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SCOTUS Birth Control Ruling

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SCOTUS Birth Control Ruling

Post by Lorri Kat on Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:21 pm

http://www.salon.com/2014/06/30/there_was_nothing_limited_about_scotus_hobby_lobby_ruling_why_it_matters_for_everyone/
This SCOTUS ruling may have dire consequences regarding transgender care and treatment in the workplace as well now and in the future.

"This is certainly bad news for the women who work at both of these places, but it’s bad news for the rest of us, too. The ruling sends a strong message that women’s health and women’s rights — as individuals and employees — do not matter as much as so-called religious liberty. It also shows once again that medically inaccurate ideas about healthcare can dictate the terms of a debate and ultimately win the day. Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito argued that contesting Hobby Lobby’s claim that contraception is the same thing as abortion — an idea that has been refuted time and again by medical providers and associations — “in effect tells the plaintiffs that their beliefs are flawed.”





And as Ginsburg alluded to in her dissent, the decision opens the door to other sweeping forms of discrimination. While Hobby Lobby based its claim in its apparent objection to four forms of emergency contraception (contraception that the company covered without issue prior to the new healthcare law), other companies challenging the requirement object to all forms of contraception. Those beliefs are just as sincerely held, and just as dangerous to women’s health. The legal precedent now tips in their favor.
The opinion also raises the question of whose religious beliefs matter. Conservatives are hailing this as a victory for freedom of religion, but what about the religious employees at Hobby Lobby who don’t share the views of the Green family? The Greens’ profoundly unscientific and extreme views about contraception are not even universally accepted among Christians. Where’s their religious liberty in this? And for the women whose religious liberty is freedom from religion? Where are they in this opinion? “The Court puts claims of corporations over those of its employees and allows a corporation’s owners to override the Federal rights of its employees, many of whom have a different set of religious beliefs,” Ginsburg wrote in her dissent.
And this is one of the ways that the framing of this case has been off from the start. The lawyers for Hobby Lobby presented the legal challenge as though it were the religious lobby versus the reproductive rights lobby, and many in the media accepted these terms. But religious people use contraception — including emergency contraception. People of faith also have a major stake in keeping employers from imposing religious views on employees. The fault lines in the case have never been as clean as some would like you to believe.
To sum it up, five male justices ruled that thousands of female employees should rightfully be subjected to the whims of their employers. That women can be denied a benefit that they already pay for and is guaranteed by federal law. That contraception is not essential healthcare. That corporations can pray. That the corporate veil can be manipulated to suit the needs of the corporation. That bosses can cynically choose à la carte what laws they want to comply with and which laws they do not. Each specific finding opens a door to a new form of discrimination and unprecedented corporate power. If you think this ruling won’t affect you, you haven’t been paying attention. If you think these corporations are going to stop at birth control, you’re kidding yourself."
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Supreme Court’s follow up to Hobby Lobby ruling first step down that slippery slope

Post by Lorri Kat on Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:21 pm

[url=http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/12/4231737/supreme-courts-follow-up-to-hobby.html][size=10]http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/12/4231737/supreme-courts-follow-up-to-hobby.html[/size][/url]
Supreme Court’s follow up to Hobby Lobby ruling first step down that slippery slope
By Leonard Pitts Jr. The Miami Herald


 




By Leonard Pitts Jr.

[email=lpitts@MiamiHerald.com]lpitts@MiamiHerald.com[/email]

It is a case of Supreme hypocrisy.
The adjective refers to that nine-person tribunal at the top of the American legal system, the noun to its latest act of judicial malpractice. Meaning not the notorious Hobby Lobby decision handed down at the end of June but a less-noticed ruling a few days later.
We have to revisit the former to provide context for the latter. On June 30, the court ruled that a “closely held” corporation may deny employees health insurance covering any contraceptive method that conflicts with the company’s religious beliefs. Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito faulted the government for failing, under the Affordable Care Act, to choose the “least restrictive” means of ensuring women access to all FDA-approved methods of birth control. He pointed out that the ACA already makes an exemption for nonprofit groups with religious objections; simply fill out a form certifying those objections and they are relieved from having to provide the disputed contraceptives.
Alito saw this as a win-win. Employees get the birth control they want — they pay directly to the insurance company — but the government does not “impinge” the organization’s religious beliefs.
Three days later, the court issued an injunction freeing a Christian school — Wheaton College in Illinois — from having to fill out the certification form. The school had argued that simply doing the paperwork — the form asks only for name, contact information, signature and date — infringed upon its religious liberty because it would trigger the employee’s ability to get the disputed contraception. So the same form that the court held to be a reasonable compromise on Monday was judged an unreasonable burden on Thursday. Or as Justice Sonia Sotomayor put it in a withering dissent, “Those who are bound by our decisions usually believe they can take us at our word. Not so today.”
Indeed, the malleability of the court’s logic suggests these rulings are based less in law than in the personal beliefs of the men on the tribunal. One gets the sense they chose the desired result first, then backfilled whatever “reasoning” would get them there.
Which is not just Supreme hypocrisy, but also Supreme faithlessness. And, yes, Supreme sexism.
I once saw a protest sign to the effect that if men gave birth, contraception would be bacon flavored and dispensed from vending machines. Can anyone argue the truth in that? Would we even be having this debate if some company had a religious objection to Viagra — or vasectomies?
And how far down the line must a company’s religious scruples be honored anyway? If it is too much to ask Wheaton College to fill out a form because an employee will be “triggered” to buy contraception on her own, does the school also have a right to scrutinize and approve other purchases made with the salary she earns from them? If she buys whiskey or pornography with “their” money, does the school have a right to object?
Not to mention the frightening precedent the court is setting in the name of religious liberty. It makes faith a potential get out of jail free card exempting the holder from any law he finds onerous. Given that Mormons once embraced a theology of racism and evangelical Christians still deny basic freedoms to gay people, the danger of this is obvious.
In its rush to confer personhood on organizations and constrain women’s choices, the court steers us toward a day in which corporate rights would trump human rights and you could no longer take for granted that you would be served by a given business without first checking to make sure you didn’t offend the owner’s religious sensibilities. It’s hard to imagine what that world would be like.
Pretty soon, we may not have to.
[size=13]
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/12/4231737/supreme-courts-follow-up-to-hobby.html#storylink=cpy[/size]
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