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Cappmann, Put aside the "uproar" that you claim is induced by "lying," and actually read the case. The majority opinion is about 50 pages. It's not that long. Even Congress shouldn't complain about having to read something this short. The ruling did not provide an answer to the problem of determining a corporation's religion--including failing to provide a roadmap for how to deal with the differing religions, or differing doctrinal positions, of owners or shareholders. Your knee-jerk response (that the ruling doesn't apply) is belied by the language of the decision. The majority assumes that Hobby Lobby is a "Christian" organization without providing a procedure for how that was determined. Most telling is your response to the omission of "employees" as if they are not part of the case at all. In determining the "religion" of a corporation, we leave out rank-and-file employees? One of the largest stakeholders in the corporation by raw numbers? That seems ill-informed at best, and is certainly not the answer provided by the court. The court actually punts on an answer in this portion. As to the denial of birth control, and the argument about "abortion-inducing" drugs, while religious objectors might find certain birth control methods to be "abortion-inducing," there are some basic health and safety requirements that we accept for our society, religious objections notwithstanding. We wouldn't allow a business to pay less than minimum wage because they had a religious objection to the manner in which their employees spend their discretionary income, even if we could make the government pay the difference. We wouldn't accept that because we have rules of general applicability that we impose on everyone in order to ensure basic standards of decency and quality of life in our society, and discrete religious objections shouldn't except you from the rule. Religious convictions at large should inform or decision-making process as to what generally applicable rules we should apply, but once the calculus is finished, individual exceptions are not something our society has ever really been prepared to recognize. Those of us who aren't the conservative bloc of the Sup Ct, at least. We live in a plural society. One in which an employee is not forced to choose between working at a job that does not provide the basement-level benefits required by all employers because of a particular employer's religious convictions and quitting that job.
This is an interesting debate because the only reason it is on anyone's radar at all is because both party leaders saw it as a chance to play election-year politics. Attempting to remove politics from procedure for just a second, the general principle behind Ex-Im is to remove the financing bottleneck for foreign purchasers overseas so that high-priced American goods can flow more easily. Simply put, if you're starting an airline in Nigeria, it's almost impossible to find loans at a competitive enough rate in your own country to be able to purchase equipment. So Ex-Im acts as a low-interest lender to facilitate the sale. In theory, this makes sense for American productivity--we want our products to be sold overseas, and if the only thing stopping them is exorbitant loan prices, and we also have the financial wherewithal to offer loans on better terms, it seems like a good idea to offer the loans. Sort of like a government-backed purchase money security option. Obviously, poorly evaluated loans lead to products being purchased that would have been purchased anyway, but simply on more favorable terms with government-backed loans, or poor repayment history, but those are fixable problems. You don't demand that your investment bank shut down because they bet wrong on a leveraged position, you demand that they reform their practices and get it right.
Regardless of how you come down on religious freedom, the court issued a poorly reasoned decision that offered zero criteria to guide the lower courts in adjudicating these types of claims. The court says that the ruling applies only to closely-held corporations, while explicitly leaving open the possibility that the accommodation offered by the Obama administration to non-profits could be made available to any for-profit corporation with a religious objection. The court obliterated the non-profit, for-profit line that had been implicitly drawn by previous courts, and offered no mechanism to determine the "religion" of a for-profit corporation as a replacement. The court simply said that the corporate charter of Hobby Lobby contained mission statements reflecting sincerely held religious beliefs, and that the owners/shareholders were all Christians wishing to adhere to their faith in the manner in which they run their business. What about situations in which there are intra-owner disputes as to religious convictions? What if one owner is not Christian? Or, even more complicated, if one owner disputes a few discrete doctrines of a mainstream faith in favor of a more individual interpretation? Can he veto the decision of the group to object to a generally applicable rule on religious grounds? Does the majority override him? The difficulty in determining the religion of a for-profit corporation (as opposed to a non-profit corporation which is organized and operated for religious purposes) is evident when just considering ownership, but becomes more apparent when considering employees. Most striking in the Hobby Lobby decision is the fact that the majority opinion never mentioned rank-and-file employees once, and what impact extending such religious protection might have on the employees who do not share in the religious convictions of their employers. The two areas where this would conventionally be addressed--attenuation and the basic test to determine whether a particular measure represents a substantial burden on religious rights--were conveniently stepped over using subjective tests of whether or not the beliefs of the Greens were sincerely held. Interesting insight, but not the legal tests required for those two principles. Our system does not allow us to believe away our accountability to society at large. If rolling back legislation is the only way to achieve a sensible balance, then that's a necessary step to take.
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Correction: Scalia-Montana story

wtmoore1 Wrote: Aug 20, 2013 11:12 AM
I love conservative versions of reality... To the larger academic community, O'Connor is one if the most brilliant modern jurists, as reflected by the number and quality of 5-4 opinions assigned to her. She has dissents, specifically in the areas of employment discrimination and fair housing, that are now the law because they mapped such a prudent course forward. We are lucky to be able to say that such a groundbreaking woman was absolutely BRILLIANT when given the opportunity to perform alongside her male colleagues.
In response to:

Correction: Scalia-Montana story

wtmoore1 Wrote: Aug 20, 2013 11:06 AM
I have never quite understood the conservative notion that somehow discussing race, or allowing for people to self-identify in ways that make them more culturally comfortable, perpetuates the racial divide. Forcing a veil of silence over the millions that feel disenfranchised is not a solution. If you don't think the conversation we are having about race in this country is constructive, then add substance to it. But don't simply deny that it should take place because you don't like what you hear.
Because universal background checks and common sense restrictions on assault weapons equate to being under the total control of the government. This is why Republicans are increasingly out of touch with the American public. You guys insulate yourselves from anything that isn't a conservative echo chamber, and then you perpetuate some slippery slope argument about the government trying to steal every freedom you have. It's preposterous. The fact is, the government has often taken incremental steps to curb a problem without removing all freedom, everywhere. There are common sense restrictions on the freedom of speech, but you still have great freedom to protest or speak in virtually any venue you want, including (sadly) military funerals. So let's not act like any action taken by the government is inexorably the next step to tyranny.
This issue is not about the old fashioned, lynchings in the front yard, form of racial violence. It's more subtle, but that only serves to make it more foundational and more pervasive. The conversation right now is about how EVERYONE in our society, no matter your age, gender, or ethnicity, has been conditioned to internalize the concept of the dangerous young black male. This concept has been internalized to the point that some in our society, mainly those on the right, now think that it is permissible because of crime statistics to begin from the de facto position that black males acting in any way that an observer finds out of the ordinary, or in an area where they seem out of place, should be suspected of a crime and treated as criminals until proven otherwise. That means if confronted, and they defend themselves from someone they find to be equally unfamiliar, they lose the benefit of the doubt--since they, of course were the truly "suspicious" one. This picture of young black males is obviously false. Regardless of how disproportionately they are represented in crime statistics, the vast majority of people are not criminals, and this holds true for young black males as well. So absent the observer actively witnessing a violent crime (at which time their supposition that the young black male is a criminal would no longer really be a supposition), it makes zero sense to assume that any random young black male is a criminal. And yet for the young black male, a small bag of skittles, or anything else that makes a bulge in their pants, or any other "suspicious" behavior, can get them confronted and ultimately shot by police. And now apparently a neighborhood watch volunteer, as well. And those shootings will not only be common, they will be deemed justified more often than not. That's the racial issue at hand here. And it runs far deeper than "white, racist, vigilante,...horse pucky poo."
Because gun violence doesn't impact the black community? I'm confused... It seems as though the Obamas have a keen sense of what they can and can't say as representatives of the highest office in the country when it comes to showing overt support for the African-American community with exclusion of all others. As the first black President, it must be something that he is forced to account for--that is, ensuring that he isn't perceived as forgoing his charge to represent the entire country to solely support the black community. That being said, his support for gun control, his protection of certain social programs, and the passage of a health care law that will ensure the most vulnerable in our society are guaranteed the dignity of medical care, seems to indicate that Obama overwhelmingly backs programs that benefit the African-American community. And the outcry over Trayvon Martin, and accompanying backlash from conservatives, as if the black community was wrong for feeling outraged that one of their unarmed children was stalked, provoked, and then executed when he tried to defend himself, is another example of how Obama has helped the black community. That statement validated much of what the African-American community was feeling, and most importantly, it was not a statement to the black community about how their feelings are justified but they need to mitigate them, it was a message to the larger society that they need to understand why black mothers and fathers feel justifiable fear that their sons can be shot in the street because others are afraid or suspicious of them. That statement went a long way to ensure that this moment is not lost on those who have never suffered the discrimination black males face every day in this country, and it was badly needed for the black community to have such public validation. And I tend to believe that however much restrained the Obamas are in their current position leading the free world, they will be much less so after 2016. And who knows, you could then see a couple with mountains of credibility in the public sphere ready to fight for the African-American community at every turn.
I'm not sure why she should ever sit anything out. In fact, the second term is typically when you hear more from the First Lady about issues that resonate with her personally because it won't impact her husband's political career. And Michelle has even more of a reason to speak out, since she's probably the most educated and qualified First Lady we've ever had (Hillary Clinton is qualified now, but I feel like Michelle is more accomplished at the time she's First Lady). Remember, Michelle is an ivy league law school grad, and was Barack's boss in his first law firm, where they met. She has every bit the intellectual capacity of her husband, and is entirely entitled to speak in her own right on any issue. A quick aside, the thought of trading in an intelligent and independent First Lady like Michelle for Anne Romney made many of us on the Democrat side absolutely cringe. I look for slightly more in my First Lady than being a Stepford Wife that is able to look at her husband in adoration with doe eyes.
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Supreme Court Marriage Decisions

wtmoore1 Wrote: Jul 02, 2013 1:01 PM
I don't have to point to any decisions to counter your argument regarding Roe v Wade because its a gross distortion. Only conservative commenters and analysts have decided it is "bad law." And none have seemed to want to do so in a law review article or like peer reviewed publication, so it's hardly academic consensus amongst legal scholars. Honestly, it's not even really a much belabored point anymore. The fact is, we have a right to privacy located in the bill of rights, as recognized by Griswold. Roe v Wade extended that protection to cover a woman's interaction with her doctor--hardly an enormous logical leap. I don't meet many conservatives that really want to roll back the protections embodied by the Griswold-right to privacy. Do you really think the government should be able to tell you what school to raise your kids, or whether they are allowed religious instruction in certain ways? How about a government that can encroach upon the relationship between you and your doctor, one of the fundamental conservative criticisms of Obamacare?... These are all right to privacy issues, and you can't say that Roe v Wade is "bad law" without rolling back protections.
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Supreme Court Marriage Decisions

wtmoore1 Wrote: Jul 02, 2013 8:59 AM
So they did overturn it then? Glad you agree with me. Not sure how pointing out that you shouldn't have jumped all over DHE for a slight generalization is "bellyaching," but no problem... I'm also not sure how to have an educated legal discussion with conservatives that doesn't always end in him or her falling back on Roe v Wade as "bad law." No matter what the topic...
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