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Monday, November 26, 2012

Supremes Revive Obamacare Suit

Posted by on Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Here we go again:

The Supreme Court has reopened a challenge to key provisions of the Affordable Care Act—one that was dismissed by a lower court last year on technical grounds, but could now become the staging ground for a new judicial fight over a piece of the law known as the employer mandate. The challenge was brought by Liberty University, which charged that the law’s individual and employer mandates violate the institution’s religious freedom. The Virginia-based Christian college, founded by Jerry Falwell, argues that the law’s requirement that large organizations provide employees insurance could lead to the forced funding of abortion, which it says violates the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.


Comments (28) RSS

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@19, that was what I thought at first too but since religious institutions don't pay taxes they aren't funding those wars. Of course, they're fine with war in general but they're especially enthusiastic about it when we're bombing brown people and even moreso when those brown people are heathens.
Posted by Root on November 28, 2012 at 2:45 PM · Report this
John Horstman 27
@14: Nothing presently prevents a group of individuals from doing the same thing. A corporation is not a group of individuals - it is a legal framework established to mediate legal relationships between and within a group of individuals. It is not an agentic entity, as much as some posit it as one, so any concept of "rights" is absurd. Saying a corporation has rights is like saying my employment contract has rights or my book club has rights. The individuals involved certainly do - both as individuals and as a group - but the framework mediating our interaction does not have rights. The problem is one of semantic confusion, since "the corporation" is often used as a synecdoche to refer to the group of people working within the corporate framework, but this is metaphorical. Without any people, the legal framework would still exist (though it wouldn't have much purpose) - corporations are not people, and people are not corporations.
Posted by John Horstman on November 27, 2012 at 1:42 PM · Report this
John Horstman 26
Oh for fuck's sake. What is so hard to understand about this? Institutions don't fucking have rights - they're not people. This should have been dismissed instantly. "Institutions" are basically frameworks for navigating a complex web of contracts between people, either as individuals or groups. Ascribing something without agency "rights" is one of the more ridiculous legal propositions I've ever heard, even more than the attractive nuisance doctrine, which somehow makes me legally liable to account for your total lack of self-control and judgement.
Posted by John Horstman on November 27, 2012 at 1:34 PM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 25
This country took a dark turn when seperation of church and state went from "the state will not favor churches" to "the church is exempt from laws enshrined by the state."

Posted by Theodore Gorath on November 27, 2012 at 8:27 AM · Report this
@22 - Abortions are less expensive than childbirth, so many insurance policies happily cover them.
Posted by ourkind on November 27, 2012 at 8:00 AM · Report this
@22 - I don't know how it is now, but back in 1987 my insurance company refused to cover an IUD, but would pay for an abortion or childbirth which would result from not using birth control.

I keep waiting for the Christian Scientists to speak up and say they won't cover any insurance because medical intervention is against their religious beliefs.
Posted by Barbara on November 27, 2012 at 7:50 AM · Report this
emphster 22
Correct me if I'm wrong, but do any insurance companies even cover abortions? My understanding is that they are overwhelmingly paid for out of pocket, to the tune of $500 - $800. And interestingly a 'medical' abortion (induced miscarriage by pill) costs the same as a 'surgical' abortion, because in case the pill doesn't do the trick the woman will need to go get a surgical AB anyway.

By the way, next time an antichoicer is yammering on about their tax dollars paying for abortions, kindly remind them that that is not the case. Since Roe vs. Wade, Congress has passed the Hyde Amendment in every budget appropriations bill, which stipulates that no federal funds may be allocated for abortions.
I feel like I should repeat that. It is the law in this country that no federal funds are used for abortion procedures. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.
Posted by emphster on November 27, 2012 at 7:12 AM · Report this
1. Jerry Falwell is dead. So there's that.

2. Liberty "University" should be sued for false advertising. You can't teach creationism as science and be a university. Bill Maher has an hilarious riff on this very theme. Unfortunately I'm in South Korea and the plug in on youtube is blocked, but if you search youtube for "Bill Maher LIberty University" it's the first hit.

3. Jerry Falwell is still dead. so there's that....
Posted by Global Traveler on November 27, 2012 at 12:20 AM · Report this
GOOD. Health Insurance from one's employer is a form of compensation. Employers can't tell their employees how to spend their paycheck, and they can't tell them how to use their health insurance. Period. This argument is fallacious on the face of it and I can't wait to see it get shot down.
Posted by tolyl on November 26, 2012 at 4:26 PM · Report this
persimmon 19
Funny, I didn't hear anyone from Liberty University raising a fuss over how they were forced to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Surely their Christian beliefs are opposed to violence of any sort.
Posted by persimmon on November 26, 2012 at 4:19 PM · Report this
ArtBasketSara 18
Since I'm not even going to read the blurb for this headline I have to ask: What in the hell makes those damn Supremes think they can meddle with this stuff! Go back to making music, amiright guys? Yeah.
Posted by ArtBasketSara on November 26, 2012 at 3:16 PM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 17
I actually think this is a positive development. Let's air this out once and for all, and show that this particular line of objection to the ACA is without merit.
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on November 26, 2012 at 2:51 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 16
I keep hoping Scalia blows a gasket and Obama will replace the asshole.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on November 26, 2012 at 2:35 PM · Report this

Hope you're right, but you never know if Roberts may flip back to the conservative justices.
Posted by Patricia Kayden on November 26, 2012 at 2:28 PM · Report this
@11 For all the nonsense about it, Citizens United stands for the basic premises that if an individual can spend their resources on speech, a group of individuals can do the same thing.

A perfectly valid and reasonable position.
Posted by giffy on November 26, 2012 at 2:23 PM · Report this
Prediction: 4th Circuit rules in favor of the ACA and SCOTUS denies cert.
Posted by ourkind on November 26, 2012 at 2:16 PM · Report this
biffp 12
A formality. Awfully touchy on cyber Monday.
Posted by biffp on November 26, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
OutInBumF 11
@9- It seemed that Citizens' United had zero chance of the outcome it did, also. And yet look what the Supremes managed to pull out of their ass with that one. No telling what tomfoolery they'll hatch over this challenge.
Posted by OutInBumF on November 26, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
mkyorai 10
@2: That was awesome.
Posted by mkyorai on November 26, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
YakHerder 9
No worries, this case has zero chance of success. Here's how to tell:

(1) Is the law religion-neutral? That is, it does not single out a particular religion or religions for regulation; (2) Does it apply generally to everyone? Yes and yes? BOOOOM YOUR CASE IS DEAD!
Posted by YakHerder on November 26, 2012 at 1:39 PM · Report this
Bonefish 8
So can a Jewish CEO refuse to pay his employees at all, since they might spend some of that money on pork?
Posted by Bonefish on November 26, 2012 at 1:30 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
What a bunch of sore losers SCOTUS is.

The President should appoint 5 extra "justices".
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 26, 2012 at 1:24 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 6
once again: you are being "forced" to pay for INSURANCE. you are not paying for ABORTIONS.
Posted by Max Solomon on November 26, 2012 at 1:16 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 5
This is a good opportunity for reasonable republicans to permanently separate themselves from the religious extremists who are dragging them down.

I'm actually interested to see how the republicans react to this.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on November 26, 2012 at 1:15 PM · Report this
Beetlecat 4
When will they learn to stop talking about abortion?
Posted by Beetlecat on November 26, 2012 at 1:03 PM · Report this
Sounds like the case has no merit. Just like Jerry Falwell.
Posted by DOUG. on November 26, 2012 at 1:01 PM · Report this
Hopefully they'll recruit one of their own graduates to argue their case.
Posted by Proteus on November 26, 2012 at 12:56 PM · Report this
yelahneb 1
UGH, no. Will this particular foolishness ever end?
Posted by yelahneb on November 26, 2012 at 12:52 PM · Report this

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