The first thing to note is that this is not a First Amendment case. The Supreme Court did not find the mandate unconstitutional. Instead the Court found that, as applied to closely held family owned companies, the mandate did not meet the requirements of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of1993, which passed Congress with a nearly unanimous vote in both chambers. However, in 1997 the Court found that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was unconstitutional in its application to state laws.

The law on which this decision is based requires that when a person's religious beliefs are substantially burdened by a law of general applicability, the government may impose that burden only when it can show a compelling interest and then only by using the least restrictive available means. However, this requirement can only be applied to federal laws and not to state laws by the 1997 decision.

That last wrinkle will turn out to be important in this case since twenty-eight states have a contraception coverage mandate in their state insurance laws or regulations. Ordinarily a Court decision of this type would automatically invalidate those laws, but not in this instance where the decision is based on a law that can only apply to federal statutes.

Will Hobby Lobby have to sue in twenty-eight states? It's not clear at all what the implication of this decision will be for state mandates.

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I agree with your thinking, sk8eycat. Spent a lot of time studying the JFK murder myself.

Sometimes we start thinking we have been around too long. Great clues for me came when sites want your information to use if you have to retrieve a password. Some of the questions here are classic.

What street did you live on as a child? (It was a dirt road.)

What was your phone number when you were a child? (Three longs and a short.)

Many on here won't get it, but to those that do, it was a very long time ago.

My number was one long and two short, and there was only one other house on the dirt road.

We lived in my great-aunt's beach house until just before V-E Day in 1945.  Aunt Grace had plenty of money, so the beach house had a private line.  When we moved to this house (yes, I still own the home my parents bought in 1945...I've lived in hotels when I toured with HOI, and had various apartments, but moved back into this house when both parents needed home health care.)

Anyroad, when we first moved into this house, we had a party line; it was a pain in the butt.  After about a year, Dad statrted his own accounting practice in the den, and needed a private line for the business, so we got rid of the party line, and kept the business number to this day.This is what our neighborhood looked like in 1949...the only thing that hasn't changed, much, is/are the hilltops.  And it hasn't snowed here since then....Our house is on the left edge of the photo.

No employer is required to offer health insurance to their employees, but large companies which do not must pay a penalty. Smaller business can go through the exchanges to provide coverage and may be eligible for a tax credit.

From Sarah Baker on Twitter: "an illustrated guide to american personhood"

I can't remember whether I a;ready posted this link...but it's brilliant:

George Takei's blistering response to #HobbyLobby: Could a Muslim Corp impose Sharia Law?

I have loved George Takei for years....didn't give a damn that he's gay...he's been an activist for all kinds of issues since he was a child.  (And a friend sat next to him at the Enterprise's navigation console till they hired Walter Koenig to play Pavel Chekhov.  BFD. eh?)

No kidding, sk8ey - George fried 'em on both sides, and they deserved every second of it!

John Oliver shows why Hobby Lobby's arguments were so irrational

... John Oliver showed why the Hobby Lobby case was so mind-numbingly irrational on so many fronts.

If you really want to be treated like a person, corporations, then guess what? Paying for things you don't like is what it feels like to be one. In fact, if corporations want to be people, they should have to take the rough with the smooth. For a start, companies should only get to have the average lifespan of a person, 79 years. 75 if they're based in Mississippi. [...]
And for GM, who've admitted some responsibility for the deaths of a minimum of 13 people, I've got some bad news for you. People who do that generally don't get off with a fucking fine.

Roy Zimmerman's musical take on this:

"The Supreme Court Republicans of the United States: SCROTUS!"

"...For the company, like a church, has its morality,
And no other church sells Elmer's Glue, but that's a technicality..."

"...We're not the Warren Court; we're the court that's waging war on
A corporation is a person; moreover, it's a man;
A woman is a helpmate for to please him if she can
And a man may worship any god he pleases,
Just so long as his religion is approved by Jesus...."

I agree with Roy Zimmerman. I'm gonna download that song.



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