Twinkie has a post up today on the Hobby lobby case.
Regarding the cases argued in the Supreme Court yesterday, which includes Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., I remind you once again that the Supreme Court takes a very broad view of the powers of Congress to regulate businesses. I find it unlikely that Hobby Lobby will win.
Maybe the two most heavily Catholic judges, Scalia and Thomas, will side with Hobby Lobby, not because of consistent jurisprudence but because these normally hyper-rational justices become irrational when Christianity is at issue. The rest of the court will probably fall in line based on the slippery slope argument (where would these types of exemptions end?), because the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act didn’t was intended to protect individuals from discrimination and not to allow corporations from avoiding general business regulations, because the law isn’t forcing anyone to use contraceptives, etc. The Court has previously held that the RFPA doesn’t allow a religious person to get out of paying taxes, and paying for health insurance plans is like paying a tax.
Taxes go to pay for public schools, where there are art classes where the children are instructed to draw pictures of animals, which violates the Islamic religion. Does that mean Muslims don’t have to pay taxes? I don’t think so.
His batshit crazy ideas about religion aside, I think he is right that the court will let Congress force just about anything on the public. The reason has nothing to do with precedent or current law. The court has three lesbian fanatics, two of whom went bonkers during the hearing. The court is notoriously congenial. Even stalwarts like Scalia and Thomas will struggle in the face of ululating lunatics in their midst. The fact that Sotomayor and Kagen are usually amiable, if dimwitted, will put pressure on the rest to accommodate them.
More important, Roberts was bought the first time and he has to stay bought. Whatever it is the administration used to turn him did not go away. On a court with four ideologues, turning one vote ensures favorable decisions for the Cult. Roberts, having called the mandate a tax once is not going to change his mind now and call it what it is, a mandate. That’s absurd. There’s nothing in it for him.
It goes to the nature of democracy and why it always ends in a bloodbath. A piece of paper is not going to stop a mob or the mob’s “duly elected” representatives. That’s all the court has is a piece of paper. They have to play nice with Congress and that means going along with what Congress passes. Currently, there’s no reason to think Congress has any interest in repealing this comically bad law or reigning in the Executive branch. The court therefore will just keep rubber stamping this thing no matter how silly it makes them look.