The Sunday Talkies

Meet David Gregory's hair

Crooks and Liars has the run-down, per usual, and when you look at the guest list (mostly Wingnuts) you see that the discussion is going to be mostly about immigration. There is hardly anyone listed that is likely to talk about how all of our rights were taken away by the theocrats on the Supreme Court.

The Hobby Lobby Silver Lining

Uncle Sam with Speculum

The LA Times tells us…

As it happens, Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Anthony M. Kennedy, in their majority and concurring opinions, respectively, implicitly acknowledged the wisdom of single-payer healthcare as a way forward.

… Rather than forcing the businesses to pay for those methods, the justices said, the government could follow the path it already has laid down for nonprofit religious organizations objecting to the birth control mandate. In those cases the coverage mandate and its cost are transferred from the religious employers to their insurers — but the insurers are compensated for the expense via a reduction in a healthcare tax they’re required to pay under the ACA.

In other words, the U.S. government becomes the single payer for those groups’ employees choosing those birth control methods. Alito and Kennedy would expand this accommodation to closely held businesses whose owners assert religious scruples.

The pertinent question then becomes: Why stop there? Offer the same accommodation for all employers for all coverage, and you have a single-payer system at last.

I left out a lot of the story to get to the pertinent points, so go read the whole thing. On Monday, when I read the part of the opinion where Alito really says that the government can perform this function is what started me saying that it was the first step to socialized healthcare.

Hobby Lobby Wins

NASCAR-Supreme-Court

SCOTUS Blog

Closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraception coverage.

Looks like it was a 5-4 split. Alito wrote the opinion.

The Court says that RFRA requires the Govt to provide closely-held corporate objectors the same accommodation it already provides nonprofit organization objectors.

RFRA is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which is probably going to cause more legal trouble over time. Hobby Lobby might be able to use the same ruling to fire gay people, but Walmart couldn’t because it is publicly owned.

The opinion is posted.

At first it seemed inconceivable that the Supreme Court would rule this way, I was expecting a thumping upside the head. But the opinion seems to be very narrowly written and does not favor one religion over another. Presumably a closely held Jewish company could apply the case as well as a pagan-owned company. That the case was brought to us by admitted Xristian Theocrats is actually not the pertinent part of the the ruling.

What everyone is losing sight of is that this affirms that the Clinton-era Religious Freedom Restoration Act is constitutional, and it might hold some other surprises. I’ve said for a while that Obama’s presidency has been hobbled by trying to undo the damage not just of Chimpy McStagger, but of Bill Clinton: DOMA, DADT, financial deregulation, ending Welfare as we know it, and so on. I maintain that Clinton was The Best Republican President Ever, and to this day we are still reeling from the effects of his administration. Today’s ruling is another example.

That said, on the bright side: this ruling could compell another stutter-step towards socializing medicine. If the ACA regulators are now going to include birth control essentially for all women, it might not be that far a reach to have other services as well.

There really are two Americas…

It’s official from the Roberts’ Supreme Court: Money=Free Speech, so now the 1% have more speech than the rest of us.

And of course this comes just days after the Wingnuttian 2016 Goat Rodeo contestants worked the stripper pole for casino-owning vulgarian Sheldon Adelson. It is just a coincidence Lindsey Graham wants to ban online gambling now that he has Adelson raising funds for his re-election campaign.

(I wonder when Roberts will sell the naming rights to the court?)

(NYTimes)

Who will cry for One-L?

“Marriage was created by the hand of God. No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted.”

–Michele Bachmann

“I’m going to Key West for the White Party. See you in August.* “

Kiss-kiss,
Marcus

*But I’m only guessing.

Prop 8 is tossed back to California

Gay Pride Month 2009

…which, in effect means that marriage equality has returned to California.

The Xristian Xrazies had no legal standing to appeal the decision when the state refused.

“The Ninth Circuit was without jurisdiciton to consider the appeal. The judgment of the Ninth Circuit is vacated, and the case is remanded with instructions to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.”

And in plain english: “After the two same-sex couples filed their challenge to Proposition 8 in federal court in California, the California government officials who would normally have defended the law in court, declined to do so. So the proponents of Proposition 8 stepped in to defend the law, and the California Supreme Court (in response to a request by the lower court) ruled that they could do so under state law. But today the Supreme Court held that the proponents do not have the legal right to defend the law in court. As a result, it held, the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the intermediate appellate court, has no legal force, and it sent the case back to that court with instructions for it to dismiss the case.”

(SCOTUS Blog)

(Opinion is here)

DOMA is DEAD

Gay Pride Month 2009

DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment. 5-4.

“The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others. “

(SCOTUS Blog)

The Opinion is here.

The afternoon quote

“There are two kinds of marriage: full marriage and the skim-milk marriage.”

–SCOTUS Justice Ginsberg, saying that DOMA had imposed on the US a two-tier system of marriage.

The Afternoon Quote

“Is it the government’s submission that citizens in the South are more racist than citizens not in the South?”

–SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts on the Voting Rights Act.

No, not everyone in the South is racist, that’s silly. However to need to ask if there is a problem with racism in The Confederacy is absurd.

In his own words

“I think it is attributable, very likely attributable, to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement. It’s been written about. Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.”

Here’s the lede for the story at Think Progress:

WASHINGTON, DC — There were audible gasps in the Supreme Court’s lawyers’ lounge, where audio of the oral argument is pumped in for members of the Supreme Court bar, when Justice Antonin Scalia offered his assessment of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. He called it a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”

Think Progress also has the full transcript so you can read it in context. It’s not less shocking.