Corporate world scared silly that Hobby Lobby will win ACA suit

You’ve seen coverage here on the Hobby Lobby case that just came before the Supreme Court.

For example, a few days ago our own David Delmar wrote (my emphasis):

A legal look at Hobby Lobby’s ridiculous “freedom of religion” argument

Today, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the Hobby Lobby case. In a recent post, I discussed one of the two primary issues the Court is considering: whether or not for-profit corporations have the right to freely exercise religion.

The other, more intuitive issue is whether the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, which applies to relatively large corporations that employ more than fifty people, infringes on the free exercise rights of religious corporations, should the Court determine that those corporations have such rights at all.

Importantly, the corporations that have brought suit in the case — Hobby Lobby and Mardel — elected not to challenge the contraceptive mandate explicitly on First Amendment grounds, and have instead based their case on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. …

The essential question in this case is whether the RFRA, channeling the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause, immunizes a corporation from a legal obligation that arguably conflicts with the religious faith of the person running, or owning, the organization.

Hobby Lobby photo via DangApricot. Pope clothes via Shutterstock (Maxisport / Shutterstock.com)

Hobby Lobby photo via DangApricot. Pope clothes via Shutterstock (Maxisport / Shutterstock.com)

Keep that last bit in mind. It’s not the religious views of the corporation — those obviously don’t exist. It’s the religious faith of the owners or in-place operators (CEOs).

Delmar goes on to deconstruct this argument; you can read the rest here. But this opens a huge door that corporate law and the concept of corporations were created to keep closed. Hobby Lobby, if they win, will succeed in reconnecting the corporation with the owners.

“Piercing the corporate veil”

This is just the point that successful trial lawyer (and Ring of Fire radio host) Mike Papantonio makes on a recent appearance on the Ed Schultz Show. He says at the start of his response that the case will “fail on the constitutional issue.” But he also says that the case is so toxic to the concept of “separation of corporation and owner” that there have been zero amicus briefs filed in support of it by corporate America. None.

Listen as Papantonio explains (h/t Man from Wasichustan at DailyKos for the video):

As Papantonio says, the case “would pierce the corporate veil” and allow lawsuits against corporate owners to go forward for deeds done by their corporations. Furthermore:

At the heart of this, what you have is, you have Hobby Lobby saying, “We’re a corporation but we’re a devout Christian corporation. … If you follow that rationale, the separateness that usually distinguishes the owner of the corporation from the corporation [itself] is then destroyed. …

[So] If this thing passes, you’re going to see me suing corporations, saying there’s no distinction between your owner and you — so you, Mr. Green, who owns Hobby Lobby, I’m going to bring you into the case, and you’re not going to have any separate protection, any indemnification between you and your corporation.

He says much the same that’s true about this case is true about Citizens United, and that there will be test cases on that issue as well.

Can’t wait. Again, listen. It’s not long, and it’s fascinating.

Your bottom line — look for SCOTUS, or as the Daily Kos diarist says, swing Justice Kennedy — to deny the plaintiff. My bottom line — I really hope Hobby Lobby wins, even if they don’t win on those grounds. This is just too far, and sometimes things need to go too far to come apart. As I’ve said before, their hubris is your friend, and we really need to begin to dismantle these predators.

GP

Twitter: @Gaius_Publius. Facebook: Gaius Publi.

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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

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  • MaryfromIL

    I pray Christians will win in court on this as well. Then they have piercea the corporate veil and the rest of us can sue the owners into personal bankruptcy for every consumer product case against them. They will no longer be protected because they are a corporation. Then we won’t have to worry about them denying birth control costs., because they will no longer have any businesses.

  • Mikayla

    This year, God spoke to me to pray for this exact issue. He said that there would be court cases coming to the forefront and to pray for his Will to happen which means that Christians will be winning court cases and setting precedents to show the world that they can no longer discriminate against us. Last year God had me praying for the Television and film industry and I have seen tons of Christians movies come forth. It is a prophecy that I have been praying in before I even heard about this case. Whether it is Hobby Lobby or someone else, Christians will be winning court cases this year and taking power and influence in government and in the legal field. Holy Spirit had me praying this in for the last few months. I’m sure many other Christians have had this revelation as well. God just uses his children as tools to pray in what he knows shall be happening. It is about time.

  • caphillprof

    But as religion is found to trump everything else, this adjudication will need be revisited. See Scalia et al.

  • JayChong

    You know, I never considered that Hobby Lobby could bring down the corporate veil. I don’t think it’ll work because the owners will assert that their beliefs only come up in a religious context and not in personal injury cases. Its a laughably immoral double standard if corporate owners try to assert religious rights and maintain the corporate veil, but its an intriguing idea.

    http://lawblog.legalmatch.com/2014/03/28/obamacare-corporations-powerful/

  • skeptical_inquirer

    I think all corporation with these kind of policies should have to reveal very publicly that these are the type of policies they have. If they’re so damn into free market then I say let the consumer beware as well as any future employees.

  • pslim

    hey morons….Hobby Lobby only wants to eliminate 4 out of 20 contraceptives…the 4 that abort a fertilized egg…they rightly object to killing babies…the taking of a human life…..it is alive….and it is of human origin…hence …human life…………….the other 16 are completely available so you can fuck all you want and we will pay for it

  • keirmeister

    “The government’s ability to enforce generally applicable prohibitions of socially harmful conduct, like its ability to carry out other aspects of public policy, “cannot depend on measuring the effects of a governmental action on a religious objector’s spiritual development.” Lyng, supra, 485 U.S. at 485 U. S. 451. To make an individual’s obligation to obey such a law contingent upon the law’s coincidence with his religious beliefs, except where the State’s interest is “compelling” — permitting him, by virtue of his beliefs, “to become a law unto himself,”Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. at 98 U. S. 167 — contradicts both constitutional tradition and common sense.”

  • Turow’s 1L

    Employment Division v. Smith was a 1st Amendment case. This is a RFRA case. How would he contradict his opinion in earlier decision?

  • Silver_Witch

    Agreed…I am afraid they will simply die and suffer none of alleged consequences. Someone tried that on me about my father – you know he will burn in hell for his sin of abuse and rape against you girls so you should forgive him and feel pity for him. Yeah right….I prefer making his hell here for him now by staying away from him and keeping my children away from him!

  • Indigo

    Chase Bank in my case, but whatever . . . those quotes would be more consoling if they reached past their mythological framework and guaranteed eternal damnation to each and every bankster. As far as I know, they’ll die dead and get away with it since there’s nothing in the system beyond mythology to secure a follow up after death. As things stand, only Proverbs 22:7 gets the facts right: “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”

  • Lady

    and since stock holders are owners–guess what that does to the stock market and everything that depends upon it–

  • Silver_Witch

    I think many companies are using these hard employment times to take away rights…the worm will turn though – as you suggest – and we worker’s will seek jobs in better places.

  • Lady

    Problem is, I think Hobby Lobby is self-insured. Times are hard now and people have to take whatever job is available (anti-family planning groups want to keep it that way). When the job market improves, prospective employees should ask pointed questions about compensation packages before taking a job, especially if, as is true for many women, they are working primarily to obtain health insurance coverage because their husbands don’t have it.

  • BloggerDave

    First, I’m not on their side nor am I presenting an argument. I’m simply stating the facts of the case. Second, these people are Mennonites not Catholics. They don’t object to all contraceptives. These are facts not a position. Third, the SCOTUS can simply narrow their ruling to accommodate THIS COMPANY’s set of facts. It’s not unheard of.

  • God Bless America Not

    Fascism. When Gov meets Corporation Corporation Loses.

  • skeptical_inquirer

    I loathe this argument. What’s preventing to keep them from later objecting to the rest. Your pretense that it’s set in stone is without proof.

    Also, you forget that other companies might pull even more crap like no contraceptives at ALL.

  • GreenEagle

    Or, if you come across it, Vincent Bugliosi’s little book on Bush v. Gore. Bugliosi is a life-long Republican and long time prosecutor (most famous for having prosecuted the Manson murders,) so his sense of outrage, and full documentation of the legal nonsense on which this decision was based is extremely convincing.

  • Bridgett Cash

    Clearly you fail to understand just how group policies work. We all pay for each other.

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    No.

  • Silver_Witch

    It is called benefits for employment. Just like men get. What a doctor determines is the best treatment plan for him is also between him and his doctor. Your argument is a huge fail….one reason is because if my employer pays me in exchange for my work IT has no right to tell me how to spend that money, if my employer gives me a benefit in exchange for my work, IT has no right to determine how I use that medical care.

    Does that clarify?

  • Ignorance is amiss

    If the decision is truly between a woman and her doctor, why is she getting a large portion of her health care subsidized by her employer? Why is her employer subsidizing a large portion of her health insurance premium costs and yet not allowed to have any say in what is and is not covered in the plan that they don’t even have to offer to their employees?

    I thought women wanted choice… is that only choice for them and the freedom to force anyone else to pay for something for them?

  • Ignorance is amiss

    You aren’t a very clear thinker are you? They previously covered many methods of birth control and desire to continue to cover many methods of birth control under the PPACA. They did NOT cover a few methods of birth control previous to the PPACA and desire the allowance to refrain from covering those few methods of birth control they disagree with in conscience.

    It is a pretty simple matter. They are not saying they refuse to cover birth control in any way shape or means. They are saying they have not provided a few methods of birth control due to conscience issues and wish to continue to have the FREEDOM to refrain from providing those few methods of birth control under the PPACA.

    You see, before the PPACA they had the right to choose what they did and did not pay for in that they had more ability to select a plan according to their preferences which they would then offer to the employees.

    Under the PPACA they do not have nearly as much choice to select a plan according to their preferences.

    If the woman has a right to choose, should not the person paying for something have a right to choose what they will and will not be paying for?

  • Joan

    In addition to selling Chinese goods, Mother Jones has discovered that Hobby Lobby pension funds are heavily invested in companies that produce birth control drugs, morning after pills and drugs to facilitate abortion.

  • http://www.gravatar.com/bonzeblayk/ Bonze Anne Rose Blayk

    “Bush v. Gore 2000″ – R.I.P. – “Here lies Constitutional Government.”

    I felt the horror at the time, but the true dimensions of this betrayal only sank in after I read Alan Dershowitz’ “Supreme Injustice: How the High Court Hijacked Election 2000.”

    http://www.amazon.com/Supreme-Injustice-Court-Hijacked-Election/dp/0195148274

  • GreenEagle

    You forget that we now have a Supreme Court with five corrupt justices on it, who will unashamedly rule in favor of corporations in every case, regardless of the inconsistency of their views. Have you not figured out yet that the vile behavior of the “Conservative” Supreme Court Justices since Bush v. Gore proves that they have moved far beyond law and precedent, and are determined to give the rich whatever they want?

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    I think Hobby Lobby’s suit makes the best case ever for single payer health insurance.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    Sorry. I was just looking for a silver lining. I have no say. Only 9 people do at this point.

  • pvequalkt

    Another good point. The SC has felt free to treat each incident as a separately decided matter and has not seen fit to be consistent across decisions much.
    Here is another tactic they may employ… the same that they used in bush v. Gore… they could stipulate that their decision is not to be considered a precedent in future cases. Another one-off for the sake of fealty to the xtian right.
    When you can treat each decision as such, there is no need to consider precedent… ever. Just react in favor of the political right move du jour.
    The only decision I can recall of the SC since 2000 that did NOT seem arbitrary and without consideration to precedent was Roberts’ astonishing affirmation of ACA. Though THAT decision certainly did favor big corporations.

  • BloggerDave

    Using religion to evade taxes has already been tried and adjudicated. A narrow ruling would let closely held corporations deny contraceptives but nothing else…

  • AttilatheBlond

    Roberts is a good lapdog and will do what the real powers tell him. Mr & Mrs Hobby Lobby are not all that big and powerful.

  • AttilatheBlond

    And if HL did that, could they be convicted of practicing medicine without license?

  • AttilatheBlond

    Read that, pre-ACA, the Hobby Lobby’s group insurance did cover birth control. They had no problem with it then. Only when the Black Guy moved into the White House and legislation passed to lay down some basic requirements for the insurance industry did Mr and Mrs Our Hobby is Your Lobby get their knickers in a twist about full health care for women.

  • RexRed

    “Everything in moderation” so exactly what religion does the Snobby Lobby follow? The Snobby Lobby are making their religion up as they go along. This is not religion it is hateful and spiteful politics, plain and simple. The Constitution does not have provisions for religion to be used to deny others reasonable and timely health services.

  • gratuitous

    I was thinking more along the lines of Dick Cheney going duck hunting with his good pal Antonin Scalia while Cheney had a case pending before the Supreme Court. Naturally, we had both men’s solemn word that they didn’t discuss anything at all that would compromise or influence Mr. Scalia’s judgment.

    On the other hand, if either one of those dubious characters told me one morning the sun was rising in the east, I’d take a look out the window before I came to any conclusion about the matter.

  • caphillprof

    Even a narrow ruling will enable the religious nuts to go off the rails. The courts will put a stop to this nonsense when a lefty deducts the DOD portion of her income tax based on a closely held religious conviction.

  • LADY MABELINE

    An eye opening piece. This is why these political blogs are so important. The pet coverage is just an added bonus.

  • SL Abrin

    Are CEOs owners? They would simply claim to be employees or shareholders. No?

  • BloggerDave

    Closely held is simple enough to define so that’s not going to be an impediment to a narrow ruling. It can simply be defined as a corporation without public shares sold on a stock exchange. Also, while the Koch holding company might be closely held, the majority of other companies they own a majority of shares in are public companies. Lastly, if the justices come down with a narrow ruling for closely held cops, it doesn’t matter how many employees that company has. HL itself has 609 stores in 47 states.

  • BloggerDave

    HL is not suing to determine which contraceptives are used for what health issue so while your point is valid, it’s not germane to the lawsuit…

  • BloggerDave

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I did not hear any arguments from the federal side that addressed the medical conditions that any these contraceptives would treat… Did they even mention it?

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    Unfortunately, the SC doesn’t have the knowledge to make an educated decision, nor the patience to learn, and a majority doesn’t care enough to see through the lies. The decision is really going to come down to just how much more power they want to take away from individuals, and cede to corporations.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    The Koch brothers’ holding company corporation is ‘closely held.’

    They and their subsidiaries employ hundreds of thousands of workers.

    In reading through the hearing transcripts, it was not clear to me the justices themselves had a good definition of what ‘closely held’ even meant. Hobby Lobby and those other companies needed access to deep pockets to pay for this litigation, but their petard is the fact that despite being mostly-owned by just a few religious bigots, they nevertheless employ tens of thousands of employees.

    We’re not talking a ‘mom & pop’ store that incorporated or formed an LLC to save on taxes. These are for-profit corporations engaging in interstate commerce to the tune of billions of dollars.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Their suit is also based on lies.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    One does… and of course, that isn’t the only condition, aside from contraception, that contraceptives can be prescribed for. Plus, one of them, Levonorgestrel, is used in dozens of different products. Not just for emergency contraception. So do they want to ban just one formulation/dosage of it, or all?

    Their entire premise stems form their belief that those forms of birth control induce abortions, and they do not. Things like mifepristone, which actually does, isn’t covered. Their entire suit is based on ignorance.

  • Silver_Witch

    OHhhh calling Bank of America right now ::not really – but I would like too::

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Sure, why not? :-) It’s right there in the Bible even.

    http://www.openbible.info/topics/usury

  • Silver_Witch

    Perhaps SCOTUS v 2AC will be better?

  • Silver_Witch

    Might I add that it is not Hobby Lobby’s place to determine which contraceptives are used for what health issue – you see that is between a woman and her doctor. Only those two need to know what the prescription is to cover and what the purpose is, not you, not HL and not even people like Rush Limbaugh have a right to judge what the purpose of a medication is.

  • Silver_Witch

    I like the newly adopted and deeply held belief about the debts though…can we have that one?

  • Silver_Witch

    I imagine that it will be the last one to come out of the session as well..the very last one. I don’t believe you can submit an “unfiled” amicus brief, unless of course you are the government and the information is for public safety or some super secret information not to be see by the 99%.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yes. And Hobby Lobby’s position is still based on a ‘morality’ position that is based on a lie, that those contraceptives cause abortions.

  • gratuitous

    Interesting; I wonder if there were “unfiled” amicus briefs? That is to say, back door communications with our faultless Justices by craven corporate interests who don’t want to look like traitors to their class.

    I’m guessing this will be one of the last decisions to come out of the session.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I don’t think Hobby Lobby will win — and I think it’s going to be a 5-4 or 6-3 vote (if it’s 6, Roberts will be the extra).

    Reasoning? Several angles, including your theory here, Gaius, about the ‘veil piercing’ of attaching a company owner / president / CEO and his or her beliefs to the corporation.

    First of all, the government isn’t ‘forcing’ Hobby Lobby or any other company to pay for contraceptives. There is merely a set of regulations that require health insurance policies to cover certain medications without co-pays. Among these medications are treatments that include contraceptives, but also medications that are considered multipurpose.

    The federal gov’t, through the ACA, has mandated quite a few things with respect to pay and benefits for employees. Minimum wage being one of them, as well as overtime pay and so on. Now personally, I’ve always thought that employer-provided health insurance was a mistake — we should have single-payer — but incentives for employers to provide health insurance are part of the ACA’s paradigm.

    Hobby Lobby’s position is they want the benefit of those incentives — without having to fulfill the requirements and regulations to receive them.

    This is the kicker: Hobby Lobby (and its co-plaintiffs) are trying to argue they have no way out. No alternative but to pay for women’s slut-pills because big bad Uncle Sam says so. They’re wrong. They’ve had an ‘out’ all along!

    The ACA allows any employer to opt out of providing any health insurance at all, and simply pay a small fine — and thereby making all the employees eligible for ACA exchange-provided insurance. They could also eliminate nearly all full-time positions and make them part-time, with the same results for the employees.

    What Hobby Lobby wants is to be permitted to set the parameters of the health insurance they offer — and then through their religious preference, prevent their employees from being eligible to seek other alternatives. A female employee who wants contraceptive coverage won’t be able to say, “Thanks, but I won’t take the insurance you’re offering, Mr. Misogynist-BossMan. I’ll go on the exchange and buy my own.”

    However, I still think the ‘slippery slope’ rebuttal is what will prevail, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the decision in this case quoted Scalia’s 1990 majority ruling in Employment Division vs Smith.

    To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.”

    And this is why I hold to this position: A SCOTUS ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby couldn’t be limited just to corporations. Individual citizens would be able to assert the same religious exemptions — up to and including putting “No Colored” signs back in store windows.

  • BloggerDave

    But HL is only objecting to 4 out of the 16 contraceptives. Are the 4 used to treat the conditions you cited?

  • BloggerDave

    That sounds good but the justices were leaning toward a narrow decision impacting only closely held corporations. It wouldn’t pierce the corporate veil of publicly held corps.

  • perljammer

    Here’s the problem the Obama administration has: so many exemptions have been granted (e.g., to non-profits with regard to contraception; to individuals with non-compliant policies; to business in general re: the business mandate) that it’s going to have a tough time claiming a compelling need to force compliance — if there’s a compelling need, then why the exemptions?

    Personally, I find the whole question of “provision of contraceptives as a moral issue” to be ridiculous. Company provided health care plans are a form of compensation. No company can control how their employees choose to spend their cash compensation; why the outrage regarding how non-cash compensation is spent? Stupid.

    As far as piercing the corporate veil is concerned, I think people looking for that to happen are kidding themselves. It’s not at all uncommon for special carve-outs to be made in law for religious considerations, and I would expect the same to happen here, if the Court decides in favor of Hobby Lobby.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I take it you’ve never suffered from the agony of uterine fibroids… Nor been told by a doctor not to become pregnant, due to threat of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy or eclampsia.

    It’s not a small price. We’re talking about gambling with the health and lives of real, actual women here.

    All because a lie — that contraceptives cause abortions — is apparently given equal standing with the truth.

  • Badgerite

    Yeah. Me too.

  • zerosumgame0005

    seriously the biggest scam in history IMHO

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    Silly. Corporations can afford to buy indulgences.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    And those big corporate donors will have ample time to lobby Scalia on one of his many lavish paid vacations and they can funnel bribes/donations to Thomas’ wife’s organization. So many ways for the CEOs to influence this decision without making a public argument.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    Sounds like this is a win either way. A few employees having to pay out of pocket for birth control may be a small price to pay for being able to sue the crap out of corporate officers for the criminal things they do on a daily basis.

  • Indigo

    Only the believers.

  • Indigo

    I’ll go with burned at the stake and I’d like to nominate Hobby Lobby to lead the way with CarMax to follow.

  • Indigo

    I don’t think it’s exactly corporate-controlled although I agree that it’s an ideological court but since John Roberts is a one note fanatic, and that makes it a very dangerous and extremely foolish court.

  • PeteWa

    I think they took it into Lala land some time ago.
    Half the time I’m convinced I am in a twilight zone episode, or accidentally fell asleep in a Kafka novel.

  • Indigo

    I hadn’t thought of the case in quite those terms but yes, if a corporation has a religious affiliation, that does seem to pierce the corporate veil. Isn’t that a splendid dish to set before the king? Oh, yummy! Every liability issue, concern, or even sense of outrage can be swept into the owners’ laps. Oh, my! What fun we’re going to have with that one!

  • Badgerite

    If Hobby Lobby maintained that it had a right to fire a female employee for using the type of contraception in question in this case, what would the outcome be? Aren’t they asserting the right to have that kind of control over the lives of their employees?

  • Badgerite

    Let’s face it. The SCOTUS is on the verge of taking constitutional law and corporate law into Lala Land. And at least 4 of them are already convinced that that is a good idea.

  • Badgerite

    I think that might have been what Justice Roberts was attempting to do with his distinction between the closely help corporation and the public corporation. Since when does Exon even have a soul, let alone a religion.

  • keirmeister

    I’m holding out hope that the SCOTUS will not want to open a can of worms by siding with Hobby Lobby…but I also won’t be surprised if Scalia completely contradicts his own opinion in Employment Division v. Smith.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Do you think women will have to cover their heads when they enter their stores or corporate buildings?

  • kokoretsi

    The only reason I have hope for Hobby Lobby losing is this exact issue that may bring over corporatist C.J. Roberts. I suspect his love for large corporate interests exceeds his adherence to the religious right agenda.

  • emjayay

    Yes. They will somehow again make it a one-way street: corporations are people when they want to be, and corporations when they want to be.

  • http://www.thoughtcrimes.org/ Kelvin Mace

    You are assuming that the SCOTUS will be consistent. I see the court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby, then ignoring the can of worms that ruling opens and simply ruling in favor of keeping the “veil” intact when the issue comes before them.
    This is a corporate-controlled, ideological Court, and hypocrisy is not a bug, it is a feature..

  • Silver_Witch

    None appeared to have filed against Hobby Lobby…at least none that had filed friendly briefs in Citizens United, where many corporations submitted amici on behalf of corporations and their right to be “heard”…as if a corporation has a voice.

  • HolyMoly

    That’s the “joy” of extremist measures. Extremists often wind up turning on themselves.

  • zerosumgame0005

    and if they don’t close on Sunday will Sister Mary Francis rap their knuckles with a metal edged ruler?

  • SkippyFlipjack

    From the summaries of oral arguments it didn’t seem like this point was brought up enough, and it seems absolutely key to the case. Business owners LOVE the separation that corporate structures provide, it’s only the WHOLE POINT of incorporating! If a business paying for an employee benefit is exactly the same as the owner paying for it then there’s no way the owner can claim protections if something goes wrong. An employee sues the business, not the owner, for discrimination or wrongful termination or whatever; a disgruntled customer sues the business for whatever they’re mad about. The owner’s personal assets are protected because they’re not the business and it’s not them. Hobby Lobby seems to be arguing the opposite. They’re kind of acting really stupid.

  • gratuitous

    Worse than that; forced to close on Sundays. Horrors! The Blue Laws come back, this time at the express invitation of the money-grubbing class. That would be a delectable bit of irony.

  • gratuitous

    Your analysis is probably correct, but considering the legalistic gymnastics the Roberts Court regularly performs, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if they made a religious carve-out exception to the corporate veil while seeking to leave intact all other protections for corporate officers. I don’t know how it can be done, but these fuckers are very creative when it comes to protecting their wallets.

    You mention that there were no amicus briefs filed on behalf of Hobby Lobby from the corporate sector; did any of them actually betray their class by filing amici against Hobby Lobby?

  • zerosumgame0005

    would that mean corporation could be excommunicated? burned at the stake? forced to dress-up on Sundays?

  • phred

    If Hobby Lobby wins, how many corporations are going to convert to Christian Science? Injured on the job? Take two bibles and get back to work.

  • PeteWa

    let’s say that this ruling goes the plaintiff’s way, shouldn’t said [laughs to self] devout corporation also be against killing?
    doesn’t that mean, logically, that they should not be required to pay at the very least that portion of their taxes that goes to the MIC?
    it’s a nice way to slash your taxes in half, or it could be easily argued, to zero, as there is no real way of knowing that your taxes aren’t still going to the MIC.

  • jomicur

    I’m inclined to agree with you. More and more federal courts have been issuing rulings to the effect that, in essence, “freedom of religion” trumps everything else in the constitution. Everything. I certainly hope Papantonio’s analysis is correct, but I’m very much afraid that the Hobby Lobby bunch, along with every other knuckle-dragger in the country, will see a big win in this case. Then when someone tries to sue a CEO personally for his corporation’s behavior, the justices will suddenly rediscover that “veil.”

  • pvequalkt

    There are more precedents on point here as well that conflict with each other. RFRA, another odious piece of lege signed by Clinton, is nearly alone on the plaintiff’s side. One that is NOT was mentioned on Maher’s “Real Time” this past week. It was a decision written by Scalia himself that should indicate a finding against the plaintiff.
    However, we have all seen that the SC is schizophrenic especially on matters of religion, even as they have been fairly consistent in finding against constitutional guarantees. Based on history, religious affiliation and the interactions during arguments (Thomas abstaining, as usual), one might reasonably expect the Females plus Breyer to deny, while the far right 3 + Thomas heeling as the devoted labrador, as usual, to find in favor of religion. Remember that 6 of the justices are roman cathlicks. Kennedy is also a cathlick and has been consistently joining the majority in repudiating the constitution, in part and in total, since the turn of the millennium and also favoring big money and corporations. I look for him to find for hobby lobby.
    I’m anticipating 5-4 again.

  • Sean

    What a terrific silver lining. Thanks for pointing it out.

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