Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Citizens United Act 2 Scene 3.......

I have been following the Hobby Lobby case claiming their right to deny their female employees contraception coverage based on religious grounds that is going to be heard in the Supreme Court today. Again, the insane concept of the rights of a corporation as a "person" is central to their claims. I'm not sure if this is a relevant "legal" argument, but if Hobby Lobby is claiming personal religious discrimination, I would only hope that a corporate person would have to be baptized or somehow fit into the rituals of the religion they are trying to use as a legal ploy. I saw this piece on Media Matters today by Joy Reid with a excellent history lesson of the legal justifications of the concept of corporate personhood. 
In this cases, at least one of the justices is going to have to figure out how to get around his own rulings if he wants to find in favor of these corporate persons.
In 1990, Scalia wrote the majority opinion in Employment Division v. Smith,concluding that the First Amendment "does not require" the government to grant "religious exemptions" from generally applicable laws or civic obligations. The case was brought by two men in Oregon who sued the state for denying them unemployment benefits after they were fired from their jobs for ingesting peyote, which they said they did because of their Native American religious beliefs.
"The right of free exercise does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a valid and neutral law of general applicability," Scalia wrote in the 6-3 majority decision, going on to aggressively argue that such exemptions could be a slippery slope to lawlessness and that "any society adopting such a system would be courting anarchy."
"The rule respondents favor would open the prospect of constitutionally required religious exemptions from civic obligations of almost every conceivable kind," he wrote, "ranging from compulsory military service, to the payment of taxes, to health and safety regulation such as manslaughter and child neglect laws, compulsory vaccination laws, drug laws, and traffic laws; to social welfare legislation such as minimum wage laws, child labor laws, animal cruelty laws, environmental protection laws, and laws providing for equality of opportunity for the races."

You would think that opinion could haunt Scalia if he seeks to invalidate the birth control rule. But
Given Scalia’s perverse nature, I’m sure he will look upon it as a challenge; particularly since it fits in so well with his love affair with corporations. As demonstrated with Citizens United, the conservative majority clearly has no qualms with ignoring precedent when it comes to serving corporate interests.
So, it's not a question of if he will try, but the question is how will he try to do it.

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