to be you

          1. Nope. I get to be me, which is awesome. You seem to be the one having a bummer.

    3. Maybe they don’t believe that offing unborn babies and whacking junk off constitutes medical care, except by legal fiction.

  13. Funny how the “Our bodies, our choice” crowd sees no problem with dragooning the bodies of physicians to perform certain favored procedures.

    1. People who went to school for years to become medical professionals are assumed to be willing to work as medical professionals, in exchange for money…. particularly the ones who are still medical professionals today, after working as medical professionals for the last 18 months.

      Nobody, not even the “our bodies, our choice” crowd, has suggested drafting civilians into the field, or calling back the retirees into active service.

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