In the recent Hobby Lobby Case, Justices Elana Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor said that corporations that don’t want to pay for abortions should simply not provide any health insurance: “But isn’t there another choice nobody talks about, which is paying the tax, which is a lot less than a penalty and a lot less than — than the cost of health insurance at all?” Dissenters from the official line must pay a tax. That sounds familiar.
In Sebelius vs. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. we are asked whether a private corporation has the right to buy health insurance that does not pay for abortion.
Progressives like Erwin Chemerinsky argue that the issue is simple: A private partnership might have the right to buy insurance according to the conscience of the owners but a corporation is a separate entity, created by the state, and, as such, is and must be secular. It is a “secular corporation.”
But why must that be the case?
In Poland, according to an animal protection law, animals must be stunned with a stun-gun prior to slaughtering. The European Convention for the Protection of Animals for Slaughter permits EU member countries to exempt religious slaughter from the stunning requirement. However, the Polish Parliament voted against granting the exemption. However, such a slaughter would not satisfy the rules of Kosher, which proscribe a very specific manner to kill an animal in accordance with Jewish Law. As a result, it is effectively illegal to make kosher meat in Poland. Unsurprisingly, several slaughterhouses are violating the law, and doing it anyway.
Eternal Greve rule: never, ever talk about religion or the Bill of Rights—not on a blog, not in law school, not in FedSoc forums. There’s no law there; and on the mystery of life and the universe, I have no comparative advantage over Justice Kennedy. (He has the advantage: a black robe.) But there’s an exception to every rule, and a point where you have to push back.
Our review essay this week is Ted McAllister's "The Tyrannical Declaration of Independence" on Alexander Tsesis' book For Liberty and Equality: The Life and Times of the Declaration of Independence: The intellectual rise of Neo-Progressivism over the past three decades depended heavily on historians who helped craft a compelling story of America. This story had to expose and chronicle the dark history of exploitation of the privileged and powerful against a litany of victimized “others” while simultaneously laying claim to a worthy past that is unfolding toward a noble future. The psychological benefits of this story are many and powerful, though…
The Liberty Forum for August is an attempt to answer the question if the courts should assume a more prominent role in reining in the administrative state. Joseph Postell's lead essay argues that Today’s administrative state, therefore, makes a mess of the constitutional separation of powers and its careful adjustment of incentives, checks and balances. In such a system, what role can and should the courts play in reviewing agency decision-making? Here is where a deeper understanding of the courts’ historical role in administration is most needed. Excellent responses from Gary Lawson and Mark Seidenfeld question Postell's argument in favor of heightened…
Our Books section this week features an incredibly insightful review from Alex Pollock on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's collection of speeches entitled The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis. Pollock notes the size and potential legacies of Bernanke's big bet: How future histories characterize the author will reflect something they will know, which we cannot: what the outcome of the Bernanke Fed’s massive manipulation of the government debt and mortgage markets will have been. This is something that we, and the Federal Reserve itself, now can only guess about. We do know that this has taken the Bernanke Fed’s assets to…
Recent decades have seen a remarkable growth in America and Europe of secular humanism, along with other less self-conscious and militant forms of religious disaffiliation. Elsewhere there has been an equally striking resurgence of religion, especially Islam. Practically wherever this has happened has witnessed a concomitant upsurge in the persecution of religious minorities who, as often as not, have been Christians, given the size and global reach of their faith.
Within Muslim lands, Christians have been especially subject to persecution. But they are not their only religious minorities to have suffered increased levels of it.