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Religious liberty, corporate persons and Obamacare

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The US Supreme Court will entertain a most complex case today. It is about healthcare and religious liberty as some characterize it. The details are devilsome. Obamacare is challenged by large corporations whose owners object to healthcare mandates on the basis of their religious beliefs. Principally, they don’t want to pay for abortion or contraception coverage.

The Hill covers the story this morning. Here is a “for instance.”

“In defense of the mandate, the government argues that corporations are not people and therefore are not are not afforded free exercise rights.”

The Hill

The basis for PACs and unbridled campaign contributions comes from corporations being treated as persons. If the court were to decide that not all corporations are persons, that would change the political paradigm. How likely is that?

“Women’s right to choose” and “Right to life” advocates draw the line in this case too.

Where do you stand?

  1. Women’s right to choose
  2. Right to life
  3. Corporations are persons
  4. Corporations are not people

See the annotated description in the list post.

The mandate provision has already been declared legal by the court. Now, the question is how the court will treat religious groups as corporations.

“High court to weigh limits of religious liberty in ObamaCare case
By Ben Goad

President Obama’s signature healthcare law is headed back to the Supreme Court in a high-stakes case that could redefine the limits of religious freedom in the United States.

The high court on Tuesday will hear challenges to ObamaCare’s contentious “birth control mandate,” which requires companies to offer contraceptive services to workers as part of their insurance coverage.

If successful, the challenge could peel away a significant portion of the mandate, potentially affecting preventive health coverage for millions of women and striking a major blow to the law itself.

But the court’s ruling could also have far-reaching implications for religious liberty by allowing companies to claim First Amendment rights that the government says are reserved for individuals.

“It’s pretty huge,” said Laurie Sobel, a senior women’s policy analyst at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

“It’s hard to overstate the possible implications.”

The case pits the government against a pair of for-profit companies — the Hobby Lobby craft store chain and Conestoga Woods Specialties, a Pennsylvania-based cabinetmaker. The firms, who together employ thousands workers in nearly every state, say they should be exempted from the mandate to provide contraceptive coverage because the corporation’s owners object to it on religious grounds.

The two companies’ lawsuits — among some 90 legal assaults on the contraception mandate — were consolidated into a single case before the court. The firms cite both the First Amendment’s free exercise clause and the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which provides that, “government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion.”

In defense of the mandate, the government argues that corporations are not people and therefore are not are not afforded free exercise rights."

1. Women’s right to choose
1. Women’s right to choose

1. Women’s right to choose

Consideration for women's rights are likely to prevail in this case. Birth control is a global imperative. Social responsibility depends upon contraceptives and abortion. They are a part of national healthcare in America.

2. Right to life
2. Right to life

2. Right to life

Abortion and contraceptive laws and regulations engage protection for life as appropriate. There is separation between church and state in America that is paramount. 

3. Corporations are persons
3. Corporations are persons

3. Corporations are persons

The court may ask Congress to clarify what they mean by treating corporations as persons. Maybe there is a compromise in considering this subject. Most people believe corporations are not persons.

4. Corporations are not people
4. Corporations are not people

4. Corporations are not people

Corporations may act like persons, and are run by persons, but they are not people. The law must be refined to clarify the distinction. In terms of power, corporations are far more powerful than individuals and therein lies a problem for equality.




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