Thursday, November 28, 2013

Hate Threats To the HHS Contraception Mandate ? - Blame Obama Blame Congress

Friendly Atheist I think shows the rather honest confusion that many have against about the fundamental issue in the HHS Contraception mandate cases at Can Corporations Have Religious Beliefs? The Supreme Court Will Soon Answer That Question .

He ends his piece :

What sort of awful boss asks the Supreme Court to change the law in order to make life more miserable for his employees?

I actually think Friendly Atheist honest confusion has to do with how this has been reported. I am seeing this everywhere.

The main issue is that must be confronted is NOT how much should your bosses be involved in your personal  and family life. People that phrase the question this way I think are often of the type that take for granted or give the benefit of the doubt that the power the Congress was legitimate.

The fundamental question is if the rules that came out of the the Affordable Care Act ( NOTE RULE MAKING NOT BY CONGRESS ) violated the employers right as to the Religion Freedom Restoration Act .

The issue is not women's access to birth control or a woman's right to choose.  It is about if the Govt interest  of providing  free birth control is using an avenue he cannot go down as to certain employers. It does not mean all avenues are closed to providing free birth control. In fact a critical part of the claims of the Plaintiffs in this case is  that the Government has MULTIPLE avenues to achieve this goal without violating their rights.

Agnostic Law Prof Ann Althouse is now trying to explain this again for the second time in two days. She states in part :

But the Hobby Lobby case isn't about narrowly interpreting the Constitution to let legislative majorities have their way. It's a conflict between 2 statutes, and it was absolutely not Antonin Scalia who encouraged giving religious exemptions. It was Congress, which was reacting to Scalia's rejection of constitutional exemptions. The RFRA bill was sponsored in the House by Congressman Chuck Schumer and in the Senate by Teddy Kennedy. (Each had a GOP co-sponsor). The Democrats controlled Congress, but the Republicans all voted for it too (with the sole exception of Jesse Helms). 

From the NYT article in 1993 when President Bill Clinton signed RFRA into law: President Clinton hailed the new law at the signing ceremony, saying that it held government "to a very high level of proof before it interferes with someone's free exercise of religion."... President Clinton voiced wonder today at this alliance of forces that are often at odds across religious or ideological lines. "The power of God is such that even in the legislative process miracles can happen," he said. 

 This is about statutes and the politicos who produce them, not the judges who stand back and let them trip all over themselves pandering to everyone. If the Congress that passed the Affordable Care Act had wanted to exempt it from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, it could have done so explicitly. It did not

Why should the Court cut back Congress's absurdly broad RFRA to help it out with what it failed to bother to do with the ACA? 

Now I am huge supporter of the RFRA and I don't find it absurd. But if you find the current conflict silly then  why did  Congress not exempt and why did the President Obama not  urge an exemption of the Obama Care from the RFRA ?

I have my theories why that happened , but regardless this situation  was very predictable. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If all of the Hobby Lobby employees had a good comprehensive health care plan at the time that the Afordable Care Act was passed, then they should be allowed to keep that plan, as per the promise of the President. But I have know these hateful money-grubbing evangelical hypocrites my whole life, so I strongly suspect that their employees make low wages and have no legitimate healthcare plan at all. Maybe some deceitful sham of a healthcare package, because these people are utterly dishonest.