Posts Tagged ‘ Hobby Lobby ’

The Obama administration’s initial, parsimonious exemption

Jul 9th, 2014 5:03 pm | By

This is a depressing story, which I didn’t know about – the role of liberal columnists in stoking the fires of rage about the “religious exemption” from the ACA birth control mandate. Patricia Miller at Religion Dispatches tells that story.

On the left, E.J. Dionne calls for a “broad public consultation with religious groups” on the issue to avoid another firestorm:

After first providing a far-too-narrow exemption from the contraception mandate for explicitly religious nonprofits, President Obama came up with an accommodation that provides birth control coverage through alternative means….

It’s unfortunate that the Obama administration’s initial, parsimonious exemption for religious groups helped ignite the firestorm that led to Hobby Lobby. It might consider this lesson as it moves,

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Even if they worked for businesses that had religious objections

Jul 8th, 2014 5:51 pm | By

The NY Times reports on this new bill, which (of course) preserves all the exemptions Obama already gave away to the god-botherers.

Democrats in Congress said Tuesday that they had developed legislation to override the Supreme Court decision on contraceptives. The bill would ensure that women had access to insurance coverage for birth control even if they worked for businesses that had religious objections.

The bill, put together in consultation with the Obama administration, would require for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby Stores to provide and pay for contraceptive coverage, along with other preventive health services, under the Affordable Care Act.

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, said the legislation was high on his agenda.

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Oh dear, did you hurt your hand?

Jul 8th, 2014 4:38 pm | By

The National Women’s Law Center has a great, fierce analysis of the biases of the Evil Five in the Hobby Lobby ruling on its blog. Summary: Y U ignore women, Evil Five?

The majority opinion in Hobby Lobby erases women from the picture altogether. In a decision that is squarely about women’s health and equality, the male justices in the majority refuse to acknowledge the centrality of women. And in evidencing greater concern for protecting corporations from discrimination than in protecting women from discrimination, the majority opinion creates a hierarchy of discrimination where women are at the bottom (if they even merit consideration at all).

To begin with, Justice Alito’s opinion for the majority barely mentions women. As the Washington

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

The most religious and most conservative first-world nation

Jul 7th, 2014 5:59 pm | By

Lisa Bloom explains lucidly in the Washington Post what is so radical about the Hobby Lobby ruling.

The U.S. is the most religious and most conservative first-world nation, and believers have tried to opt out of our laws for centuries. For the most part, courts haven’t allowed it. May Christian Scientists forego lifesaving medical treatment for their children? No. May Native Americans ingest illegal peyote as part of their religious ceremonies? No. May the Amish refuse to pay Social Security taxes that violate their sincere religious beliefs? No.

The simple general rule has always been that you are free to practice Protestantism or Wicca or Zoroastrianism or any belief of your choice, provided your religious practice does not harm others.

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Supreme pants on fire

Jul 6th, 2014 12:32 pm | By

Well, at least I have confirmation that I wasn’t exaggerating yesterday when I said Alito lied in the Hobby Lobby ruling. Dahlia Lithwick and Sonja West at Slate say the same thing. They say it with considerable heat and energy.

…moments before they adjourned for their summer recess, the justices proved they can act quite quickly and recklessly when it comes to violating the terms of a controversial opinion they handed down only days earlier. It’s as if the loaner car the court gave us in the Hobby Lobby ruling broke down mere blocks from the shop.


In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court ruled that it was a “substantial burden” on the religious

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

They can’t be trusted

Jul 5th, 2014 5:35 pm | By

Exactly. David Ropeik writes today July 5 at Psychology Today that the theocratic Supremes can’t be trusted, because they’re dishonest. Yes they are.

…more and more, trust in the most important part of that system, one of the basic foundations on which this great nation rests, is being eroded. The U.S. Supreme Court is supposed to be the final neutral arbiter of what is and what is not legal, but more and more the 5 person conservative majority on the court is undermining trust in the nation’s highest court, and ultimately the very fairness of how America works, by appearing to decide cases based on their personal ideology rather than an objective consideration of the law.

Just Thursday, and to

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Requiring that we become complicit in evil

Jul 5th, 2014 4:48 pm | By

Let’s go back to February 2012 for a sample of the rhetoric used by the Catholic theocrats to demand special exemptions from ordinary secular laws. A Catholic priest at the top of Human Life International made a statement.

We at Human Life International stand with the Catholic bishops and a diverse group of organizations and individuals in rejecting the false compromise offered by the Obama administration in an apparent attempt to gain wider acceptance of the mandate that requires free coverage of contraception, sterilization, and abortion inducing drugs.

Having closely examined all available information on the compromise, we are appalled at the cynicism displayed by both its content and the means by which it was announced. The original unjust mandate

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Oh, the part about limited scope? Just kidding.

Jul 5th, 2014 4:18 pm | By

Here’s a piece of news I missed, despite (I thought) paying close attention:

Less than a day after the United States Supreme Court issued its divisive ruling on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, it has already begun to toss aside the supposedly narrow interpretation of the decision. On Tuesday, the Supremes ordered lower courts to rehear any cases where companies had sought to deny coverage for any type of contraception, not just the specific types Hobby Lobby was opposed to.

I’m dumbfounded. They really are opening the door to letting godbotherers do everything they can to impede women’s access to contraception, including getting extra special gift-wrapped gold-plated exemptions from ordinary laws that apply to everyone else.

Justice Samuel Alito,

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

A helps B to accomplish an external act by an act that is not sinful

Jul 5th, 2014 11:53 am | By

Another article by Leslie Griffin on the Supremes and Catholic moral theology. There’s some overlap with the article I posted about yesterday.

I never expected to see Father Henry Davis’s Moral and Pastoral Theology (1935) cited in a Supreme Court opinion.

But there it was in footnote 34 of Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, in which the Court ruled that two non-Catholic families, the Greens and the Hahns, were not required to comply with the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act. Father Davis was an English Jesuit and famous moral theologian who died in 1952 at age 85. The string cite quotes Father Davis’s text as follows: “Cooperation occurs ‘when A helps B to

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Never mind what the women think

Jul 4th, 2014 4:33 pm | By

Getting sick of Hobby Lobby? You know how it is – there are some subjects I’ll just keep poking at for days.

Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center, has a post at Scotus blog. The NWLC filed an amicus brief in support of the government.

Taking as a given the companies’ sincere religious beliefs that certain forms of contraceptives cause abortions (even though scientifically and medically inaccurate as outlined here), the majority seriously errs by then also taking as a given the companies’ claim that the insurance requirement for their employees imposes a substantial burden.  According to the majority, the burden is substantial because the companies say it is.  The majority undertakes no legal analysis of

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Making them complicit

Jul 4th, 2014 4:09 pm | By

And of course just as everyone predicted, Hobby Lobby is only the beginning. The camel is halfway into the tent already, and there’s a whole long line of camels streaming toward the tent even now.

In a short, unsigned opinion, the court said that Wheaton College in Illinois, at least temporarily, does not have to comply even with compromise provisions in the law that the college says still violate its religious beliefs.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the action cast doubt on the very accommodation the court’s majority seemed to endorse Monday in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which concerned businesses that objected to providing birth control that offends the owners’ beliefs.

“Those who are bound by our decisions

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Bishops and justices working together

Jul 4th, 2014 12:00 pm | By

More brilliant commentary on Hobby Lobby, this from Leslie Griffin, who co-blogs with Marci Hamilton, under the banner

Advocating for religious liberty, women’s rights and children’s rights

By “religious liberty” they don’t mean what The Catholic Five mean.

Today, in an ironic and shrewd decision, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, five male Catholic Supreme Court Justices aided the project of the U.S. Catholic bishops to impose their opposition to all contraception on all American women. The opinion was ironic: four Justices who previously ruled that Congress lacked the authority to pass the Affordable Care Act required the government to pay for contraceptive services. The decision was shrewd; the Justices promoted contraceptive restrictions in two cases where the plaintiffs (the

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Without meaningful consideration of the impact on their employees

Jul 4th, 2014 10:02 am | By

Marci Hamilton on the Hobby Lobby ruling.

It is simply a fact that five male Catholic Supreme Court Justices have now transformed what is already a bad law into a truly dangerous one, all for the apparent purpose of undermining women’s access to contraception. Whatever the legal reasoning, the optics are very bad on this one, and whether intentionally or not, they stoke the perception that the Justices are in league with the Catholic bishops in the latter’s attempt to turn the clock back on not just Roe v. Wade but also Griswold v. Connecticut, as Leslie Griffin argues here

Oh surely not. Just because they’re all Catholic and…


This is, in fact, a sly opinion that

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

The theocrats get started

Jul 1st, 2014 5:51 pm | By

More nostalgia – May 21 2012 when the bishops announced their lawsuit against the administration. Catholic News Service was there, slavering.

The Archdiocese of New York, headed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., headed by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the University of Notre Dame, and 40 other Catholic dioceses and organizations around the country announced on Monday that they are suing the Obama administration for violating their freedom of religion, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The dioceses and organizations, in different combinations, are filing 12 different lawsuits filed in federal courts around the country.

The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. has established a special website––to explain its lawsuit and present news

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

USCCB triumphans

Jul 1st, 2014 4:15 pm | By

Let’s have a blast from the past: Katha Pollitt in the Nation in December 2011.

Who matters more to President Obama, 271 Catholic bishops or millions upon millions of sexually active Catholic women who have used (or—gasp!—are using right this minute) birth control methods those bishops disapprove of? Who does Obama think the church is—the people in the pews or the men with the money and power? We’re about to find out. Some day soon the president will decide whether to yield to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which has lobbied fiercely for a broad religious exemption from new federal regulations requiring health insurance to cover birth control with no co-pays—one of the more popular elements of

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

One law

Jul 1st, 2014 10:36 am | By

From the White House press briefing yesterday; the first question was about the Hobby Lobby ruling.

The Supreme Court ruled today that some bosses can now withhold contraceptive care from their employees’ health coverage based on their own religious views that their employees may not even share.  President Obama believes that women should make personal health care decisions for themselves rather than their bosses deciding for them.

Today’s decision jeopardizes the health of women who are employed by these companies.  As millions of women know firsthand, contraception is often vital to their health and wellbeing.  That’s why the Affordable Care Act ensures that women have coverage for contraceptive care, along with other preventative care like vaccines and cancer screenings.

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

A chance to air their nostalgia

Mar 12th, 2014 9:37 am | By

Emily Bazelon at Slate takes a look at some of the more…eccentric far-right arguments in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood briefs against the Obamacare rule that employers must provide contraception coverage as part of their health care plans.

Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, the companies whose suits the Supreme Court will hear later this month, have been careful to frame their objections narrowly. They’re not refusing to pay for all birth control. They just don’t want to fund “items” like the morning-after pill and the IUD, which they say effectively cause abortion by preventing a fertilized embryo from implanting in the uterus. Many scientists say that’s not true. But the companies are trying to take a limited, reasonable-minds-may-differ

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)