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NWR: Hobby Lobby Case

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Re: NWR: Hobby Lobby Case

  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
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    @sarahbear31 somehow I got your quote wrong and answered the question about corporate law but not about vaccines.  I think @lyndausvi mostly covered the vaccine issue.

    As far as I know, the standard is a "sincerely held belief."  So theoretically, if you have a sincerely held belief that vaccines are against your religion, yes you could use this as precedent.  It would have to be a religious-based argument though.  You can't just say "I think they are bad," you would have to say it's against your religion.  But you could definitely make up your own religion on the spot and the courts would not be able to question you if you say your belief is sincere.
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  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
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    kat1114 said:
    Justice Ginsburg put it perfectly: "In a sole proprietorship, the business and its owner are one and the same. By incorporating a business ,however, an individual separates herself from the entity and escapes personal responsibility for the entity’s obligations. One might ask why the separation should hold only when it serves the interest of those who control the corporation."
    RBG is my spirit animal.  And my personal hero.  And I wish I could write half as eloquently as she does.
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  • @sarahbear31 somehow I got your quote wrong and answered the question about corporate law but not about vaccines.  I think @lyndausvi mostly covered the vaccine issue.

    As far as I know, the standard is a "sincerely held belief."  So theoretically, if you have a sincerely held belief that vaccines are against your religion, yes you could use this as precedent.  It would have to be a religious-based argument though.  You can't just say "I think they are bad," you would have to say it's against your religion.  But you could definitely make up your own religion on the spot and the courts would not be able to question you if you say your belief is sincere.
    You would still have to show that there is a less restrictive means for the government to achieve its objective. But since SCOTUS decided that the alternative of the government picking up the tab for the contraceptives was a viable, less restrictive option, I feel like most people/organizations would be able to rely on that option.
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    kat1114 said:
    @sarahbear31 somehow I got your quote wrong and answered the question about corporate law but not about vaccines.  I think @lyndausvi mostly covered the vaccine issue.

    As far as I know, the standard is a "sincerely held belief."  So theoretically, if you have a sincerely held belief that vaccines are against your religion, yes you could use this as precedent.  It would have to be a religious-based argument though.  You can't just say "I think they are bad," you would have to say it's against your religion.  But you could definitely make up your own religion on the spot and the courts would not be able to question you if you say your belief is sincere.
    You would still have to show that there is a less restrictive means for the government to achieve its objective. But since SCOTUS decided that the alternative of the government picking up the tab for the contraceptives was a viable, less restrictive option, I feel like most people/organizations would be able to rely on that option.
    Oh, right.  That's not the end of the analysis at all.  Just pointing out that there's no particular reason an anti-vaxxer would have any less ability to use this precedent than a Catholic would.
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  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
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    edited July 2014






    daria24 said:
    And once again I am that you have incorporated your company-you have made it it's own separate entity in order to get tax benefits and to indemnify you, as a person, from legal action.
    That corporation is paying for the insurance. Not YOU, as a person. (I am taking out of the equation companies that are not incorporated). THAT CORPORATION should not have religious beliefs. You SHOULD NOT be able to create a separate "being" as it were (the corporation) and have it be completely separate from YOU as a PERSON, for legal/tax reasons, but then all of sudden you get to use your beliefs to get a legal exemption from what that corporation does or does not do.

    Let's get back to what the case was actually about.

    This has nothing to do with non-profit religious groups or individuals having to pay for something they object to.  This has everything to do with corporations being declared people with religious beliefs.

    By incorporating their business, the shareholders of HL have voluntarily opted in to a certain legal scheme.  That scheme comes with plenty of benefits (primarily liability protection for them as individuals) and some obligations (financial reporting, complying with laws regarding employment, etc.).  The purpose of incorporation is to separate the individual from the business, for the protection of the individual.  So the shareholders want the corporate veil protection when it benefits them, but they want to break down the corporate veil and impose their own religion on their 23,000 employees.

    Nope, sorry.  You shouldn't have it both ways.  This ruling makes zero sense in the scheme of corporate law.

    Let me ask another question ... apparently this ruling opens the doors for a LOT of non profits who don't want to include coverage of contraceptives.  What's your take on that in light of corporate law?



    @sarahbear31 I don't know nearly as much as about non-profit corporations.  I know in general, they are governed by the same corporate law principles I explained above, although they get certain tax breaks and benefits I know less about.

    I actually thought that religious organizations (such as Catholic schools and hospitals) were already specifically exempted from contraceptive coverage under the ACA.

    But it makes sense that maybe organizations that didn't qualify for the original, express, exemption written into the ACA, would definitely use this precedent to seek the exemption now.


    Yeah, there are numerous non profits that have filed suit, including several convents, dioceses, and Catholic TV / radio. I was just more about their standing as a corporation and how / if it differs from HL.in settings like this.

    I also figured out that you're studying for the bar ;). Don't worry; I didn't interpret this as formal legal advice.

    Seriously, though, thanks for the explanation. It makes sense and I see where you're coming from. I'm still happy about the ruling mostly because of what it means to Catholic business owners and organizations. I do fear that some whack jobs will use it selfishly, though. I guess time will tell.

    When do you take the bar, btw?

    Forgive the formatting mess. I typed this on my phone whIle waiting in line at the grocery store to buy beer

  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
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    edited July 2014
    Let me clarify ... when I said whack jobs, I was referring to this, specifically the people who could make up a religious faith on the spot.



    As far as I know, the standard is a "sincerely held belief." So theoretically, if you have a sincerely held belief that vaccines are against your religion, yes you could use this as precedent. It would have to be a religious-based argument though. You can't just say "I think they are bad," you would have to say it's against your religion. But you could definitely make up your own religion on the spot and the courts would not be able to question you if you say your belief is sincere.
  • Let me clarify ... when I said whack jobs, I was referring to this, specifically the people who could make up a religious faith on the spot. As far as I know, the standard is a "sincerely held belief." So theoretically, if you have a sincerely held belief that vaccines are against your religion, yes you could use this as precedent. It would have to be a religious-based argument though. You can't just say "I think they are bad," you would have to say it's against your religion. But you could definitely make up your own religion on the spot and the courts would not be able to question you if you say your belief is sincere.

    SITB: And that's the problem with this ruling. Courts can't judge whether or not a belief is sincere, so there's really no where to draw the line. 
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  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
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    Yeah, there are numerous non profits that have filed suit, including several convents, dioceses, and Catholic TV / radio. I was just more about their standing as a corporation and how / if it differs from HL.in settings like this. I also figured out that you're studying for the bar ;). Don't worry; I didn't interpret this as formal legal advice. Seriously, though, thanks for the explanation. It makes sense and I see where you're coming from. I'm still happy about the ruling mostly because of what it means to Catholic business owners and organizations. I do fear that some whack jobs will use it selfishly, though. I guess time will tell. When do you take the bar, btw? Forgive the formatting mess. I typed this on my phone whIle waiting in line at the grocery store to buy beer
    I see what @sarahbear31 is saying more like an admission that yes, she sees the legal argument, but she's happy because it's good for her particular belief system.  That's understandable.

    It is extremely inconsistent, as @MagicInk and @lyndausvi pointed out, that some belief systems are OK and some are "whack jobs."  I am of the opinion that the line should be clear that once you opt into the corporate scheme, your personal belief system is irrelevant.  I think that's where we differ: Sarah thinks her belief system and the other mainstream religions like Judaism and Islam should get exemptions.  Most of the rest of us don't.  We won't change each other's minds on that, but I think that's what it boils down to.

    Sarah, I'm taking the bar at the very end of July.  NY and NJ.  So far I'm doing okay on studying but I'm still nervous as hell.  It's very different from law school and involves so much memorization, which was not something I had to do in school.  I've also been trained to look for ambiguities, so multiple-choice questions are just fucking with my brain right now.
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  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
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    daria24 said:
    Let me clarify ... when I said whack jobs, I was referring to this, specifically the people who could make up a religious faith on the spot. As far as I know, the standard is a "sincerely held belief." So theoretically, if you have a sincerely held belief that vaccines are against your religion, yes you could use this as precedent. It would have to be a religious-based argument though. You can't just say "I think they are bad," you would have to say it's against your religion. But you could definitely make up your own religion on the spot and the courts would not be able to question you if you say your belief is sincere.

    And therein lies one of the many, many problems. 

    Also, why the fuck do religious beliefs get a "pass" on this kind of stuff? I know many people that have very sincere, deep beliefs that have fuck all to do with religion, but somehow those are less valid? I have vegan friends that are deeply devoted to that lifestyle, many of them own businesses. They personally refuse medications that are made with animal products. If they want to fight against having to provide insurance coverage that includes things like non-human insulin, why should those beliefs be less valid than a Catholic's? 
    Yeah, this is a very good point.  Lots of people feel the same amount of fervor about non-religious topics (ahem, how I feel about bodily autonomy) as others feel about their religion.  I think the religious paradigm is leaving out a lot of other sincerely held beliefs.

    But that also points out once you set the standard only as sincerely held beliefs... well couldn't anything be a sincerely held belief?

    I just don't see a good way to administer this rule in the lower courts.  It's going to be all ad hoc decisions by judges without any real consistency. 
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  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
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    Let me clarify again ... I'm not calling Christian Scientists whack jobs ... just the people who might make up a religion just to bet out of paying for stuff
  • daria24 said:
    Let me clarify ... when I said whack jobs, I was referring to this, specifically the people who could make up a religious faith on the spot. As far as I know, the standard is a "sincerely held belief." So theoretically, if you have a sincerely held belief that vaccines are against your religion, yes you could use this as precedent. It would have to be a religious-based argument though. You can't just say "I think they are bad," you would have to say it's against your religion. But you could definitely make up your own religion on the spot and the courts would not be able to question you if you say your belief is sincere.

    And therein lies one of the many, many problems. 

    Also, why the fuck do religious beliefs get a "pass" on this kind of stuff? I know many people that have very sincere, deep beliefs that have fuck all to do with religion, but somehow those are less valid? I have vegan friends that are deeply devoted to that lifestyle, many of them own businesses. They personally refuse medications that are made with animal products. If they want to fight against having to provide insurance coverage that includes things like non-human insulin, why should those beliefs be less valid than a Catholic's? 
    Yeah, this is a very good point.  Lots of people feel the same amount of fervor about non-religious topics (ahem, how I feel about bodily autonomy) as others feel about their religion.  I think the religious paradigm is leaving out a lot of other sincerely held beliefs.

    But that also points out once you set the standard only as sincerely held beliefs... well couldn't anything be a sincerely held belief?

    I just don't see a good way to administer this rule in the lower courts.  It's going to be all ad hoc decisions by judges without any real consistency. 
    It is going to be a mess because as much as the majority wanted to claim it's a narrow holding confined only to closely-held corporations regarding contraceptives, as we are already seeing, different groups want to use this ruling in other ways. I think it's going to cause a split in the circuits and then we are back to square one.
  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
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    Let me clarify again ... I'm not calling Christian Scientists whack jobs ... just the people who might make up a religion just to bet out of paying for stuff
    I'm aware of this but I still think it's inconsistent.  
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  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
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    JCbride2015 said:
    Sarah, I'm taking the bar at the very end of July.  NY and NJ.  So far I'm doing okay on studying but I'm still nervous as hell.  It's very different from law school and involves so much memorization, which was not something I had to do in school.  I've also been trained to look for ambiguities, so multiple-choice questions are just fucking with my brain right now.
    I hope you do well! One of my close friends took the bar a few years ago, and I remember her talking about how horrible it was. Also, I appreciate the way you've handled this discussion. I've seen posts on my Facebook & Twitter (from both sides) that are just downright ignorant and tacky. Thanks for the information and for the respect.
    JCbride2015
  • Let me clarify ... when I said whack jobs, I was referring to this, specifically the people who could make up a religious faith on the spot. As far as I know, the standard is a "sincerely held belief." So theoretically, if you have a sincerely held belief that vaccines are against your religion, yes you could use this as precedent. It would have to be a religious-based argument though. You can't just say "I think they are bad," you would have to say it's against your religion. But you could definitely make up your own religion on the spot and the courts would not be able to question you if you say your belief is sincere.
    You don't even need to make up a religion.  I know Catholics who have had premarital sex, I know Catholics who have used birth control, I know Catholics who have used fertility treatments, I even know a Catholic who had an abortion on demand.  All things that are against the rules of the Catholic faith.  So lets say one of the ones who used birth control decided to start a business and uses this ruling to get out of paying for contraception for employees because it's against their religion.  Only it's clearly not your (the general your) sincerely held belief that these things are wrong if you used birth control because you were having premarital sex and when it failed you went and got an abortion. 
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  • AuroraRose41AuroraRose41 New York member
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    @sarahbear31, I am trying to understand your statements, but there's is something that I have been wondering. If you were to start your own business, and one of your employee's was dependent on hormonal birth control as a medicine to treat a condition that other methods such as napro (sp?) can't, would you still be against it and try to prevent your company from providing insurance coverage? 

    Because your beliefs would potentially put me in a dangerous medical situation, if I was your employee and had no way to pay for my medicine to treat my condition. I have a bleeding disorder, and the only thing that allowed me to graduate high school and college, work at my Fortune 500 company, and consider going back to college for further education, is the fact that hormonal birth control prevented me from losing too much blood on every period I get. This isn't meant to be snarky, but more of a "What if it is truly being used as a medicine?".

    @JCBride, I really appreciate your take on this, as someone considering law school. It helped me to see some things that I hadn't even thought of. I have a question for you as well. In terms of the law (for any matter, not just this one), how do (or should) scientifically proven facts hold up in a court? I have an EE degree from my undergrad, and want to know how using scientific evidence as fact mixes with law. Good luck with your studying as well!

  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
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    @AuroraRose41 first off, your siggy is cracking me up!

    It's cool that you're considering law school.  It really wasn't as hard as everybody told me it would be (except that studying for the bar is fucking terrible), so don't let that scare you.

    Scientific facts in court would generally come in through expert testimony.  The proponent of the facts would have to show that the expert has experience in the field, that the methods used are reliable, the results can be tested, and some other similar things.  Alternatively, some jurisdictions use a test that the method of testing has to be accepted in the scientific community.  The bottom line is that the rules of evidence are heavily tilted towards allowing scientific testimony as long as it's relevant (each side can and usually does present competing evidence) and allowing the jury to decide.  Experts can also have displays, texts, etc. entered into the record.
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  • AuroraRose41AuroraRose41 New York member
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    @JCBride my BF and I crack up every time we see it! We want to get a Corgi so badly.

    I am considering going into a Patent Law training program through my company, as my skill set of technical writing, loving to research, and being able to explain complicated electrical engineering things in layman's terms seems to line up better with that then my current engineering job. I don't think I would be prosecuting much, but was curious due to having a scientific/technical background already. It was also one of the biggest things bothering me about this case, setting aside my personal thoughts on contraception. Thanks!

  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
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    @JCBride my BF and I crack up every time we see it! We want to get a Corgi so badly.

    I am considering going into a Patent Law training program through my company, as my skill set of technical writing, loving to research, and being able to explain complicated electrical engineering things in layman's terms seems to line up better with that then my current engineering job. I don't think I would be prosecuting much, but was curious due to having a scientific/technical background already. It was also one of the biggest things bothering me about this case, setting aside my personal thoughts on contraception. Thanks!
    Oh yes, I remember you now!  From the Students board, I think.  Hi again!

    As I said before, you sound like you've got a very solid background and plan if you do choose to go the legal route.  I don't know much about patent litigation except a couple days of material in an Antitrust course, but it seems like a fascinating area of law.  My firm has a big IP group in our CA offices, so maybe I'll start to learn a little bit more as I practice.
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  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
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    @AuroraRose41, all this stuff is exactly why I don't own my own business ;). And I do know that many women like you take contraceptives for reasons like this. And, NaPro docs aren't exactly easy to come by. My doctor is actually one of 12 NaPro surgeons in the country (there are more who are regular ob-gyns that use NaPro to treat their patients). But, if you were Catholic and married (assuming we lived in a fantasy world where only married couples have sex), contraceptives would not be morally acceptable unless you & DH were abstaining from sex. That's at least how I understand Catholic sexual teaching. The NaPro doctors opened their office here in Houston 2 years ago. Before that, I point blank told my other obgyn that she needed to find another way to treat me that didn't involve contraceptives.

    All that to say, I'm not a heartless bitch who would want you to suffer. On the other hand, the primary purpose of contraceptives is to prevent pregnancy, which is what the Church takes issue with. It is a frustrating situation that has a lot more than meets the eye. So, I honestly don't have a good answer for you on that one.
  • @JCBride my BF and I crack up every time we see it! We want to get a Corgi so badly.

    I am considering going into a Patent Law training program through my company, as my skill set of technical writing, loving to research, and being able to explain complicated electrical engineering things in layman's terms seems to line up better with that then my current engineering job. I don't think I would be prosecuting much, but was curious due to having a scientific/technical background already. It was also one of the biggest things bothering me about this case, setting aside my personal thoughts on contraception. Thanks!
    Corgis are awesome.  We have one and he is a terrific dog.  He does the most adorable happy dance when he gets a biscuit and he totally thinks he's a big dog.  He also makes a great space heater in the winter. 
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  • AuroraRose41AuroraRose41 New York member
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    @JCBride, Hi! I can't remember which board it was, but I do remember talking to you about the LSAT. Anyways, still considering it, just waiting to meet the minimum length of employment requirement to apply for the program (which will be July 22 of this year!). And I would be going to law school and eventually take the bar in CA. 

    @sarahbear31, glad you aren't a heartless bitch! I just really wanted to know how someone with those beliefs would view a situation similar to mine. Unfortunately there is no cure for my bleeding disorder except to manage it with medicines as much as possible, and not take blood thinners (having a cold is a freaking bitch....pretty much all OTC cold medicines have blood thinning drugs in them). If there was a cure, I would be all over it, even if it involved surgery. But because there isn't, I only think of women with my condition who can't afford birth control to help them lead a normal life. My type of bleeding disorder is estimated to affect 1-2% of the population; sometimes many women and men go undiagnosed for years as well, so it could be an even higher percentage that are never diagnosed.

  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
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    @AuroraRose41, I hope you get some relief for that! That sounds like no fun at all :( I hope you don't mind a personal question ... do you plan on having kids, or can you?
  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
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    Between @aurorarose41 's siggy and @mysticl I am getting severe corgi fever.

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  • AuroraRose41AuroraRose41 New York member
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    @sarahbear31, I don't mind at all. In fact, because it is estimated that many people go undiagnosed, I would rather educate more people then hide it.

    I am physically capable of having kids, but I will probably need to do it by C-Section, as I will need to be put on an IV with a clotting factor during labor (made from donated blood.....anyone who does that will potentially save my life and my child's, as well as many others who struggle with the same thing that I have!).

    As for my periods, I am scared to go off of birth control and go back to bleeding a lot (I went through overnight maxi pads in a matter of minutes) and cramps that prevent me from walking for a few days each month. I do have another medicine, which I use if I get a nosebleed or bad cut, which I could use to control my periods, but I would have to limit my fluids for 24 hours after taking it, and I can only take a maximum of 3 times a week, which isn't ideal for the period issue. But I would eventually like to have at least one kid, so I may have to talk to a doctor about my options while trying to get pregnant.

  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
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    @AuroraRose41, I encourage you to look into NaPro to see if there is a doctor near you. They are used to helping women with conceiving (mine is working on me now! ). And while they may not be experts with your condition specifically, I know of many women who have been treated for abnormally heavy periods. I also can appreciate somewhat the frustration of not being able to take drugs that are blood thinners. I had my deviated septum repaired a few years ago and couldn't take Advil cold & sinus before the procedure. I couldn't imagine doing that long term.

    Hang in there!
  • AuroraRose41AuroraRose41 New York member
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    @chibiyui, you just made me laugh! They are all so adorable! Also, my BF (who is quite the gamer) made me play Legends of Zelda, and your siggy perfectly describes my experience with that game using the Nintendo 64 controller.

    chibiyui
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