A Legal Death-Blow To Obamacare?

So, looks like the Seventh Circuit is racist:

We hold that the plaintiffs — the business owners and their companies — may challenge the mandate. We further hold that compelling them to cover those services substantially burdens their religious-exercise rights. Under RFRA the government must justify the burden under the standard of strict scrutiny. So far it has not done so, and we doubt that it can.

We know that the administration will appeal this, and it seems pretty likely that SCOTUS will take it up. It also seems pretty likely that they’ll uphold the Seventh Circuit. So the real question is, given the lack of a severability clause, in doing so, will Roberts take the opportunity to rectify his screw up last year, and void the entire law?

33 thoughts on “A Legal Death-Blow To Obamacare?”

  1. Unfortunately, the only interesting thing about this decision is what weasel tricks Obama’s administration will use to justify ignoring it.

  2. Presuming that Roberts was blackmailed last time, and the same threat is still hanging over him, the question becomes can he contort enough to uphold the abomination of law against the latest challenge?

    1. Roberts didn’t look like he was being coerced; he had the smug expression of a toddler filling a diaper. I don’t presume to know why he did what he did but I don’t believe it was by anything but his own free will. It wouldn’t be the first time a “smart guy” did something absurdly stupid because he thought he was ‘playing the deep game’.

      1. Robert’s gave his reason if we believe him. He said the voters need to get off their couches and be responsible. Didn’t happen.

        1. That was more an abdication than a reason. It also didn’t explain him effectively rewriting the case from the bench to give him a figleaf to pass the decision he wanted to.

  3. If this ruling holds, what happens with Christian scientists who don’t believe in
    any medical procedures?

    1. Perhaps they’d be given the same exemption that was given to the Amish and Moslems and not be required to buy health insurance.

      1. So a christian scientist owns a fairly large company and says “We don’t participate in
        insurance because it infringes in our religious rights, and we will not provide this
        to all our employees because of religious freedom”.

        1. Good luck to them getting good employees in that case. You see? They do not have to be coerced by the Government, just the Invisible Hand.

          This is basically how the whole insanity started. FDR froze wages, and the employers started tacking on fringe benefits to lure employees. Had that never happened, we wouldn’t ever have had the ridiculous problem of insurance being tied to employment in the first place.

          Like when they killed the station wagon and begat the SUV, government policies which ignore market realities in an attempt to improve things oft end up making them worse.

          1. “… government policies which ignore market realities in an attempt to improve things oft end up making them worse.”

            Bart I agree with you, however a lot of those market realities are not readily apparent. All the more reason why government should be very careful in fooling around with these things.

            Lately we call them unintended consequences.

            The left has still not learned that they are not smart enough – no collection of politicians and bureaucrats in DC is smart enough – to comprehend the complexity of a market such as health care.

        2. A business doesn’t exist to serve its employees. It exists to make money for the business owner. The business makes money by convincing people to spend their money in trade for goods and services. Jobs are a happy accident. It is what occurs when a business owner needs help to run the business.

          An employee agrees to compensation in return for work performed for that business. That compensation is whatever is agreed upon between the business and employee.

          This means a business is within its rights to offer whatever compensation it wants, including just pure cash. If the employee doesn’t like the compensation, the employee doesn’t have to agree to the deal.

          As was stated, the employee is free to go buy their health insurance by themselves, are they not? Did the business tell them they couldn’t get insurance anywhere else?

          1. Correct the employee could buy it somewhere else and not accept the heavily discounted (to the employee) policy the employer offers.

            Which would be a stupid market decision.

  4. I don’t think the lack of a severability clause will come into play here because the inclusion of contraception in the mandate was not in the text of the law. It was a regulation issued by the HHS administering the law.

      1. I don’t think Obama understands the difference between laws and regulations. Considering the political pain he is going through now is not due to laws but regulations that can be changed with a phone call.

        But Obamacare was never about people having health insurance. It is about money and power for Obama and Democrat cronies and controlling everyone’s lives.

        Strange how the small number of unisured was used as a reason for the law but the larger number of people who are losing their current plans and may be paying more for new ones is no big thing. Fraud sums it up nicely.

      2. What someone doesn’t appreciate is that mandates have to have a basis in law, and to argue for their constitutionality will require citing some aspect of the law that generated them.

      3. If they both carry the force of law, with penalties for noncompliance, then there is no practical difference – just as there is no practical difference between “mendacious” and “banal”.

  5. This ruling is stupid on its face. As this Sixth Circuit pointed out in it’s opinion, the owners of the corporation incorporated voluntarily for legal benefits, one of which is to be personally protected from the liabilities of the company. Allowing for the people who own the company the benefits of enforcing their religious views on their employees AND giving the owners the benefits of liability protection goes against 200 years of corporate law.

    The other problem is where does this stop? Can a restaurant claim it’s against their religion to hire black people? Or to serve black people? Can Baptists require that their employees not use wages to buy booze?

    1. Where does it stop, indeed? You seem to be suggesting that one gives up all rights and privileges when one incorporates.

      1. In exchange for the privileges of incorporation, one does give up some rights. There is no Constitutional requirement to allow anybody to incorporate.

        I fail to understand why all the freedom-loving people on this blog are so quick to sign away their freedoms to their employers.

          1. Insurance and especially health insurance has long been subject to government regulation. There is nothing intrinsically tyranical about regulating the insurance industry towards some public purpose, that is, until the current Administration came to be, with their Progressive vision of how things ought to be. There isn’t anything all that hard about regulation, that is, until we got a group that doesn’t seem able to tie their shoe laces without Federal help, and then it is the fault of the opposition party or the prior Administration.

            The Vice President as well as the Chief of Staff pleaded with the President to show a little flexibility with respect to religious conscience and the mandates. We have a long historical tradition of accomodating religious beliefs, and to do so with the ACA is simple common sense with respect to building the necessary political coalition. Unless you are going to tell me that the late and long-time Mayor of the City of Chicago, father of the President’s own Chief of Staff, was a right-wing religious nut for attending Mass each morning.

            Oh noes, when will this end, if we don’t force employers to pay for certainly widely available and affordable drugs, it will be like insurance plans will have multi-thousand dollar out-of-pocket limits and large co-pays like before the ACA . . . . never mind!

        1. Some of the freedom loving people on this blog have the means to become business owners. When we see laws, and ignorant supporters of them, claim “if you start a business, you sign away your rights to run the business to the federal government”, then we don’t start businesses. This likely explains why the number of employed people in the US is down to numbers not seen since 1973.

          So bray about how good it is for employers to purchase insurance that covers Pap smears for their single male employees. We’ve seen stagnation before in the US, and some seem to think it would be cool to see it again.

        1. Well, then I guess unions have no right to advocate for workers’ rights. Unions are corporations. So, if that is not the outcome you are hoping for, then I would be careful where you fling that anti-First Amendment argument.

        2. Are you serious?

          You are saying businesses have no rights or privilages?

          Democrats treat the Taliban better than they treat their fellow countrymen when it comes to granting rights and privilages.

          1. If you take his logic at face value, no municipality in the US has rights or privileges. Further, no nation has rights or privileges to any other nation.

    2. You know, it would almost be better for everyone if a business just paid everyone in cash, and was done with it after that. None of these questions would come up anymore. No one could claim the business was denying anything to anyone. It is just cash. Do with it what you will Mr. Employee.

  6. Government is intrinsically tyrannical. It is a compromise because without government you have little force to defend yourself. But by it’s very nature, government is going to oppose personal liberty, the very definition of tyranny. We simply hope suppression of liberty is small and rational. That’s why we demand equal justice. When government starts waving laws for it’s friends there is no check and balance against tyranny.

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