Patterico's Pontifications

6/30/2014

Hobby Lobby Wins

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:27 am

The other day, I predicted the Hobby Lobby case would be a 5-4 win on narrow grounds for religious freedom, with Chief Justice Roberts writing the opinion.

I was wrong. Justice Alito wrote the opinion. Per SCOTUSBlog’s live blog, the holding is: “Closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraception coverage.”

I had Alito pegged for the decision on public unions. I guess that will be Roberts, then.

UPDATE: Nope, Alito wrote both. In the union case, the Court recognizes a limited category of “partial public employees” who do not have to contribute to unions. This will require further study.

53 Responses to “Hobby Lobby Wins”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Cue the liberals: “THE SKY IS FALLING!! THE SKY IS FALLING!!”

    aunursa (82afe2)

  3. The Colorado cake’s out in the rain?

    nk (dbc370)

  4. Roberts might write a 5-4 decision when the other 4 are the liberals on the court, or when the court is split 3 ways, and he does not agree with the conservatives.

    Sammy Finkelman (b7774f)

  5. omgtimesathoosand

    obamacare is fixed!

    someone should make sangria

    this is so awesome

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  6. OMG, there is a chance that the Republic may survive after all.

    Freedom is never free, but a constant struggle to survive.

    Now, what will they say about the Little Sisters of the Poor?

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  7. It appears to me there has been quite a change in the American psyche. As far as I know, one of the primary, if not the primary, reasons for the early (and in some cases, the later) settlement of America was religious freedom, whether it was Puritans, Baptists, Quakers, or Jews.
    Now only 55% of the Supreme court thinks religious freedom* is a fundamental principle of US law.
    Apparently 45% think fertility cult worship is to be preferred.

    *Religious Freedom as defined by actually having the freedom to live according to one’s beliefs (rather than having “freedom of worship”, merely the freedom to do what ever you want in private for a couple of hours once a week).

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  8. 8. MD in Philly (f9371b) — 6/30/2014 @ 8:00 am

    Apparently 45% think fertility cult worship is to be preferred. </i.

    No, anti-fertility cult.

    Sammy Finkelman (b7774f)

  9. I was hoping the union decision would allow me to opt out of union membership when I begin TA-ing for my PhD in the fall. It does not look like it will help me at all. I guess I’ll have to pay the 95% of union dues they claim go to representation. Since I live in CA, I am required to join the union in order to be eligible to TA. Given I cannot afford school without it, this is nothing short of blackmail by the union.

    Nathaniel Wright (1e47ba)

  10. Well Sammy, maybe we should say “sexual activity” cult, though that was not the traditional name for it.
    But I guess birth control would have been used by the temple prostitutes back in the day, if it was available.
    (But I’m only guessing, I am not that knowledgeable about ancient history).

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  11. If we could only get rid of the four haters….

    mg (31009b)

  12. 9- Are you sure that the Representational Charge is 95%?
    That would seem to be a violation of Beck.
    Since the union’s books are allegedly open [they're a 501(C)(5) IIRC], they have to be able to prove that they use 95% of dues just for CB expenses.
    What record do they have RE political donations/contributions to ’causes’?
    That would be something on-file at the FEC.
    Whatever those add up to as a percentage of the Dues income – if greater than 5% – would be an infringement upon your speech rights.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  13. When decisions that make so much sense, such as this one, are decided by a narrow margin, I tend to cringe.

    I still shudder when I think of how the Supreme Court several years ago — before it had been as greatly affected by both Clinton’s and Obama’s lousy selections to the court — just barely ruled in favor of the Boy Scouts of America’s policy that bans homosexuals from being Troop leaders—based on a case triggered by an out-and-out activist gay guy. That was one of those ah-ha moments when I started to realize just how corrosive, deranged and dangerous liberal sentiments can truly be.

    Mark (fdb0fc)

  14. My layman’s summary of the decision:

    A bit difficult, as it is “actually” 4+1-2+2. So then:

    Decision: Companies get religious freedom. Deal with it.
    Concurrence: Religious FREEDOM means the FREEDOM to be RELIGIOUS. That includes while doing business and that includes owning the business.
    RE-LIG-IOUS FREE-DOM – Learn It, Live It, Love It.
    And oh yeah, while the costs involved make this compelling, the government could do it in a much less intrusive manner.
    (And yes, that was from Kennedy, not Scalia or Alito. WOW!)

    Dissent: THEOCRACY! THE INQUISITION! WITCH BURNINGS! AHHHHHH!!!
    Other Dissent: The costs involved make this compelling, the government is being reasonably unintrusive, and we won’t talk about religious freedom.
    (That is Breyer and Kagan, almost wanting to just dissent from Kennedy on applicability, and hoping to get away with ignoring the religious aspect altogether.)

    Sam (e8f1ad)

  15. On the bright side, you can still get rubbers at 7-11.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  16. A month’s supply of the pill is less than a pack of cigarette in Chicago. We’ve been through this with Sandra Flake.

    And don’t you go saying nothing about the Eleusinian mysteries, MD. ;)

    nk (dbc370)

  17. Kybele’s cult, in Thrace, had castrati priests. She is also connected with black magic. Go after her. ;)

    nk (dbc370)

  18. It appears to me there has been quite a change in the American psyche. As far as I know, one of the primary, if not the primary, reasons for the early (and in some cases, the later) settlement of America was religious freedom, whether it was Puritans, Baptists, Quakers, or Jews.
    Now only 55% of the Supreme court thinks religious freedom* is a fundamental principle of US law.
    Apparently 45% think fertility cult worship is to be preferred.

    *Religious Freedom as defined by actually having the freedom to live according to one’s beliefs (rather than having “freedom of worship”, merely the freedom to do what ever you want in private for a couple of hours once a week).

    This is an improvement over 1878, when the Court unanimously ruled that freedom of religion meant merely that one is free to beleive whatever one likes, but not that one is free to act on that belief.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  19. Nathaniel, if you are in CA you have the right to opt out. It will be cumbersome and difficult to find the answers (to discourage you) but it’s there.

    When we filed suit in CA the parties, after devastating discovery, agreed that 80% of our dues were used for political donations. So we ended up paying the 20%.

    Call the National Right to Work Foundation if you need a lawyer. They are wonderful.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  20. Thank You, for the follow-up Patricia.
    Never having been in a union, I am not that familiar with the nuts-and-bolts of this issue. But have met my share of the Nuts.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  21. Patty Murray is appalled:

    “a dangerous precedent and takes us closer to a time in history when women had no choice and no voice.”

    Dana (fe2228)

  22. Well, those ‘ladies’ should stay out of Hobby Lobby.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  23. The bizarre fascination that Democrats have with this truly baffles me. The idea that Obamacare had to cover something that cost at most a couple hundred dollars a year, all while raising premiums hundreds of dollars a month, or be a failure was quite insane.

    SPQR (c4e119)

  24. 21.Patty Murray is appalled:

    “a dangerous precedent and takes us closer to a time in history when women had no choice and no voice.”

    Dana (fe2228) — 6/30/2014 @ 9:11 am

    Quelle horreur! We’ve been hauled all the way back to the dark ages. Also known as the first 5 years of the Obama administration. When women had to buy their own birth control pills sine there was no HHS contraceptive mandate in effect.

    I don’ know who this Patty Murray is, and I don’t are to know, since she clearly isn’t someone who anybody needs o take seriously. HHS didn’t een issue its final rule on the contraceptive mandate until the end of June one year ago this month. The ink is barely dry. So women working at closely held companies where the owners have religious objections to paying for contraceptives, abortifacients, or sterilizations are, at the end of June 2014, in exactly the same boat they were in 370 days ago.

    And Patty Whatsherface thinks we’ve almost rewound the clock back to 9th century Baghdad.

    Steve57 (874187)

  25. Patterico – The closeness of these votes is the strongest rebuttal to your earlier post that conservatives should punish Thad Cochran for his conduct in the Miss. primary by voting for the Democrat. God help us all if Sam Alito walks in front of a bus if we don’t retake the Senate in November.

    Roscoe (cbf4ef)

  26. Patricia and Askeptic,

    Thanks for the follow up. I looked at the official page of the union http://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/labor/bargaining-units/bx/about.html and it appears that I can either pay 0.78% of gross as an Agency Fee or file to be a conscientious objector and donate to an approved charity. It appears they are claiming that approximately 67-68% (and not 95% which was based on an anecdote) of union expenses are non-political on the part of the UAW. I’m wondering what further rights I have to opt out as the UC system is considered an “agency shop.”

    I know there are many attorneys here and understanding my rights in this case is very important to me. I wish to opt out of the union and pay as little as I am required.

    Nathaniel Wright (23a3a4)

  27. Nathaniel, the rule on this was promulgated in a case known as “Beck” by SCOTUS.
    Take Patricia’s advice, and contact that legal aid group she recommends.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  28. Patty Murray is a US Senator, IIRC from Washington State.

    The irony in this, of course, is that the decision was an interpretation of the RFRA, not of the first amendment, which means *Congress could change the rule* if it so desired.

    aphrael (e777bc)

  29. Yes, she is the “GrandMother in Tennis Shoes”, and is “Chair” of the Senate Budget Cmte.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  30. 23. The bizarre fascination that Democrats have with this truly baffles me. The idea that Obamacare had to cover something that cost at most a couple hundred dollars a year, all while raising premiums hundreds of dollars a month, or be a failure was quite insane.

    SPQR (c4e119) — 6/30/2014 @ 9:58 am

    Is not so baffling, really. Based upon court cases that preceded the HHS mandate by just a few years, groups like Planned Parenthood were lobbying states for legislation or regulations that would force pharmacists with religious objections to dispense abortifacients in violation of their consciences. Governors in Washington state and Illinois obliged, but the laws were ruled unconstitutional because they specifically targeted religious objectors.

    Here’s the Illinois case.

    http://www.volokh.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/morrfitz.pdf

    And here’s an article about the Washington case.

    http://www.becketfund.org/court-strikes-down-law-requiring-pharmacies-to-dispense-the-morning-after-pill/

    You don’t think he narcissistic infanticide enthusiast from Illinois could resist the chance to provide his old abortion allies with the same sort of legislation and/or regulation on a national scale, do you? Just like with those state laws, this mandate has nothing to do with access to “health services.” Its about control. The whole point is to violate people’s consciences; let the know who owns them. Liberals are jealous gods; thou shalt have no other gods before them. Every knee must bend, every head must bow.

    Steve57 (874187)

  31. Harris v. Quinn is also interesting. The SEIU first bribed Blagojevich for an executive order, then then bribed the Combine for legislation, that home health care personnel who were paid by Medicaid were public employees for the sole purpose of unionization and $3.6 million a year in union dues. Solely for the purpose of unionizing — no civil service protection, no pension plan, no health plan, etc.

    By the envelopes gently flowing,
    Illinois, Illinois,
    And the bribery verdant growing,
    Illinois, Illinois,
    There’s a whisper in the hall
    “Five Gs upfront, you get it all”.

    Illinois, where our governors make the license plates.

    nk (dbc370)

  32. Illinois, where our governors make the license plates.

    …and some would say are under-qualified for that task.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  33. Milhouse (b95258) — 6/30/2014 @ 8:49 am

    Never heard about that. I guess it reveals what not knowing Constitutional law will get you.
    Yes, I use reason to the best of my ability combined with my limited fund of knowledge to argue what I think makes sense while trying to have a coherent view of the world.
    Whish doesn’t necessarily correlate with what the law actually says, or what people (including myself at times) actually do.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  34. State of Illinois
    had first Muppet governor
    Muppet had puppets

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  35. Dear Patty Murray, do you honestly think the government needs to tell women when to have sex or how they can prevent pregnancy?

    Hater!

    Patricia (5fc097)

  36. MD in Philly (f9371b) — 6/30/2014 @ 12:36 pm

    Never heard about that.

    I thought so, too. Then I realized I did. It’s the court decision that upheld the federal anti-polygamy law for the territory of Utah.

    Utah did not become a state until it agreed polygamy would be prohibited (and the Mormon Church reversed itself)

    Sammy Finkelman (b7774f)

  37. I have to admit, I am surprised. I thought Roberts would pull a fast one like he did in 2012.

    tops116 (0ba383)

  38. There’s a much more recent case, 1990, Employment Division of Oregon v. Smith, the “sacramental” peyote (“no, you can’t have any”) case which led to to the RFRA; which ironically was almost immediately held to be unconstitutional when applied to the States; so you still cannot have more than one wife and if you are stupid enough to do it anyway you cannot take illegal drugs to numb the suffering as a matter of religious principle.

    nk (dbc370)

  39. We know that will never be applied to our Islamic community who insist on instituting Sharia among us.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  40. Say, folks…I keep hearing that Hobby Lobby does not mind providing 16 forms of contraception to employees. But I cannot find a list. I think we should have that information. I believe that they object to “morning after” and “week after” drugs. What’s the straight story? With all the bumper sticker sloganeering, it’s hard to find the truth.

    After all, most people on Twitter and Facebook seem to think that this means NO contraception will be provided by Hobby Lobby. And that isn’t true.

    But boy howdy does that serve Teh Narrative.

    Simon Jester (ad5df4)

  41. Once upon a time, didn’t the Left used to say that they didn’t want the state getting involved in a woman’s health care ?
    Now, not only do they want the state involved, but they want their employer involved, as well.
    Or something.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  42. As i understand it, they won’t support any contraceptive that will act as an abortifacient on an implanted egg.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  43. Me, too, Colonel. But a list would be good. My guess is that all the hooters and hollerers haven’t. Read. Anything. About. It. They just listen to Jon Stewart or his buddy Oliver, or NPR. Low information voter doesn’t mean stupid. It means, “I just look for slogans I like.” Sadly. It’s always Teh Narrative™.

    Simon Jester (ad5df4)

  44. Yes, that is the truth, but it’s inconvenient to point out, hence the Handmaid’s tale paradigm,

    narciso (3fec35)

  45. We have a lot of SF readers here. Check out George R.R.Martin’s story “The Way of Cross and Dragon.” Lies are comforting, and make life simpler.

    Easier to wave a sign saying that the SCOTUS just took away the rights of women to have contraception than to fit all the truth onto a sign. Especially when it will get a lot of low information voters to the polls…when they will be needed in the coming two cycles.

    I’m still bemused by the signs saying that companies should keep their hands off women’s ovaries (I guess because of the contraception business). So they want companies to pay for things involving their ovaries…which would seem pretty hands on.

    The Government as Rich Boyfriend, I guess.

    Simon Jester (ad5df4)

  46. Here is GRRM’s story:

    http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-way-of-cross-and-dragon/

    Mind you, it is a pro-atheism story, but my point was about lies being helpful to advance a cause, no matter the truth.

    Simon Jester (ad5df4)

  47. Hooters?
    I thought we were talking about SCOTUS?

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  48. I would gladly pay for birth control for left wingers if they would promise to use it all the time. America can’t have them breeding.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  49. Say, folks…I keep hearing that Hobby Lobby does not mind providing 16 forms of contraception to employees. But I cannot find a list. I think we should have that information. I believe that they object to “morning after” and “week after” drugs. What’s the straight story? With all the bumper sticker sloganeering, it’s hard to find the truth.

    After all, most people on Twitter and Facebook seem to think that this means NO contraception will be provided by Hobby Lobby. And that isn’t true.

    But boy howdy does that serve Teh Narrative.

    Simon Jester (ad5df4) — 6/30/2014 @ 5:35 pm

    1. Male condoms
    2. Female condoms
    3. Diaphragms with spermicide
    4. Sponges with spermicide
    5. Cervical caps with spermicide
    6. Spermicide alone
    7. Birth-control pills with estrogen and progestin (“Combined Pill)
    8. Birth-control pills with progestin alone (“The Mini Pill)
    9. Birth control pills (extended/continuous use)
    10. Contraceptive patches
    11. Contraceptive rings
    12. Progestin injections
    13. Implantable rods
    14. Vasectomies
    15. Female sterilization surgeries
    16. Female sterilization implants

    Here is what Hobby Lobby objected to:

    1. Plan B (“The Morning After Pill”)
    2. Ella (a similar type of “emergency contraception”)
    3. Copper Intra-Uterine Device
    4. IUD with progestin

    The screeching that there will be no contraceptives for women is wrong.

    Tanny O'Haley (137712)

  50. 45 .Simon Jester (ad5df4) — 6/30/2014 @ 6:01 pm

    We have a lot of SF readers here. Check out George R.R.Martin’s story “The Way of Cross and Dragon.” Lies are comforting, and make life simpler.

    Thi is a description of the story (which was published in Omni magazine in 1979)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Way_of_Cross_and_Dragon

    This is not a totally original idea. An established church is a motif in some older science fiction stories – it was used in some other stories by Isaac Asimov.

    For instance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Friar_of_the_Flame

    Isaac Asimov also used this idea in his Foundation series.

    This is the entire story by George R. R. Martin:

    http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-way-of-cross-and-dragon/

    Here is the Asimov story online:

    http://alfalib.com/book/read/id/90331

    Here is teh foundation series:

    http://www.angelfire.com/un/corosus/books/Asimov_the_foundation.pdf

    You’ll find the priesthood motif in the first book, starting in Part III, and continuing into h first part of Foundation and Empire.

    Sammy Finkelman (b7774f)

  51. Thank you. This makes sense. Folks can argue about the last four categories,mbut claiming Hobby Lobby disentangle support birth control is sloganeering for (to quote Glenn Reynolds) battle space prep in 2016…to get HRC elected. Or as I suspect, Warren.

    I have many, many friends who spout the literal party line on this topic.

    Simon Jester (ad5df4)

  52. And Mr. O’Haley? Do you have a link for your list? There are some folks I know who will have to justify their nonsense.

    Simon Jester (ad5df4)

  53. And Mr. O’Haley? Do you have a link for your list? There are some folks I know who will have to justify their nonsense.

    Simon Jester (ad5df4) — 7/1/2014 @ 4:55 am

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/381637/hobby-lobby-actually-lavishes-contraception-coverage-its-employees-deroy-murdock

    Tanny O'Haley (137712)

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