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posted by janrinok on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:01PM   Printer-friendly
from the companies==people-er-does-not-compute dept.

gishzida writes:

"According to a Reuters report Supreme Court signals support for corporate religious claims, "The U.S. Supreme Court appeared poised on Tuesday to open the door to companies' religious-based objections to government regulations as justices weighed whether business owners can object to part of President Barack Obama's healthcare law. From the article:

During a 90-minute oral argument, 30 minutes more than usual, a majority of the nine justices appeared ready to rule that certain for-profit entities have the same religious rights to object as individuals do. A ruling along those lines would likely only apply to closely held companies. As in most close cases of late, Justice Anthony Kennedy will likely be the deciding vote. Based on his questions, it was unclear whether the court would ultimately rule that the companies had a right to an exemption from the contraception provision of President Barack Obama's 2010 Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

The dozens of companies involved in the litigation do not all oppose every type of birth control. Some object only to emergency contraceptive methods, such as the so-called morning-after pill, which they view as akin to abortion.

The case marks the second time Obamacare has featured prominently before the Supreme Court. In 2012, the court upheld by a 5-4 vote the constitutionality of the act's core feature requiring people to get health insurance. Although the case has no bearing on the overall healthcare law, it features its own volatile mix of religious rights and reproductive rights. A capacity crowd filled the marble courtroom, while outside hundreds of demonstrators, most of them women, protested loudly in an early spring snowstorm.

We already know that the SCOTUS thinks corporations are citizens, do you think the SCOTUS should allow corporations to have religious beliefs too?"

 
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  • (Score: 1, Troll) by fliptop on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:54PM

    by fliptop (1666) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:54PM (#21792) Journal

    ruling in favor of "corporate religion" signals that the U.S. will more than likely spend the next two or three decades descending into a new and unique sort of nation-sized hellhole

    My (ex) wife gave birth to our youngest in a Catholic hospital. Are you suggesting they don't have the right to object to pay for birth control or abortions as part of their employees' health care?

    --
    Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:12PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:12PM (#21799)

    Yes, I suggest that they do not have the right to interfere in their employees health care.

    • (Score: 1) by fliptop on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:57AM

      by fliptop (1666) on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:57AM (#21887) Journal

      they do not have the right to interfere in their employees health care

      How is not paying for something interfering? Are the employees being stopped somehow from buying their own contraception? Or pay for their own procedures?

      --
      Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
      • (Score: 1) by Immerman on Thursday March 27 2014, @08:18PM

        by Immerman (3985) on Thursday March 27 2014, @08:18PM (#22215)

        Yes, yes they are. They're being stopped my a medical system that has devolved into a sort of mutual parasitism with the medical insurance industry, inflating prices far beyond what they are in most other developed nations - making non-critical medical care essentially unattainable for most people without insurance.

        Couple that with the fact that insurance costs have spiraled out of control so that most citizens are financially prohibited from purchasing more than catastrophic insurance without employer assistance and you have a situation where, if this becomes precedent, employers are in a position to arbitrarily deny *any* non-critical medical procedure to their employees. After all we have laws against religious discrimination - if Catholics can get away with it, so can corporate-engineered "religions" with "beliefs" fine-tuned to improve profitability.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Bob The Cowboy on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:12PM

    by Bob The Cowboy (2019) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:12PM (#21800)

    My (ex) wife gave birth to our youngest in a Catholic hospital.

    What does this have to do with anything?

    Are you suggesting they don't have the right to object to pay for birth control or abortions as part of their employees' health care?

    I'd say its pretty obvious what the poster's position is. Yes, Catholic or not, employers don't get to dictate what employees do with their compensation. What if the employees were not Catholic? Why do the employer's rights trump?

    What if instead of a Catholic employer, it was a Christian Scientist who objected to paying for healthcare at all on religious grounds? Or a Jehovah's Witness employer refusing to cover blood transfusions?

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by dast on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:23PM

      by dast (1633) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:23PM (#21809)

      The corporation's rights trump because only they are really persons. Individuals must be more like cells in the body of a corporation. And if you don't work for one, you are no better than bacteria or viruses.

    • (Score: 1) by fliptop on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:53AM

      by fliptop (1666) on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:53AM (#21885) Journal

      What if the employees were not Catholic? Why do the employer's rights trump?

      What if instead of a Catholic employer, it was a Christian Scientist who objected to paying for healthcare at all on religious grounds? Or a Jehovah's Witness employer refusing to cover blood transfusions?

      I'm sure there's no law saying you must work at any of those places.

      --
      Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
      • (Score: 1) by mashdar on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:59AM

        by mashdar (3505) on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:59AM (#21912)

        If Christian Science corporations don't have to pay for health insurance, I give the majority of shit-bag tax dodger types a year before they are Christian Science based.

        The whole point of the ACA is to keep shitty people from leeching of reasonable people and shitty corporations from pushing expenses onto the public. (And not let insurance companies be shitty and drop you when you actually get sick, and not allow you to get superfucked for life by leaving a job, aging out of an insurance pool, etc. I could go on...)

        You don't get to dictate your employee's religion, and you don't get to dictate what they do with their benefits. Health benefits are (in US tax law) a form of pay.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @10:56AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @10:56AM (#21979)

        What if instead of a Catholic employer, it was a Christian Scientist who objected to paying for healthcare at all on religious grounds? Or a Jehovah's Witness employer refusing to cover blood transfusions?

        I'm sure there's no law saying you must work at any of those places.

        Likewise, there is no law saying that a Christian or Catholic entity must form a business large enough to be required to provide healthcare. As the justices also pointed out, a Christian business entity of any size is also allowed not to provide healthcare, so long as they pay the fine/tax.

        Long and short is: if your (or your business entity's) religious beliefs conflict with a specific course of business, then maybe you should choose a different business. I don't, for example, see many Kosher or Halal barbeque restaurants.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bob_super on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:15PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:15PM (#21803)

    Do they have the right to refuse hiring black people or women? No.
    Can businesses refuse to pay taxes because they'd rather pay a tithe? No.

    The moment they are a business, some common rules apply, whether you like them or not. If you don't like the rules, you elect people who will vote in different rules.

    Most of the rest of the civilized world has figured that one out already...

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by aristarchus on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:20PM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:20PM (#21807) Journal

    EX-wife? How can you be Catholic? Didn't the Hospital object to birthing Pagan/and/or/heretic children?

    • (Score: 1) by fliptop on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:07AM

      by fliptop (1666) on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:07AM (#21893) Journal

      EX-wife? How can you be Catholic?

      We're recently divorced. My kids are grown.

      --
      Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
      • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Thursday March 27 2014, @04:05AM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday March 27 2014, @04:05AM (#21915) Journal

        As someone said very early on, what does this have to do with the issue? Best to leave personal situations out of the debate here. Unless we think that religious views about our personal situations have some relevance under law. I, for one, have not yet been conceived, so I have a very neutral perspective on the whole debate.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by isaac on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:59PM

    by isaac (500) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:59PM (#21830)

    My (ex) wife gave birth to our youngest in a Catholic hospital. Are you suggesting they don't have the right to object to pay for birth control or abortions as part of their employees' health care?

    First of all, this is one of the reasons why having your health care providers chosen by your employers (via choice of policy) sucks.

    Second, you know the real problem? When religious health systems buy up all the clinics in your area, and now you can't be assured your own access to contraception or that your doctor will honor your end-of-life directives.

    This is, actually, already happening. Vide: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/faith-healers/C ontent?oid=16050396 [thestranger.com]

    Scalia wants this majority opinion so bad... expect something sweeping if he gets it.

    • (Score: 0) by fliptop on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:04AM

      by fliptop (1666) on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:04AM (#21891) Journal

      When religious health systems buy up all the clinics in your area, and now you can't be assured your own access to contraception or that your doctor will honor your end-of-life directives.

      Not sure where these "faith healers" are buying everything up, but where I live, there's 5 hospitals w/in driving distance and only 1 is Catholic (or any other religion). Also, the local diocese is broke and closing schools due to poor enrollment.

      --
      Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.