Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged SCOTUS

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In the Hobby Lobby cases, five male Justices of the Supreme Court, who are all members of the Catholic faith and who each were appointed by a President who hailed from the Republican party, decided that a huge corporation, with thousands of employees and gargantuan revenues, was a ‘person’ entitled to assert a religious objection to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate because that corporation was ‘closely held’ by family members. To the average person, the result looks stupid and smells worse…

Next term is the time for the Supreme Court to go quiescent–this term and several past terms has proven that the Court is now causing more harm (division) to our democracy than good by deciding hot button cases that the Court has the power to avoid. As the kids says [sic], it is time for the Court to stfu.

Federal Court Judge Richard Kopf, who was appointed to a U.S. District Court in Nebraska by George H.W. Bush, slamming the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision in his personal blog, Hercules and the Umpire.

(Source: herculesandtheumpire.com)

Filed under us supreme court SCOTUS Richard Kopf Hobby Lobby contraception contraceptive mandate politics law

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Can we sidewalk counsel people going into urology clinics? Y’know, they might be going in there for a vasectomy and I believe that’s against God’s will. Doesn’t matter they’re seeking perfectly legal medical care — I just feel compelled to compassionately counsel them about how they’re facing eternal damnation because every sperm is sacred.

It’s not like there’s a buffer zone in place or anything…

Filed under scotus anti-choice buffer zones abortion politics law

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When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes that are binding on others in that activity. Granting an exemption from social security taxes to an employer operates to impose the employer’s religious faith on the employees.

United States v. Lee (1982), a case in which the U.S. Supreme Court found requiring an Amish employer to withhold and pay Social Security taxes for his workers was constitutional even though “the Amish faith prohibited participation in governmental support programs.”

Justice Samuel Alito brushed the precedent of Lee aside by dismissing it as a case that did not concern the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but only the Free Exercise clause, so therefore the Court need not consider it. The implication is that pre-RFRA precedent doesn’t matter. And that’s a frightening departure from precedent.

Filed under hobby lobby rfra contraceptive mandate reproductive rights politics law u.s. supreme court united states v. lee scotus samuel alito birth control

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FOR THOSE OF YOU THINKING, “WELL, MAYBE HOBBY LOBBY HAS A POINT ABOUT RELIGIOUS ‘FREEDOM’ AND HEALTHCARE…” | xoJane

A piece I wrote in March about Hobby Lobby and the contraceptive mandate is featured on xoJane today. Check it out!

An excerpt:

"Your boss doesn’t get to dictate what you do with your paycheck, whether it’s buying groceries, donating it all to orphans, or splurging it on hookers and blow.

Your boss might take issue with you buying pork because he’s Jewish, donating it to orphans because she thinks they’re godless, or on the hookers and blow because that’s not very Christian of you. However, your bosses would be ridiculed for thinking they have the right to tail you to make sure you’re spending YOUR money in accordance with their faith, right? There’s not much difference here. Set aside that the insurance is not directly offered by Hobby Lobby, or that they could pay taxes/penalties instead of lawyers and legal fees by kicking everyone onto the exchange, thereby taking away their supposed moral conundrum. Spoiler alert: HEALTH BENEFITS ARE COMPENSATION FOR YOUR LABOR. Why would you think for one second that your boss gets to dictate what you do with your compensation?”

Filed under Hobby Lobby contraceptive mandate birth control SCOTUS u.s. supreme court religion politics law reproductive rights

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BREAKING: U.S. Supreme Court unanimously strikes down Mass. 'Buffer Zone' law

The Supreme Court unanimously struck down Massachusetts’ abortion buffer zone law on Thursday, ruling in favor of anti-choice protesters who argued that being required to stay 35 feet away from clinic entrances is a violation of their freedom of speech. The decision rolls back a proactive policy intended to safeguard women’s access to reproductive health care in the face of persistent harassment and intimidation from abortion opponents.

GODDAMMIT.

NO. JUST NO.

Filed under buffer zones reproductive rights abortion politics scotus us supreme court anti-choice

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For those of you thinking, “Well, maybe Hobby Lobby has a point about religion ‘freedom’ and healthcare…”

First off, just stop. Your boss doesn’t get to dictate what you do with your paycheck, whether it’s buying groceries, donating it all to orphans, or splurging it on hookers and blow.

Your boss might take issue with you buying pork because he’s Jewish, donating it to orphans because she thinks they’re godless, or on the hookers and blow because that’s not very Christian of you. However, your bosses would be ridiculed for thinking they have the right to tail you to make sure you’re spending YOUR money in accordance with their faith, right? There’s not much difference here. Set aside that the insurance is not directly offered by Hobby Lobby, or that they could pay taxes/penalties instead of lawyers and legal fees by kicking everyone onto the exchange, thereby taking away their supposed moral conundrum. Spoiler alert: HEALTH BENEFITS ARE COMPENSATION FOR YOUR LABOR. Why would you think for one second that your boss gets to dictate what you do with your compensation?

Second, I want you to try a thought experiment. Let’s say the owner of a for-profit business is a devout Muslim. It is forbidden in the Muslim faith to consume pork. You’ve gone to the doctor for pneumonia, and your doc gives you antibiotics. Unfortunately, many medicines in gel capsules contain gelatin, which is usually derived from animal protein. Due to fears about mad cow, it’s more common for it to be derived from pigs. Your boss claims to have the right to bar you from taking that antibiotic because your health plan is paid for in part by the company, so therefore your boss gets to dictate the company’s (their) religious belief trumps your doc’s opinion because the for-profit company is an extension of their faith. Can you imagine the pearl-clutching if Muslim business owners told these good Christians (or anyone else, for that matter) that they could not have potentially lifesaving medicine because of the owner’s beliefs? Richard Dawkins might stroke out from rage. Fox News might never recover. Michele Bachmann would require a fainting couch for the resulting vapors.

How about if it’s medicine in a gelatin capsule for high blood pressure, depression, or even erectile dysfunction medication? How about if your devout Catholic boss would only cover erectile dysfunction for married men because premarital sex is a sin, and ONLY if said medication was used with no contraception and in pursuit of conception because sex is only for procreation and every sperm is sacred? Or dictating no treatment for HIV or AIDS because only “sinners” get it and their god says no dice?

Or what if your boss says no insulin because it was derived from animal protein long ago or no Heparin to treat a blood clot because it still contains animal tissue, and their vegatarianism is a deeply-held belief too, isn’t that kinda sorta like religion, please Justice Scalia?

I cannot wrap my head around Hobby Lobby’s view that medical treatment is their business because said treatment might maybe have something to do with their employees doing the sex on their time away from work — y’know, their private lives. Not all contraceptives and reproductive health visits are for preventing maybe babies — hormonal contraceptives have a myraid of uses beyond preventing conception. The only time the sex lives of Hobby Lobby employees is their business is if employees are boning on the clock — THEN Hobby Lobby has every right to say “No sex time ‘til break time, please.” They can’t say, “No sex time ‘til ring time, please. Because Jesus.”

Working for a for-profit employer in the U.S. does not mean you must also swallow their religious dictates hook, line, and sinker. To claim otherwise in the name of religious freedom is a complete fallacy and wholly offensive to the very idea of religious freedom itself.

Filed under hobby lobby contraception news politics religion u.s. supreme court scotus religious freedom health care aca affordable care act contraceptive mandate

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In the long history of our country people have fought and died for democracy. Democracy means one person, one vote. The fact that all of us have the opportunity to be involved in the political process to stand up for what we believe in. Three years ago, or so the Supreme Court decided that corporations are people. They decided that through independent expenditures billionaires could spend unlimited sums of money to impact elections.

Let me say one word to you right now about how relevant that is. As all of you know, the government of the United States shut down. Hundreds of thousands of workers are suffering, millions of people are not getting the services they need. Right now, as we speak, in the House of Representatives there are people who are being threatened that if they vote for a clean CR to open the government without destroying the Affordable Care Act then huge sums of money will be spent against them in the next election.

We are living in a society where a handful of people with incredible sums of money, folks like the Koch brothers and others, are undermining what this democracy is supposed to be about. The bottom line here is that if we do not want to move this nation to an oligarchic form of society where a handful of billionaires can determine the outcome of these elections, then it is imperative not only that we overturn Citizens United, but that we put a lid on how much people can contribute in elections.

Freedom of speech, in my view, does not mean the freedom to buy the United States government.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., at the U.S. Supreme Court today, rallying against the unfettered use of dollars as “democracy” following today’s oral arguments in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (2013)

Filed under Bernie Sanders Vermont SCOTUS lawblr McCutcheon v. FEC Citizens United money elections free elections adopt me Uncle Bernie politics news us supreme court

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Today’s SCOTUS ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act IS historic, don’t get me wrong.

And Scalia’s dissent IS full of quotable bitter lemons.

However, as allies for queer and trans* communities, and people of color, our work is not done. There’s the recently-overturned crucial aspects to the Voting Rights Act. And DOMA doesn’t address inequalities faced every day by queer and trans* people.

So yes, let’s celebrate, but let’s not forget queer youth fighting for a place to stay, trans* people fighting to keep their jobs, or people of color fighting to keep their right to vote.

The Pledge of Allegiance still ends, in my opinion, with: “…and liberty and justice for SOME.” So as we celebrate DOMA today, remember, there’s much more work to be done tomorrow.

Cheers,
Meg

Filed under defense of marriage act doma equality lgbtq scotus politics marriage equality

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Todd Starnes: And yet, there seems to be this opinion on the other side that says, you know what, you and I don’t deserve the same rights. You know, it’s as if we’re second-class citizens now because we support the traditional, Biblical definition of marriage, or perhaps we are pro-life, and that means we’re somehow second-class citizens who don’t deserve to be in the public marketplace of ideas.

Sandy Rios: Absolutely. In fact, it’ll be worse than that. You know there’s going to be punishment. There will be tremendous punishment. If gay marriage is embraced by the country, if the Supreme Court goes south this week in its hearings, we are in for – of course, we’re not going to hear about it until June – but we are in for persecution like we have never seen it.

Starnes: Well, it’s already started.

Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes and American Family Radio’s Sandy Rios displaying a jaw-dropping lack of awareness when discussing marriage equality.

I nearly choked on my goddamn coffee when I heard this fuckery come out of their mouths. Let’s just hit the basic point: EVERY bill passed for marriage equality has a religious exemption. Period.

And clergy have every right to refuse to marry anyone. Don’t believe me? Go to a Catholic priest, demand he marry you and your significant other on the spot, and mention that neither of you is Catholic, but he just HAS to do it. Hint: He won’t.

P.S. — If you want to uphold “traditional, Biblical” definitions of marriage and think it’s one man and one woman, you clearly didn’t read that book closely.

I just can’t with some people…

Filed under Todd Starnes Sandy Rios lgbtq politics Fox News American Family Radio wait Really? I can't marriage equality u.s. supreme court scotus