SCOTUS recent ruling- Hobby Lobby

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by lucybelle, Jun 30, 2014.

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  1. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    http://www.scotusblog.com/

    Check out that website if your social media hasn't already been flooded by opinions.

    Personally, I'm nervous. I guess one of my questions during future interviews will be "does your health insurance cover contraception?"
     
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  3. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Justice Ginsburg offered a 35-page dissent on the decision.

    http://www.thewire.com/politics/201...e-dissent-in-the-hobby-lobby-decision/373703/

    The Supreme Court also issued another 5-4 decision today against unions that further weakened them.

    I don't want to break any rules by debating politics, but I'm truly saddened by my government. I have always been a very political person. I was campaigning for candidates years before I could vote. I have volunteered in every presidential election campaign for the candidate of my choice since I was barely in my teens. Regardless of party, I had respect for people in government and truly believed that, even if I didn't agree with them, they were doing what they thought was best for us. Now I'm just fed up with both parties. I'm tired of decisions being made along party lines. I'm tired of the theatrics, the bitterness, and partisanship. If I was polled today, I would be one of those people who has a negative view of all three branches of government. The Supreme Court, I believe, no longer considers whether their rulings are constitutional. Instead, they consider what their individual political agendas are. I don't know if our system is fixable and who's to blame. I just know that it is terribly broken.

    SCOTUS used to be considered the one branch that was above reproach. Now, people are as disgusted with them as they are the rest of our political system.

    I'm sorry for my rant. It just makes me sad that every vote from every politician/justice must always be along party lines now, rather than these people showing any semblance of working together to make our country better.
     
  4. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Some people have to take oral contraceptives for health reasons. Based on that alone, this decision makes me angry.
    Aside from that, unwanted pregnancy prevention needs to be a top priority.
    Pro-life extremists are driving me nuts right now. I am totally pro-life, but preventing a pregnancy is very different than terminating a pregnancy.
     
  5. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I'm one of them and they are expensive.

    I was just so disappointed with that decision! I think what makes me more mad than the ruling itself is that it opens up so many more possibilities now for discrimination in the name of religion. They basically said that smaller companies (about 90% of American companies) are entities with beliefs. I'm all about having your own religious beliefs, but if your beliefs infringe on the rights of others to make medical decisions for themselves, then maybe you shouldn't be in a position like owning a business.

    Jerseygirl-I feel the same way. It's just like a learned helplessness now-I truly worry about our future as a country.
     
  6. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Me, too. When I went on them (15ish), my insurance didn't cover it. But since it was medically necessary, my doctor was able to get it approved.
     
  7. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I am WAY against the ruling, so don't take this as defending it. BUT, the only contraceptives that Hobby Lobby (and others) are planning to refuse are emergency contraceptives (morning after pill) and 2 specific types of IUD. Their argument was that they see these specific forms as abortion (which they are clearly not and HL is kind of crazy).

    This decision is dangerous because it opens the door, but it doesn't have an immediate impact on typical forms of BC.

    Edited: "allowed" for "planning." I guess technically they're allowed, but they have said they only plan to stop those types. It's all very confusing.
     
  8. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Good information. I've refused to really follow this because it makes me angry!
     
  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Playing devil's advocate here, should government be allowed to interfere with the business of a private company? No one is forcing the employee to work there...if they don't agree with the policies, they can work elsewhere?
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Is Hobby Lobby a publicly traded company?
     
  11. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    What if they, as a private company, decided they had a religious objection to women working and refused to hire them? What if they decided that people must practice the Christian faith and pray on the premises? What if they decided to stop paying for all medical treatment because they believed that, instead, people should use the power of prayer?

    BTW, on a side note, it should be noted that the male owners of Hobby Lobby have no objection to paying for vasectomies and Viagra.
     
  12. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    They also have no objection to paying for oral contraceptives and tubal ligation. (Again, totally against this decision, but let's not get it twisted that HL is taking away all contraceptives. Just the 3)
     
  13. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    SCOTUS has been very disappointing lately.
     
  14. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    They did strike down DOMA, so they're not all bad.
     
  15. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Okay, understood.

    Another 5-4 ruling, mostly across party lines. :(
     
  16. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    I think it's so important that we don't lose sight of the importance of respecting everyone's religious freedoms. We don't require Jehovah's Witnesses to pledge the flag, Amish to serve in the military, women (or men) to remove religious head coverings, and we expect employers to allow Muslims time to pray. No matter what our individual feelings are about contraceptives, morning after pills, or even abortion, I think conservative Christians have the right to religious freedom as much as anyone else, and I think SCOTUS ruled correctly.
     
  17. 4815162342

    4815162342 Companion

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    Not that I'm for/against/even knowledgeable about it besides this thread, but just more devil's advocacy:
    If it is a private company, aren't they entitled to do that? I definitely don't know laws or even want to pretend like I do, but I would think they have the right to do that being a privately owned company. If you don't agree with it, it just wouldn't be somewhere you'd work. It doesn't make it "right", but they can.

    I work at a privately owned daycare and we say a prayer before lunch. We've only ever had one parent ask that their child not participate, and that was fine. But if a parent came and tried to make us not say it, period, I know the owner would just tell them to find a new place.
     
  18. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I don't agree with the decision, but I'm not surprised. Here are some quotes from their website:
    -At Hobby Lobby, we value our customers and employees and are committed to: Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.
    -Providing a return on the owner's investment, sharing the Lord's blessings with our employees, and investing in our community.
    -We believe that it is by God's grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured. He has been faithful in the past, and we trust Him for our future.
    -Their store hours say that they're closed on Sunday "For family and worship" or something like that.

    Anyone who works there is probably well-aware of these beliefs.

    My friend works for a Catholic university, and birth control isn't covered by her insurance. She is on it because she gets really bad cramps (she's a lesbian, so she doesn't need it for birth control ;) ). It stinks for her, but she gets it.

    I guess, I'm not one to judge someone based on their religious beliefs. I don't agree with this, but this decision doesn't really bother me. I don't plan on working there or anything.
     
  19. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Those are personal choices they make themselves though. This is an employer's religious beliefs affecting their employees who may not hold the same beliefs. They will still be able to get the birth control paid for-we are just the ones who are going to pay for it. They are going to have to go through the government to get it-heaven only knows what kind of red tape that will require.

    As to the private company part-in the past only non-profit companies who applied for these exceptions were granted. From an article in the Atlantic: "The Court has held that these businesses qualify as "persons," meaning that they can have religious beliefs. It's worth noting that this ruling only applies to closely held private companies, or businesses that are owned by a small number of people who are mostly involved in the day-to-day operations of that business. Roughly 90 percent of American companies qualify as closely held, so this ruling will apply to a pretty sizable portion of the American business community".

    I think we will probably see other companies following suit-especially ones who are fighting the Affordable Care Act anyway.
     
  20. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    It's very valuable to have a devil's advocate and to bring these things up -- certainly because others will see these same arguments.

    The case bothers me because the decision puts more power in the hands of corporations that already have quite a bit of political power. Some will argue that the decision is limited to closely-held corporations like Hobby Lobby (it's not a publicly traded company, but probably does get tax breaks), but that's really only because a public company didn't bring the suit -- that is, the SC didn't have to decide today whether it applies to public companies (one would *hope* not... but you never know).

    Besides striking down DOMA, the SC also ruled recently that the police do indeed need a warrant to search a cell phone.

    Another worrisome aspect of the decision was Scalia's note that whether the plaintiffs believed, based on their religion, that the objectionable components were abortifacients was sufficient to support a finding that they were. Another religion might come along and challenge other contraceptives. This is a rather dangerous argument to start making.

    I mean consider.... can now a company owned by Christian Scientists now refuse to cover vaccinations? How about denying coverage for all surgery?

    It might be nice if there were a "separation of corporation and state" -- given that so much of our lives are governed by corporations.
     
  21. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    All the examples you give are of people exercising their individual freedoms, and I think that's rather different from having a corporation exercise religious freedoms that impact on ( and potentially restrict) the private lives of its employees.

    Would you also argue that Hobby Lobby could simply refuse to hire based on religion? Or that if a religion had an issue with a particular race, or with homosexuals or divorcees, corporations which espoused it should be allowed not to serve/hire them?

    It's also fairly likely that HL, like most corporations, includes health benefits as compensation.

    I'm not saying you're wrong -- though I think the decision is wrong, it is a fairly close issue with arguments on both sides. It's best to try to think through all the ramifications, though.

    One more point -- I haven't verified personally, but have heard reports that HL invests in corporations which make IUDs. Now, they may not have realized it and may divest those holdings since it's become more public knowledge. But it does raise some questions...
     
  22. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    The ruling did specifically say that it only covered contraceptives and that it was not to be taken into account for any other health services. They used immunizations as an example, but clearly stated that businesses wishing to restrict any other health care would have to come from a separate decision.
     
  23. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    One difference here is that the parents enrolled their children knowing those were the rules and in doing so accepted it......rarely does one accept a job knowing what is covered or not in the health coverage that info is generally found out after hired and during orientation or filling out paperwork.......so now they should disclose all of that up front so that potential employees can decide if they even want to apply.

    Will this lead to the non hiring or firing of people engaging in sex before marriage, living together and not married, having chidlren before marriage or divorcees etc etc decause their religious beliefs fidn that it is a sin.

    Curious to know did their insurance policy cover BC pills prior to ACA? and also I found out their retirement plan invests in a company that provides contraceptives. It is ok for them to make money off of contraceptives but not ok to pay for their employees to have access.
     
  24. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    It seems like some are still missing that HL has stated there are only certain forms of contraceptives they won't cover. Some of these examples and issues being raised are clear fallacies. There's a lot of slippery slope going on in this thread.

    I would need to do A LOT more case study of this before making any other comments, however.
     
  25. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    What a shame that a person is willing to accept a job without knowing the full benefits package he or she will be getting! Not knowing fully lies in the lap of the job seeker. Most don't know because they focus on the job and the salary. Many are disappointed when they find out that the benefits at a company aren't as good or lacks variety. Sometimes the new employee who failed to ask about the compensation package finds that the salary increase that came with the different job came at a cost which is higher cost of insurance or high deductibles.

    It is about personal responsibility. If you are seeking a job and you care about the details regarding what is covered or what the compensation is, you should ask prior to accepting.
     
  26. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Now that I've served on our negotiating team, I definitely agree with a2z. We have AMAZING coverage, but I didn't realize it until this spring. Knowing what I know now, I'd definitely want to look at insurance before agreeing to a contract.
     
  27. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    You might wish to believe that I am reaching, but Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appears to agree with my characterization of the ruling.

    Ginsburg in her dissent:

    "We do not hold, as the principal dissent alleges, that for-profit corporations and other commercial enterprises can “opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.” Post, at 1 (opinion of GINSBURG, J.). Nor do we hold, as the dissent implies, that such corporations have free rein to take steps that impose “disadvantages . . . on others” or that require “the general public [to] pick up the tab.” Post, at 1–2. And we certainly do not hold or suggest that “RFRA demands accommodation of a for-profit corporation’s religious beliefs no matter the impact that accommodation may have on . . . thousands of women employed by Hobby Lobby.”

    and

    "Although the Court attempts to cabin its language to closely held corporations," she writes, "its logic extends to corporations of any size, public or private. Little doubt that RFRA claims will proliferate."


    In plain language, she's saying that it's opening the door for many future challenges by corporations based on religious grounds. Some of the ones I previously mentioned could be very possible.
     
  28. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    How many jobs have you accepted and knew exactly what was covered and what was not, the plan name and costs???? Most know that there will be medical and dental coverage if elected, time off, vacation, life insurance etc etc but generally the details are found out after accepting and reporting to work.

    in our present economy most have very little choice as to where to work so turning down a job when they are scarce is not an option for most.
     
  29. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    These are new changes based on the Affordable Care Act.
     
  30. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I thought this was an interesting site. It gives the "8 best lines from RBG's dissent"

    No slippery slope, just straight from the Justice herself.

    "Would the exemption…extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah's Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations[?]…Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today's decision."
     
  31. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    My first job I didn't know enough to ask. After that I asked questions that were important to me. They may not be the same questions that are important to you. I never had a problem getting the information I needed.

    You have a choice. You may not like the parameters of the choice, but you can decide if the job is worth having to pay a small amount for plan B birth control or IUDs or finding a different job that will give you that for free with your insurance. No one said the choice will be easy, but people make choices all the time.
     
  32. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    This comment was in context to what people should do. They should always have asked what was covered or what plans were available and now they should ask if plan B birth control is covered as well as IUDs if that is important to them. I don't see much difference between before and now. Understand the laws, understand benefits, and ask. Not too much to ask.
     
  33. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    That a Supreme Court ruling only covers the facts before it is standard with any ruling. When a different case comes before it, it will decide based on the facts of that case.

    You are aware that companies can change the benefits package at pretty much any time, right?
     
  34. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    I couldn't honestly care less. I've never even heard of this store until today. I just wonder if the owners of this company worshiped a God other than the Christian God if the outcome would have been the same. We all know it wouldn't be.
     
  35. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Yes, it even covered the ones they opposed. The oppose them because their beliefs about how they function is fundamentally flawed.
     
  36. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Yes, of course, I am aware. They don't do it without notifying employees of the upcoming changes though. You may not be able to do anything other than change jobs if it is not acceptable to you, but it doesn't happen without being told first. If you have questions you can ask HR for specifics. If you really aren't happy with the changes you can look elsewhere for employment.

    I still stand by my assertion that it is the prospective employee's (and current employee's) responsibility to find out specifics of benefits if it is important to their choice.
     
  37. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Actually I disagree with Ginsburg on this: the holding made no real attempt to restrict its holding to closely held corporations. Though it did mention HL as a closely held corporation, it didn't actually give any justification for applying it only to such corporations. What the ruling said is that it considers the likelihood of a public corporation trying to use the case as rather small because of the likely lack of agreement. This is extremely thin reasoning --any board-level decisions are made by a vote of the relatively small number of people on the board. Getting thousands to agree on a religious principle may be impossible, getting the majority of a dozen to agree on a religious principle likely isn't very hard at all.
     
  38. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    What do you base this information on?
     
  39. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Okay, first, IUDs do not cost a "small amount of money." I did a quick glance of the Planned Parenthood site and they run about $500 to $900 - or, several weeks salary for someone making minimum wage.

    Also, I'm not sure too many people are going to respond to a job offer with "Can I just confirm that your insurance covers my birth control?", but hey, your never know. I could be wrong on this one.

    Neither of these things are the real issue, though. If you accept that an employer need only provide only the coverage they feel comfortable with, then, really, you'd have to be on board with them not wanting to provide any health insurance at all if religion dictates that they're uncomfortable with modern medicine or something. If that were to happen, it would be a fundamental shift in our country, and many decades of progress reversed.
     
  40. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Maybe the person who would ask in the manner you suggested would instantly have their job offer rescinded for being so tactless that the employer fears for the prospective employees ability to interact appropriate with the public.

    I can see someone stating that they would like to talk to HR to discuss the details of the benefits package. Seems like a very appropriate request to me. I can see this happening because that is exactly what I have said each time. It was well received because it was professional.
     
  41. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    A quick glance at the PP site says that IUDs last for up to 12 years.

    Also, if someone is making that little because they make minimum wage, PP has a sliding fee scale and the ability to point a person to other programs that will reduce the costs.
     
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