Hobby Lobby: “Ridiculous” To The Left; “Crucial” To The Right



It is not Obamacare that the Supreme Court is disposing in the Hobby Lobby case. The Left wants the case perceived as an attack on the Affordable Care Act from the Right. The take is represented by Jon Stewart if you follow the link. Mr. Stewart considers the case, silly. The Justices of the Supreme Court did not consider it silly, they thought it worthy of their time. You may decide for yourself. The President of Hobby Lobby looks at it this way. And for a bit of third party objectivity, this is the view of The Economist.

You now have the views of the Left, the Right and an expert observer. We will not tell you how to think; we will tell you what we think and why. You may decide for yourself.

Given the volume of propaganda emanating from this case, we need to whittle things down to the real issue, of which there is only one. So, the case is not about abortion or birth control, though both are present. It is not about women’s rights, either. Nor is it about the government’s right to serve and/or protect people. Those are all chaff, thrown into the air to distract from the legal facts. Sibelius vs. Hobby Lobby is in simple fact, an attack by the Federal government upon a private corporation that has refused to violate its religious beliefs in order to obey a Federal law.

Kathleen Sibelius is the Federal Secretary of Health and Human Services. She is enforcing upon Hobby Lobby the provisions of Obamacare that compel it to cover the costs of its employees’ birth control, some of which can cause abortions. Hobby Lobby is entirely owned by folks who believe that is sinful and who have therefore, refused to do it. They cite the U.S. Constitution  Bill of Rights, Article 1 prohibiting Congress from making any law abridging their free exercise of their religion.

So the Supremes have to decide one single and simple issue: Does the First Amendment apply to corporations like Hobby Lobby as well as to individuals? And if it does, does it apply the same way to corporations with millions of shareholders? That’s really pretty simple, though evidently, not easy. The Supremes took the case most likely, because lower courts have not agreed on the point.

Bereff of all the propaganda, that’s what is at stake in this case. For us, an employer should control his business; the government should not force him to violate his religious beliefs in order to be in business. Under such conditions, believers would be precluded from earning a living in a broad field of endeavor. Tat seems wrong to us. It also seems wrong that an employee should force his, her or its beliefs upon an employer plus all the other employees who may or may not agree. So we believe that closely held corporations should not be subject to government-imposed violation of their religious beliefs any more than should individuals.

In our view, Article 1 of the Bill of Rights should apply to ‘private’ corporations. The liberal wing of the Court is expected to disregard all that and hold the government’s wishes supreme. The conservative wing is expected to uphold the Till of Rights. Famously uncertain Justice Kennedy is expected to actually call the shot. A few, noting that “stanchly conservative” Chief Justice Roberts saved Obamacare’s individual mandate, expect him to stiff Hobby Lobby. We will find out when the decision comes.

This is but one case. What is important to citizens goes beyond the legalities, we think. In the end, what is being decided here, is: Can the Constitution be enforced against the government in the name of citizens any longer?



About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much) Couple of degrees in government, a few medals in figure skating; just reading and suspicion for economics ...
This entry was posted in Affordable Care Act, Constitution, Government, Religion and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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