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The guy has been here since he was a kid, and is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for the Washington Post. If there was a sensible way for him to attain citizenship, he would have pursued it. He has no control over his situation as a child, and now as an adult, the avenue conservatives expect him have take is to return to a country he doesn't know anymore or have ties to and wait a decade or more to return to a place that is already his home? He didn't break our immigration system twenty years ago, and he didn't take advantage of any laws when brought to our country as a child.
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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