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Ignore Hobby Lobby Case; Harris v. Quinn Is Where the Action Is

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Today, the Supreme Court is scheduled to release two decisions. There is the case everyone will be talking about - Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, which doesn't matter - and Harris v. Quinn, which could upend the union landscape across the country.

In all likelihood, the Hobby Lobby case won't affect you or anyone you know. For those it will affect, it will make essentially no difference in their day to day lives. It focuses on the extremely narrow issue of whether a few companies so stupid as to conflate contraceptives with abortion have to pay for them under the Affordable Care Act. This case is getting all the media attention because Obamacare, and Sebelius, and religion, and abortion.

Harris v. Quinn could impact the lives of everyone in this country by radically restructuring how unions are allowed to operate. At issue is whether unions may compel representation and coerce dues from those who don't want to be union members. It impacts free speech rights, free association rights, and could significantly affect how many workforces in the U.S. operate, not to mention your municipal tax bill.

So pay attention today to the case that matters, and don't be trolled into mistaking Hobby Lobby for a case that does.

http://thenewversailles.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/ignore-hobby-lobby-case-harris-v-quinn-is-where-the-action-is

Edited by Robert Baratheon
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Slightly related to the Hobby Lobby case is the law that exempts "Old Order Amish" and any other religious sect that has been in existence since 1950 from paying into and collecting social security, if that sect conscientiously objects to insurance. Fairly unprincipled as laws go, but the SCOTUS is setting a similar style: ruling on narrow concretes, and not bothering that one concrete contradicts another, or has to be based on a more abstract principle that would invalidate other laws.

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Slightly related to the Hobby Lobby case is the law that exempts "Old Order Amish" and any other religious sect that has been in existence since 1950 from paying into and collecting social security, if that sect conscientiously objects to insurance. Fairly unprincipled as laws go, but the SCOTUS is setting a similar style: ruling on narrow concretes, and not bothering that one concrete contradicts another, or has to be based on a more abstract principle that would invalidate other laws.

I assume they also look at how popular or unpopular any given decision is. If something they do is hugely unpopular and controversial, it doesn't stand a chance in the long run, and might also jeopardize decisions that are right on the edge.

If they threw out anti-discrimination provisions, for instance (because employers have the right to bar gays, or only hire people who adhere to religious law, or (Muslim employers) have the right to only hire women who wear the hijab), that would be so unpopular that it would end up in the appointment of judges who have no regard for the First Amendment whatsoever.

So they instead just stick to enforcing the First Amendment when there's enough popular support for a given decision, or when the decision is removed enough from everyday life that people won't care (like with campaign laws).

Edited by Nicky
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I assume they also look at how popular or unpopular any given decision is. If something they do is hugely unpopular and controversial, it doesn't stand a chance in the long run, and might also jeopardize decisions that are right on the edge.

If they threw out anti-discrimination provisions, for instance (because employers have the right to bar gays, or only hire people who adhere to religious law, or (Muslim employers) have the right to only hire women who wear the hijab), that would be so unpopular that it would end up in the appointment of judges who have no regard for the First Amendment whatsoever.

So they instead just stick to enforcing the First Amendment when there's enough popular support for a given decision, or when the decision is removed enough from everyday life that people won't care (like with campaign laws).

 

People were and still are very upset about the Citizens United ruling. Most of the polls show at least an 80-20 unfavorable-favorable split. Not sure this logic holds up.

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