SCOTUS Decision Day on Hobby Lobby Challenging ObamaCare’s Contraception Mandate … Major Decision Just Hours Away (Update: Hobby Lobby Wins 5-4 Over Obamacare)
1st Amendment and Freedom of Religion at stake this morning at the SCOTUS …
It is decision day for The Supreme Court of the United States on the issue before them of Holly Lobby challenging the Obamacare contraception mandate. Holly Lobby, the for-profit businesses is challenging the requirement in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that employers cover contraception for women at no extra charge among a range of preventive benefits in employee health plans. As the National Journal reports, SCOTUS won’t strike down Obamacare’s contraception mandate completely because that is not what the two companies, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, have asked of the Court. They haven’t asked the justices to ax the entire policy; however, a ruling for the law’s challengers could still render the policy toothless for millions of women.
The court meets for a final time Monday to release decisions in its two remaining cases before the justices take off for the summer.
The most contentious is that brought by Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby and a furniture maker in Pennsylvania. The for-profit businesses have challenged the requirement in the Affordable Care Act that employers cover contraception for women at no extra charge among a range of preventive benefits in employee health plans. It is the first major challenge to ObamaCare to come before the court since the justices upheld the law’s individual requirement to buy health insurance two years ago.
Supporters of Hobby Lobby cite a few factors potentially leaning in their favor, including the tone of oral arguments in March and a unanimous decision last week finding President Obama overreached in making recess appointments to a labor board.
“Absolutely, we win — we are very confident after oral argument in March that we will prevail in this case,” Hannah Smith, senior counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents Hobby Lobby, told Fox News. She suggested this, too, is a case of government “overreach.”
CNN – Jonathan Turley, Professor of Law at George Washington University discusses the ramification of today’s SCOTUS decision.
I predict 6-3 in favor of Hobby Lobby. Then again, this SCOTUS has disappointed me before.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote the major opinion and said, it was difficult to distinguish between closely held corporations and the people who own them. The religious liberty law was not intended to discriminate “against men and women who wish to run their businesses as for-profit corporations in the manner required by their religious beliefs.”
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that owners of private companies can object on religious grounds to a provision of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law that requires employers to provide insurance covering birth control for women.
The decision, which applies only to a small number of family or other closely-held companies, means an estimated several thousand women whose health insurance comes via such companies may have to obtain certain forms of birth control coverage elsewhere.
In a 5-4 vote along ideological lines, the justices said the companies can seek an exemption from the so-called birth control mandate of the law known as Obamacare. The companies in the case said they did not object to all birth control but certain methods they said were tantamount to abortion, which they oppose for religious reasons.
In their last decision of the nine-month term, the justices ruled for the first time that for-profit companies can make claims under a 1993 federal law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that was enacted to protect religious liberty.
Democrats go mental over the decision and threaten to respond to SCOTUS decision. But wait, isn’t it now law of the land? Isn’t that what Democrats, including Obama, say when the GOP tries to end Obamacare?
US Supreme Court Sets Aside $3.4 Million Verdict for Child Porn Victim … SCOTUS Says: May Claim Damages from Every Person Caught with Illegal Images
The case was Paroline vs. United States:
The SCOTUS has setaside a$3.4 million verdict again a Texas man named Doyle Paroline. The 5-4 decision upholds part of the Violence Against Women Act which calls for restitution to victims of child pornography, but it has some up with a compromise position on how to set the monetary amount. The SCOTUS majority opinion says those who possess the child porn images must pay something because they have contributed to the abuse. In essence, the Court ruled that a federal district court judge must calculate how much to assess against Paroline personally. The WAPO points out that the 5-4 decision was not the typical SCOTUS left-right split, which although the opinions were based on different rationals, at least issues like child porn are dealt with not along political lines.
Victims of child pornography whose images of sexual abuse have circulated on the Internet may claim damages from every person caught with illegal images, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
But justices rejected the idea that a single person who possesses such images may be assessed the full amount due to the victim, setting aside a $3.4-million verdict against a Texas man in a favor of a woman whose childhood rape was photographed and widely circulated on the Internet.
The 5-4 decision upholds part of the Violence Against Women Act which calls for restitution to victims of child pornography, but it adopts a middle-ground position on how to set the amount. It said those who possess the images must pay something because they have contributed to the abuse.
“It makes sense to spread the payment among a larger number of offenders in amounts more closely in proportion to their respective causal roles and their own circumstances,” said Justice Anthony Kennedy. “This would serve the twin goals of helping the victim achieve eventual restitution for all of her child pornography losses and impressing upon offenders the fact that child pornography crimes, even simple possession, affect real victims.”
His opinion in Paroline vs. United States leaves it to federal judges to decide on the proper amount in each case.
The case began when a young women using the name “Amy” learned the photos of her sexual abuse as an 8 year old child were circulating on the Internet. Sadly, it was her uncle, Eugene Zebroski, that was her abuser. Initially, a federal judge refused to order Paroline to pay restitution because there was no proof his offense caused or contributed to Amy’s abuse. However, a federal appeals court in New Orleans would overturn that decision and ruled for Amy and said Paroline was responsible for paying the full amount she had sought, a total of $3.4 million.
Paroline was among an estimated 71,000 people worldwide who viewed the attacks.
The full decisions can be read HERE.
Much, much more at the SCOTUS Blog, Opinion analysis: Dividing the duty to pay for child porn.
Each individual — among hundreds and maybe thousands — found guilty of keeping and looking at images of a child being sexually abused must pay the victim something more than a “trivial” sum, but none of them can be required to pay for all that the victim has lost, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a five-to-four decision.
The ruling in the case of Paroline v. United States, settling a dispute among lower courts on a mandatory law of restitution to victims of child pornography, refused to establish a specific formula for allocating the financial blame, telling federal trial judges to “do their best,” with a few suggestions for starting points. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion.
So you thought you could hide from Obamacare, this insidious law will eventually affect every American one was or another … Resistance is Futile.
Possibly coming to a restaurant you frequent, customers asked to help foot the bill for Obamacare healthcare increases and the not-so Affordable Healthcare Act … Gator’s Dockside, a Florida restaurant chain, is adding a 1% ACA surcharge to all of their patron’s bills in order to help pay for their increase in healthcare charges for their full time employees. Just curious, if it is so affordable, why do businesses need to further place a burden on their patrons to pay more, while receiving nothing more in return? Signs welcoming customers at the door read “The costs associated with ACA compliance could ultimately close our doors.”
click on pic to enlarge
Several restaurants in a Florida chain are asking customers to help foot the bill for Obamacare.
Diners at eight Gator’s Dockside casual eateries are finding a 1% Affordable Care Act surcharge on their tabs, which comes to 15 cents on a typical $15 lunch tab. Signs on the door and at tables alert diners to the fee, which is also listed separately on the bill.
The Gator Group’s full-time hourly employees won’t actually receive health insurance until December. But the company said it implemented the surcharge now because of the compliance costs it’s facing ahead of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate kicking in in 2015.
“The costs associated with ACA compliance could ultimately close our doors,” the sign reads. “Instead of raising prices on our products to generate the additional revenue needed to cover the costs of ACA compliance, certain Gator’s Dockside locations have implemented a 1% surcharge on all food and beverage purchases only.”
The Borg Obamacare … Resistance is Futile
We are reminded by the Heritage Foundation that other restaurants in California have done the same and added ACA surcharges to their bills.
What do you think happens when a new tax is forced upon a business by the feds, it gets passed on to the customer. Remember, the SCOTUS deemed Obamacare constitutional because it was a tax, even though Obama originally said to the American people that it was not. What is going to happen in the future when we find out that Obamacare is more costly than previously projected? Restaurants will have a much greater surcharge than 1%.
Liberal & Obama Supporter Attorney Jonathan Turley Says Expansion of Barack Obama’s Presidential Powers Threatens Liberty
WOW, IF THIS DOES NOT WAKE PEOPLE UP, NOTHING WILL … LIB ATTY AND OBAMA SUPPORTER BLASTS OBAMA’S ACTIONS
Last night on ‘The Kelly Files,’ Jonathan Turley, a liberal Constitutional attorney and Obama supporter said a mouthful last night with regards to the imperial president, Barack Obama’s “unilateral” and Unconstitutional actions. Turley stated, “I’m afraid this is beginning to border on a cult of personality for people on the left” and Well, you know, a system in which a single individual is allowed to rewrite legislation or ignore legislation is a system that borders on authoritarianism.”
This is a must watch interview and remember, this is coming from a lib. Turley is basically describing … “TYRANNY”.
KELLY: Let me ask you about this because in that soundbite we played before we went to commercial, you said the framers would be horrified because everything they did was to create balance between the branches of government and we’ve lost that.
TURLEY: Well, I’m afraid it’s quite serious because the framers created a system that was designed to avoid one principle thing, the concentration of power in any one branch. Because that balancing between these branches in this fixed orbit is what not only gives stability to our system but it protects us against authoritarian power, it protects civil liberties from abuse.
And what we’ve been seeing is the shift of gravity within that system in a very dangerous way that makes it unstable, and I think that’s what the president is doing. I think that we’ve become a nation of enablers. We are turning a blind eye to a fundamental change in our system. I think many people will come to loathe that they remained silent during this period.
KELLY: We heard a lot of objections when President Bush expanded the powers of the presidency from the left and from the media. They haven’t been raising the same objections now that we have a Democrat in The White House. And you say they do so at their own peril.
TURLEY: I’m afraid this is beginning to border on a cult of personality for people on the left. I happen to agree with many of President Obama’s policies, but in our system it is often as important how you do something as what you do.
And I think that many people will look back at this period in history and see nothing but confusion as to why people remained so silent when the president asserted these types of unilateral actions. You have a president who is claiming the right to basically rewrite or ignore or negate federal laws. That is a dangerous thing. It has nothing to do with the policies; it has to do with politics.
KELLY: Why is it so dangerous? What’ so bad that will come of this?
TURLEY: Well, you know, a system in which a single individual is allowed to rewrite legislation or ignore legislation is a system that borders on authoritarianism. I don’t believe that we are that system yet. But we cannot ignore that we’re beginning to ignore a system that is a pretense of democracy if a president is allowed to take a law and just simply say, ‘I’m going to ignore this,’ or, ‘I’m going to shift funds that weren’t appropriated by Congress into this area.’
The president’s State of the Union indicated this type of unilateralism that he has adopted as a policy. Now, many people view that as somehow empowering. In my view, it’s dangerous, that is what he is suggesting is to essentially put our system off line. This is not the first time that convenience has become the enemy of principle. But we’ve never seen it to this extent.
KELLY: What is supposed to be done about it? You know, I know in your testimony before Congress you cited Ben Franklin who believed that the other branches would work in their own self interest to try to reign in a president who got drunk on his own power, or however you want to put it. You know, Congress doesn’t have — they can withdrawal money, they can move to impeach, they can file lawsuits –which they’ve done — I mean, what are they supposed to do?
TURLEY: Part of the problem really rests with the federal courts. For the last two decades, federal courts have been engaged in a policy of avoidance. They are not getting involved when the executive branch exceeds its powers, they’re just leaving it up to the branches. And often they say Congress has the power of the purse, Congress can simply restrict funds.
But one of the complaints against President Obama is that very clearly dedicated funds in areas like healthcare, have been just shifted by the White House unilaterally to different areas. And the courts have adopted this avoidance policy.
I am astonished by the degree of passivity in Congress, particularly by Democrats. You know, I first came to Congress when I was a young page and there were people that fiercely believed in the institution. It didn’t matter what party held the White House. But what we’re seeing now is the usurpation of authority that’s unprecedented in this country.
Barack Obama Asks Supreme Court To Allow Warrantless Cellphone Searches … The Hell with the 4th Amendment
Isn’t this special, Barack Obama asks the US Supreme Court to allow warrantless cellphone searches. So much for the US Constitution and the 4th Amendment under this imperial president. Jammie Wearing Fool asks, remember when they said if we voted for Mitt Romney our freedom and liberties would be further eroded? It appears that they were correct in an convoluted Saul Alinsky kind of way.
From the WAPO:
If the police arrest you, do they need a warrant to rifle through your cellphone? Courts have been split on the question. Last week the Obama administration asked the Supreme Court to resolve the issue and rule that the Fourth Amendment allows warrantless cellphone searches.
In 2007, the police arrested a Massachusetts man who appeared to be selling crack cocaine from his car. The cops seized his cellphone and noticed that it was receiving calls from “My House.” They opened the phone to determine the number for “My House.” That led them to the man’s home, where the police found drugs, cash and guns.
The defendant was convicted, but on appeal he argued that accessing the information on his cellphone without a warrant violated his Fourth Amendment rights. Earlier this year, the First Circuit Court of Appeals accepted the man’s argument, ruling that the police should have gotten a warrant before accessing any information on the man’s phone.
The Obama Administration disagrees. In a petition filed earlier this month asking the Supreme Court to hear the case, the government argues that the First Circuit’s ruling conflicts with the rulings of several other appeals courts, as well as with earlier Supreme Court cases. Those earlier cases have given the police broad discretion to search possessions on the person of an arrested suspect, including notebooks, calendars and pagers. The government contends that a cellphone is no different than any other object a suspect might be carrying.
As Weasel Zippers opines, He’s just lucky his name isn’t George W. Bush.
- They struck down as unconstitutional a key part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that denies federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married
Daily Commentary – Friday, June 28, 2013 Download
- In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court OK’s DNA testing saying DNA identification of arrestees is a reasonable search that can be considered part of a routine booking procedure
Daily Commentary – Tuesday, June 3, 2013 Download
Obama and Taxes … Why should we trust The Lying King?
Blogger Adam Sharp speaks for many Americans when he responded to Barack Obama’s #My2K call. Sharp’s response in his video below, “Riddle Me this Barry, Why should we trust you. The lie was that Obama promised that he would not raise taxes on people making over $250,000 a year. As we learned this past year when the US Supreme Court and Chief Justice
Benedict Arnold John Roberts ruled that Obamacare was a tax. So why should we trust the Lying King Obama when he told Americans that Obamacare was not a tax, yet allowed his attorney to argue that it was?
Hat Tip: The Gateway Pundit
Maine Governor LePage Comments on President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and Calls Obama’s New IRS Agents … the ‘new Gestapo’
Not a tax, eh Barack Obama … then why would one put the IRS in charge to enforce Obamacare? Cuz nothing says tax like the IRS.
Governor Paul LePage of Maine described the new IRS agents in charge of enforcing Obamacare as the “new Gestapo” as he blasted President Barack Obama’s health care law, known as Obamacare/Obamatax, in his weekly radio address. LePage commented that the SCOTUS decision on Obamacare has made America less free. You think?
Gov. Paul LePage used his weekly radio address to blast President Obama’s health care law and described the Internal Revenue Service as the “new Gestapo.”
The IRS description was a reference to a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires Americans not insured by their employers or Medicaid to buy health insurance or pay an annual penalty when filing their tax returns. The provision, known more broadly as the individual mandate, was the subject of a multi-state lawsuit, but was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
LePage said the court decision has “made America less free.”
“We the people have been told there is no choice,” he said. “You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo — the IRS.”
There has been Democrat outrage regarding LePage’s comments and the Maine Democratic Party Chairman Ben Grant has asked for an apology. Really dude, there are many people who thought the IRS is the Gestapo long before Gov. LePage’s reference. As the Gateway Pundit reminds us, the Obama administration is building up the IRS by another 16,500 agents to enforce Obamacare. So it is not a tax, eh Democrats? Then why is the IRS in charge of enforcing Obamacare, hmm?
More MSM bias and the health care Obamacare tax around the President’s neck …
Just curious, how come when Obama has a change of opinion on a topic it is called an evolution of change by the MSM. How come when Obama’s top adviser has a misspeak on TV from the view point of the President, it is just ignored? How about when VP Joe Biden says something not in line with Obama, it is no big “F’n” deal? But when a Republican has one that goes against what another has said, it is a contradiction? Try as Obama, Democrats and the in the tank MSM will, you cannot run from the fact that Obamacare is a tax.
There is nothing worse than holding an individual’s own words against them. Welcome to the 2012 Obama’s version of read my lips, no new taxes fr the middle class.Mitt Romney stated over the weekend that he thought that Obamacare was a tax because that was whet the US Supreme Court ruled it as. Mitt Romney also sat down with CBS News and further stated that Obamacare was a tax. Romney went on to say that the American people know it is a tax and know that Barack Obama broke a campaign promise. Did the Romney adviser make a gaffe and get tongue tied when he was trying to discuss whether Obamacare was a tax or a penalty, of course he did. However, I think I will go by what the candidate actually says, rather than a surrogate. That is how the MSM treats Obama.
Mitt Romney said the federal health care reform mandate constitutes a “tax” Wednesday, contradicting the way a senior adviser to his campaign characterized his position earlier this week.
But the similar individual mandate and fee he signed into law when governor of Massachusetts is not a tax, he said in a separate interview, citing the Supreme Court’s decision last Thursday.
Of the federal law, Romney told CNN’s Dana Bash and Shawna Shepherd, “Supreme Court is the final word, right? The highest court in the land? They said it’s a tax didn’t they?”
“So it’s a tax, of course, if that’s what they say it is,” he continued.
Romney’s comments from CBS News:
“The Supreme Court has spoken, and while I agreed with the dissent, that’s taken over by the fact that the majority of the court said it’s a tax, and therefore it is a tax. They have spoken. There’s no way around that,” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee told Crawford in an exclusive interview, referring to the court’s 5-4 ruling that largely upheld the president’s signature health care law, with the individual mandate as a tax.
“I said that I agreed with the dissent, and the dissent made it very clear that they felt it was unconstitutional,” Romney continued. “But the dissent lost – it’s in the minority.”
“You can try and say you wish [the court] had decided a different way, but they didn’t,” Romney said. “They concluded it was a tax; that’s what it is. And the American people know that President Obama has broken the pledge he made. He said he wouldn’t raise taxes on middle-income Americans, and not only did he raise the $500 billion that was already in the bill, it’s now clear that his mandate, as described by the Supreme Court, is a tax.”
Not a tax Mr President?