Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The American Corporation Bill of Rights

Esquire's Charles P. Pierce has a great piece on the Supreme Court's decision to hear a case about whether the Affordable Care Act provision requiring large employers to cover birth control in their health insurance is a violation of an employer's freedom of religion.

I'll quote at length:
I say this as a lifelong Papist, this is what happens when you get too many ultramontane, Pius XII Catholics on the high court. The Church has been slug-nutty on birth control for 50 years, and the anti-choice people hate the form of birth control in question because it deprives them of clinic doors to which they can glue their heads. The principle at stake here is a joke; not even by the preposterous standards of this court as regarding corporate personhood, a corporation cannot reasonably be said to have a First Amendment right to freedom of religion. The people who run it certainly do, but they cannot reasonably argue that their freedom of religion is being curtailed because their employees can get their ladyparts medicine covered under the Affordable Care Act, unless your argument is that an employer has a right to subject employees to the employer's religious beliefs, which is an obvious contradiction, unless you're prepared to decide that an employer's First Amendment rights trump those of his employees. Wait. Forget I said that. This action should have been laughed out of the system two courts ago. Now, once again, common sense hangs on the weathervane that is Anthony Kennedy's intellect.
The obvious retort to this absurd cause of action is to ask whether or not the court would listen to a similar objection on behalf of a company owned by Jehovah's Witnesses that didn't want to cover blood transfusions for its employees. (Let us not even begin to get into Christian Science at this point.) However, members of this court, most notably Antonin (Short Time) Scalia, were notably unimpressed in 1990 when some Native Americans tried to argue that peyote was a vital to their religious rituals, pointing out that peyote had been an element in their liturgies for longer than bread had been a part of the Catholic Mass, and that, therefore, their use of it should not disqualify them from receiving benefits under Oregon law. There are people on this court who are more than willing to decide a case based on what is a real religion and what is not, and let's just say that none of them are Zoroastrians.
The entire piece is here.


Virginia Ted said...

". . .deprives them of clinic doors to which they can glue their heads."

Can this guy write, or what?

Bob Miller said...

Amen, brother!