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A victory for religious liberty

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Hobby Lobby and religious liberty have won. Corporations which are 'closely held' do not have to pay for benefits which go against their sincerely held religious beliefs. It is a good and just verdict handed down by the US Supreme Court, radicals like Ruth Bader Ginsburg notwithstanding.

To begin with, as no company is morally obliged to offer workers any specific benefits at all, it is hardly right for the government to hold that any group of workers ought to receive any special benefits. Period. This may not be a point of law but it is a basic and straightforward moral point. No one, corporation or individual, ought to be compelled to do what is not an obligation in the first place.

Secondly, yesterday's ruling affirms that corporations are people. They most certainly are moral people; if they weren't, it would be difficult to apply any laws against them. Further, they represent what individuals within a company want: they are an expression of persons and so have rights and responsibilities with regard to those persons. An excellent defense of this principle by Professor Steven Horwitz of St. Lawrence University can be found here: Corporation are people who have the right to express themselves as such. Period.

To be sure, it was a close decision. We need to remember that as we consider the upcoming 2016 Presidential election, as there will almost certainly be Supreme Court positions to be filled by whoever wins and we need to make sure that it's a good Republican in the White House to fill them. But for now, let's simply be happy that religious liberty has won. Let's be happy that, at least sometimes, the system does work.



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