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Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court
12-02-2013, 06:47 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-02-2013, 06:49 AM by SARTRE.)
Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court

For a country founded upon the purpose of establishing religious freedom, the state worship establishment deems that their Supreme Court tribunal will announce its papal bull in the lawsuit, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

The SCOTUSblog explains the Issue: Whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000bb et seq., which provides that the government “shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” unless that burden is the least restrictive means to further a compelling governmental interest, allows a for-profit corporation to deny its employees the health coverage of contraceptives to which the employees are otherwise entitled by federal law, based on the religious objections of the corporation’s owners.

The first words in the Bill of Rights Amendment I, states:  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.  Somehow, the barrister bar sees fit to ignore the highest law of the land, because robe magistrates deem that their rulings are a flowing and living privilege that easily conflicts with a dictionary reading of language.   

Understanding the context of this case starts with an analysis by Lyle Denniston from the official SCOTUS blog.

“This time, the Court will be focusing only on whether the pregnancy-related care coverage can be enforced against profit-making companies - or their individual owners, when that is a very small group - when the coverage contradicts privately held religious beliefs.”

Jeremy Weber from Christianity Today reports that - Hobby Lobby explained in a statement that its Green family owners "have no moral objection to providing 16 of the 20 FDA-approved contraceptives required under the HHS mandate and do so at no additional cost to employees under their self-insured health plan."

However, Mr. Denniston describes that the Court will look at the extent that government has preference over religious beliefs of a corporate ownership. 

“It is already clear, of course, that individuals - whether they own businesses or not - do have religious beliefs that the government may not try to regulate.  But it is not yet clear, and these cases will test the issue, whether they have a right - constitutional or based on a 1993 federal law - to rely upon those beliefs in refusing to provide a kind of health care coverage that they say violates the tenets of their faith.”

Therefore, it seems that the high court will revisit the First Amendment rights of corporations, most recently expanded in their Citizens United decision, with the twist that religious freedom might well be quite different from political free speech.  
Compelling a business enterprise to obey the “pro choice” regulations within Obamacare is certainly the objective from the record of this administration’s hostility towards traditional Christian religious practices.

Mr. Denniston describes the nature of this conflict.

“On the other hand, it is not clear that a business that is formed as a corporation, and engages in a strictly commercial kind of activity, can have religious beliefs and can actually base its commercial actions upon such faith principles (separate from the religious beliefs of its owners).  The Court has never ruled on that issue, but that is one of the core issues it has now agreed to consider.

In the government case - that is, the one involving the arts and crafts retailer, Hobby Lobby - the answer to questions about both the individual owners of a closely held business and the business itself as a separate entity arises under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  That law specifies that the government cannot impose a "substantial burden on a person's exercise of religion," unless the government can prove that the burden serves "a compelling governmental interest" and that it is also "the least restrictive means" of doing that.”

Here is the crux of shredding religious protection, a compelling governmental interest”. After the absurd and bizarre flip-flop from Chief Justice John Roberts on the original Obamacare decision, who could ignore the determination that the Affordable Care Act is a legal tax constitutes a compelling governmental interest?

In Part 8 – CORPORATIONS and LAW of the Totalitarian Collectivism series cites, “The 1886 case, Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, is often cited that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations are "persons" having the same rights as human beings based on the 14th Amendment.”

Concluding, Mr. Denniston admits the inherent legal problem of granting corporate personhood.

“The Court, in confronting that issue, probably will have to decide whether the business itself is "a person" under RFRA.  If it decides that Congress did not mean to include a corporation as "a person" under RFRA, that could be the end of the corporation's RFRA claim.

There is no doubt that the individual owners are persons.  But the Court must decide whether the pregnancy-related insurance coverage does, in fact, put a burden on the individual owners, or whether any burden is on the business itself, rather than its owners.  That is the issue so far as individual owners' claim under RFRA goes.”

Reasonable speculation envisions the Supreme Court splitting the baby in favor of a narrow decision that preserves corporate personhood, but not in this case since religious freedom is not a belief of a business company. Since reviewing the actual constitutional basis of corporate personhood is not part of this action, it is rational to presume that the establishment will be pleased.

Religion is a distant petitioner in the august chambers of state-capitalism. So when, Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore labeled the decision "the most important religious liberty question in recent years", it is a major jump of faith to believe that the Supreme Court thinks it answers to a higher power.

In a press release for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, he writes:

"We cannot accept the theology lesson that the government has sought to teach us, that religion is merely a matter of what happens during the scheduled times of our services, and is left there in the foyer during the rest of the week. Our religious convictions aren't reduced to mere opinions we hide in our heart and in our hymns. Our religious convictions inform the way we live.
"I pray the Supreme Court recognizes what the founders of this country saw, that religious liberty isn't a gift handed to us by Uncle Caesar. Religious liberty is given to us by God and is inalienable. Let's pray for the justices as they think through this monumentally important case."
The eternal truth in Mr. Moore’s invocation is noble and accurate.  Nevertheless, the world that places governmental interest over God’s law is a legal system that loses all legitimacy and authority. Hobby Lobby is not challenging the fundamental First Amendment declaration of exercising their belief as an absolute right. No, for the obvious practical legal strategy, the argument seeks relief under the same hideous corporate personhood status.

Unfortunately, the religious objections of the Green family are conditional by court decree. Look no further, for the basic reason why America is doomed, when the legal system defies the intent and meaning of the very constitution that each judge swears and affirms to uphold. Hobby Lobby deserves our respect for practicing their religious faith in their business.

Moses appears eight times in carvings that ring the Supreme Court Great Hall ceiling. Yet the building is government property and the presences of Yahweh’s laws in SCOTUS decisions are purely accidental. Only if it serves the interests of the state, will the court adorn a fig leaf of obedience. It is time to repent, bring back God into the public square and more importantly, into the law of the land.

SARTRE – December 2, 2013   

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