Friday, December 28, 2012

The Hobby Lobby Decision A Surprise?

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has denied a request to block part of the federal health care law requiring employee plans to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after pill.

According to the request, which is part of a lawsuit filed by the Hobby Lobby Corporation and sister company, Mardel, Inc., being forced by the government to provide those types of birth control and contraceptives violates the religious beliefs of the owners of Hobby Lobby.  The court, however, disagrees so far and says corporations are not religious organizations and therefore do not qualify for an exemption from the law.

First off - is anyone surprised by this?  Sonia Sotomayor has always been a loyal Obamabot and defended Obamacare in court before she was appointed to the SC bench.  I'm not sure why she decided to rule against the request until the case actually comes through the court but possibly it's because she was making an example out of Hobby Lobby.  "You will comply, regardless of whether your case has been heard, or you will pay millions of dollars for your refusal" is basically the message she sent out.  She made no comment on whether or not Hobby Lobby has religious grounds for the case itself - only that they will be forced to provide the insurance coverage when that portion of the law goes into effect or be fined, daily. 

There are many who would agree with Justice Sotomayor.  Hobby Lobby is indeed a for-profit corporation that provides thousands of jobs across the country.  However, like Chik Fil-A, the owners are staunch Christians who, among other things, keep their stores closed on Sundays because of their religious beliefs.  So there are a couple of questions that need to be answered.  Does the owner of a company give up his/her guaranteed religious rights just because he/she starts a business?  Does the owner of a company have the right to legally run that business according to his religious beliefs without interference from the government?

It seems we may soon discover the answer to those questions.  If the court rules against Hobby Lobby will it then force corporations owned and operated by Muslims to provide birth control and contraception for their employees?  It would seem so but who wants to bet it won't happen?

2013 should be an interesting year.  I read yesterday that the Supreme Court has also allowed an eligibility suit against President Obama to move forward.  If what I read was correct (and I can't find it right now), the court has allowed that enough evidence has been provided that the case can move forward on its own.  So we shall see what happens with that.  As I said - it will be an interesting year in the USA.

In other news, the country says good-bye to General Norman Schwartzkopf, one of the greatest military leaders in my lifetime.  General Schwartzkopf spent his life serving his country and deserves all honor and recognition.  Hopefully, his former Commander in Chief and friend, President George H.W. Bush, won't soon follow him.  His condition has not been improving, according to news reports, and it may be his time as well.  My thoughts and prayers are with the Schwartzkopf family and the Bush family.  May God comfort them all and give them peace as only He can. 

May each and every one of you have a very happy and prosperous new year.  In these days of extreme political posturing and looming financial crisis in the United States, I realize that wish may not be a possibility.  But what can I say?  I'm an optimist.

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