Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Old Yarn

Just a quick note on the Hobby Lobby decision.  The Court understood it would be one of the most controversial cases of the term and saved it for the end, but I don't see it as such a big deal.  In any case, it seemed to be a narrow ruling (even if Justice Ginsburg wouldn't agree).

I wrote about the case last year and don't have too much to add.  You might want to look at what my old friend Tom Berg, who blogs about religious law, has to say about it.


Anonymous Denver Guy said...

So Tom (or Thomas, as he is officially now known) had a 3 or 4 minute interview on NPR this morning! Congratulations!

I think the spot was too short to give all the info he did in the article, and he couldn't give the full rebuttal deserved for a stupid question from the NPR interviewer. The question was essentially "doesn't Alito's opinion open the door for a closely held restaurant company to refuse service to black people on religious grounds?"

Tom said no, not a chance, but given more time, he could have noted:

1. RFRA does not allow unincorporated restaurant owners to discriminate on the basis of race for religious reasons, so why would a closely held company be different.

2. Hobby Lobby is not refusing service to anyone - they are asking to not be forced to provide a service (certain contraception products)that violate the owner's religious beliefs.

3. The restaurant presents itself as a public establishment for the service of food. Hobby Lobby does not present itself as a public establishment for the provision of jobs that come with contraceptive health insurance(or any insurance really).

4. Alito specifically noted in the decision that it does not apply to religious beliefs that require illegal discrimination (despite what Justice Ginsburg perhaps suggested in her dissent). Tom did make this last point.

We should invite Tom to comment here on Pajama Guy!

8:42 AM, July 03, 2014  
Blogger LAGuy said...

The interpretation of the Hobby Lobby case that I'm hearing often seems to almost intentionally misunderstand it. What I don't get is how this turned into a right/left thing--both on the Court and in the public arena. It's depressing. This struck me as above all a question of religious freedom--doesn't the left like that? And let's not forget, on the other side, it was the Peyote case, written by Scalia and joined by the Court's conservatives, that limited religious freedom and led to the RFRA.

1:56 PM, July 03, 2014  

Post a Comment

<< Home

web page hit counter