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Thread: SCOTUS decisions

  1. #361
    Quote Originally Posted by Junebug View Post
    As to your first paragraph, that's correct, but the less reasonable a view the less likely it is to be sincerely held.
    Um, no.

  2. #362
    Quote Originally Posted by Junebug View Post
    As to your first paragraph, that's correct, but the less reasonable a view the less likely it is to be sincerely held.
    Lol I know...this is why RFRA and the ensuing "sincerely held" test is complete garbage.

    Somebody turning water into wine shouldn't be more believable just because more people across the world truly believe it happened.

  3. #363
    Quote Originally Posted by Junebug View Post
    Um, yes. I'm typing from a phone so I'm not going to spend hours typing this out, but, outside the mainstream religious views, this is absolutely the case. When I clerked, I saw it in prisoner cases all the time. If a prisoner claims some dietary restriction based on some religious text, courts are--rightly or wrongly--more likely to believe that than a claim that the prisoner believes that Jesus appeared to him and told him he could only eat steak.
    When I was interning at the federal courthouse one of the other clerks was telling me about a case she worked on where a prisoner who was something like 1/16th native american was petitioning under RFRA for a sweat hut to be provided at the prison.

  4. #364
    I don't really have a problem with the way the jurisprudence was before RFRA. I believe one of the portions of it was that the belief has to be central to the religion as well, correct? I would argue under the free exercise jurisprudence (although it probably wouldn't be entirely necessary after Scalia's opinion in Smith) that being opposed to abortion, while potentially sincerely held is not central to the religious belief of Christianity that you be opposed to abortion or opposed to contraception which works in an "abortive manner" (for lack of a better phrase). The evidence of this is there are plenty of Christians who are not opposed to these contraceptives.

    Of course this again comes back to the individual's beliefs rather than the religion's beliefs.

    I think it's a tough area of the law, but I think the first step is to get rid of RFRA. Smith was a damn good decision IMO. This holding is fantastic: "The Court held that the First Amendment's protection of the "free exercise" of religion does not allow a person to use a religious motivation as a reason not to obey such generally applicable laws."
    Last edited by Wakeforest22890; 07-01-2014 at 01:38 PM.

  5. #365
    Quote Originally Posted by Junebug View Post
    Did he win? My judge made the clerks tour a federal prison. The one we toured had a universal (ie, for all religions) chapel for the big 3 (as if there were any Jews incarcerated in the Deep South) and a sweat lodge for the Am Indians.
    He lost on the grounds that the beliefs were not sincere since he had no evidence of any kind that he had used the sweat lodges before he was incarcerated. He argued that it didn't matter if he used them before because his current belief system included usage of the sweat huts.

  6. #366
    Quote Originally Posted by Junebug View Post
    The sincerely held test was a component of FE Clause jurisprudence well before RFRA. You and 923 are talking about how bad it is, but I'm still wondering what the alternative is?
    i don't pretend to be a con law scholar. I yield the field to you and numbers. I just see nothing positive, whatsoever, coming out of the continued channeling of healthcare through employers nor out of the possible opening of a Pandora's box in the Hobby Lobby case, which despite Alito's protestations to the contrary will inevitably be used to try and weaken cases like Smith to get more and more exceptions for the religious. This is not in the best interest of good governance, nor is it ultimately in the best interest of the religious themselves.

  7. #367
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wakeforest22890 View Post
    When I was interning at the federal courthouse one of the other clerks was telling me about a case she worked on where a prisoner who was something like 1/16th native american was petitioning under RFRA for a sweat hut to be provided at the prison.
    Sweat huts should be covered by Hobby Lobby insurance. And treatments for the partners of cold fish.

  8. #368
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJKarl View Post
    How sincere can you be about something when you make money from investing in something you call immoral?
    My understanding is that the HL 401(k) is the mutual fund investor. If that's correct, HL itself isn't making money on the investment. Of course, they could still be labeled hypocrites and who knows of the owners themselves participate in the 401k

  9. #369
    Quote Originally Posted by Junebug View Post
    You should let them know.

    Seriously, I have no idea about the evidence at the lower court. I don't think a court would much care if their views were internally inconsistent on this point so long as they could offer some plausible justification for them, which would include "we think the science is clearer w/r/t IUDs." In my experience, courts don't much linger on the question of sincerity, for the precise reasons we are getting into here--at some point it overlaps into a question of reasonableness, and courts are (rightly) loathe to judge religious views by that standard.
    First paragraph: snark?

    Second paragraph: I believe you, but the bolded seems like a pretty big thing for the court to just gloss over.

  10. #370
    Quote Originally Posted by Junebug View Post
    Well, we can't have courts evaluating whether a religious view is reasonable because (1) courts are courts of law not ecclesiology and (2) church doctrine will not necessarily align with human reasoning.

    What else would you suggest?

    Right, so instead, they decide whether beliefs are "sincerely held." Which, of course, is no easier than deciding whether they are "reasonable."

  11. #371
    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon923 View Post
    i don't pretend to be a con law scholar. I yield the field to you and numbers. I just see nothing positive, whatsoever, coming out of the continued channeling of healthcare through employers nor out of the possible opening of a Pandora's box in the Hobby Lobby case, which despite Alito's protestations to the contrary will inevitably be used to try and weaken cases like Smith to get more and more exceptions for the religious. This is not in the best interest of good governance, nor is it ultimately in the best interest of the religious themselves.
    I'm certainly no con law scholar at all, just think these cases are extremely interesting.

  12. #372
    Quote Originally Posted by DeacinBama View Post
    Okay, but that doesn't change my point. Is any individual from HL claiming that their religion spells out which types of birth control cause abortions?
    Exactly. What do they cite in their faith as support for the distinction? If they rely on Jeremiah's "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you" (the most oft-cited support, correct?), I see no such distinction. And if interpreted as a directive, that would support a no-contraception-whatsoever stance.

  13. #373
    I haven't read the briefs but I would imagine that it didn't take too much for a court to be convinced that Christianity has tenets which make abortion appear to be immoral in the eyes of a Christian. Might just be embedded in the concept of "thou shalt not kill."

  14. #374
    Quote Originally Posted by Wakeforest22890 View Post
    I haven't read the briefs but I would imagine that it didn't take too much for a court to be convinced that Christianity has tenets which make abortion appear to be immoral in the eyes of a Christian. Might just be embedded in the concept of "thou shalt not kill."
    But again, the issue was more whether the specific contraception caused abortions, not whether abortion was wrong. The Court clearly accepted HL's belief in that alleged distinction as meaningful to its religious freedom (weird to preface religious freedom with an "its"), apparently no matter how/where HL drew support for it. They just believe it, and they sincerely hold that belief.

    This will not reduce religious freedom case filings, that is for sure.
    Last edited by deacz; 07-01-2014 at 02:19 PM.

  15. #375
    Reading hobby lobby decision. It is interesting to me that the majority kind of punted on "compelling government interest." I would've told the government to eat shit in that regard, but they felt it wasn't necessary to address it (but did take 2 pages to do just that).

    Other than that, learned a few things. The RFRA specifically allowing corporate exemptions (something I wasn't aware of previously) kind of hamstrung the minority from the beginning.

  16. #376
    Quote Originally Posted by EatLeadCommie View Post
    Reading hobby lobby decision. It is interesting to me that the majority kind of punted on "compelling government interest." I would've told the government to eat shit in that regard, but they felt it wasn't necessary to address it (but did take 2 pages to do just that).

    Other than that, learned a few things. The RFRA specifically allowing corporate exemptions (something I wasn't aware of previously) kind of hamstrung the minority from the beginning.
    I always put you in the JHMD "RESPONSIBILITY AND TWO PARENT HOUSEHOLD IS THE BEST WAY" camp, which to me, would mean that contraceptives were advancing a compelling interest (i.e. providing a way for people to be responsible).

  17. #377
    Quote Originally Posted by Wakeforest22890 View Post
    I always put you in the JHMD "RESPONSIBILITY AND TWO PARENT HOUSEHOLD IS THE BEST WAY" camp, which to me, would mean that contraceptives were advancing a compelling interest (i.e. providing a way for people to be responsible).
    Why are you writing as if Hobby Lobby had taken the position that they were against paying for any forms of contraception? They only objected to having to pay for other people's choices for method of contraception which were against their sincerely held religious belief. They remain willing to pay for a majority of available means which do not offend their belief system (and continue to do so).
    Last edited by jhmd2000; 07-01-2014 at 06:34 PM.

  18. #378
    Put me in whatever camp you like. I'm no bible thumper. Compelling to me means just that- compelling. It doesn't mean, hey, it can be a good thing for somebody in this situation. By that standard, anything can be argued as compelling. Granted, I don't know what standard the courts have for determining what is compelling. It could be completely subjective, or it could be a gimme in terms of the govt's burden of proof. I did note, however, that Alito's opinion was dismissive of ambiguous claims to compelling interest before he chose to punt on the issue.

  19. #379
    Quote Originally Posted by EatLeadCommie View Post
    Put me in whatever camp you like. I'm no bible thumper. Compelling to me means just that- compelling. It doesn't mean, hey, it can be a good thing for somebody in this situation. By that standard, anything can be argued as compelling. Granted, I don't know what standard the courts have for determining what is compelling. It could be completely subjective, or it could be a gimme in terms of the govt's burden of proof. I did note, however, that Alito's opinion was dismissive of ambiguous claims to compelling interest before he chose to punt on the issue.
    So you don't think these forms of contraception are compelling? Compelling is obviously subjective but is above rational basis as far as a test goes. It's certainly no "gimme" or anything.

    Yes, not surprising at all that an older Catholic male is dismissive of the government having a compelling interest in issuing some forms of contraceptives to women. Not surprising in the least.

  20. #380
    I understand the potential issue "sincerely held" was not argued. Both sides agreed that HL held these beliefs.

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