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Author Topic: Religious Freedom for Corporates?  (Read 541 times)

spuwho

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Religious Freedom for Corporates?
« on: January 07, 2013, 08:54:02 PM »
Per the Wall Street Journal

Since Corporations now have recognized First Amendment rights by the Supreme Court, a Fed appeals court has voted 2-1 on December 30th to block implementation of Obamacare. The goal is to have the full court review if the law (Obamacare) violates the First Amendment and by extension the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

In the case Korte v. Sebelius it was argued that since corporations have rights under "personhood" then they are also afforded all rights carried under the Constitution. In this case Korte sued due to the contraception mandate for employers. Korte & Luitjohan argue that since their firm has constitutional rights, and as the owners they find the mandate against their beliefs as Roman Catholics,  Obamacare in fact infringes on their freedom of speech and exercise of religion, rights that have historically been afforded to human individuals only.

Law experts say either it will expand the scope of corporate personhood, or it will be limited since the the law does not cast a substantial burden on a for-profit company, which they say can't represent a religious view, unlike a religious affiliated hospital or school.


Fallen Buckeye

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Re: Religious Freedom for Corporates?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 10:57:56 PM »
I think you have to keep in mind that in the end that corporations are run by people who must make moral decisions about what is right and wrong. Clearly, the state does not hold the authority to restrict an individual's right to the free exercise of religion. Clearly and simple, Catholic teaching holds that it is sinful to lead another into grave sin. By telling a business owner that they must facilitate an intrinically sinful act or face back breaking fines, you are telling them they have no right to exercise their religious convictions if they want to be in business. That is coercion.

I also read the actual court documents for myself. Here's an interesting excerpt:
Quote
Relative to whether K&L has standing, in Citizens United v. Federal Election
Commission, __U.S.__, 130 S.Ct. 876, 899 (2010), the Supreme Court broadly stated that “First
Amendment protection extends to corporations.” Drawing from First National Bank v. Bellotti,
435 U.S. 765, 783 (1978), the high court specifically found that, even though they are not natural
persons, corporations can exercise political speech because, like individuals, corporations
contribute to discussion, debate and the distribution of ideas and information. Religious
institutions have long been organized as corporations at common law and under the King’s
charter. Citizens United, 130 S.Ct. at 926-927 (Scalia, J., concurring; joined by Alito, J., and Thomas, J.)). However, whether secular corporations can exercise religion is an open question.
This Court does not need to specifically decide whether a secular, for-profit corporation can
exercise religion. A corporation may engage in activities to advance a belief system, and may
assert constitutional rights on its own behalf and on behalf of its members.
See generally
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Button, 371 U.S. 415, 428-430
(1963).

http://www.becketfund.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Korte-order-denying-pdf.pdf

Adam W

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Re: Religious Freedom for Corporates?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2013, 03:50:41 AM »
It's also worth noting that Hobby Lobby lost their suit and have been told they must provide 'morning after' birth control coverage to their employees, in spite of their religious objections (they are appealing to the Supreme Court, apparently):

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/20/hobby-lobby-obamacare-lawsuit_n_2164237.html

I don't know what the differences are (from a legal perspective), but it appears that two different Federal Courts have ruled differently on similar types of cases.

Dog Walker

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Re: Religious Freedom for Corporates?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2013, 09:39:06 AM »
It's past time to get healthcare out of the hands of corporations.
When all else fails hug the dog.

Ralph W

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Re: Religious Freedom for Corporates?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2013, 08:33:43 PM »
Is the Federal Government a corporation? It has officers, a (very large) board of directors, charges money for its product(s), keeps minutes, pays wages or salaries, provides healthcare and pensions.

Fallen Buckeye

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Re: Religious Freedom for Corporates?
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2013, 09:01:55 PM »
It's past time to get healthcare out of the hands of corporations.

Couldn't agree more.

Adam W

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Re: Religious Freedom for Corporates?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2013, 09:40:02 PM »
Is the Federal Government a corporation? It has officers, a (very large) board of directors, charges money for its product(s), keeps minutes, pays wages or salaries, provides healthcare and pensions.

No, the Federal Government is not a corporation.

Charles Hunter

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Re: Religious Freedom for Corporates?
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2013, 10:39:17 PM »
Saw this somewhere else - a Constitutional Amendment along the lines of,
The words "person(s)" and "people" as used in this Constitution shall apply only to biological entities of the species Homo sapiens

Apparently, this would shut out "corporations are people".

Dog Walker

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Re: Religious Freedom for Corporates?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2013, 03:10:56 PM »
Would it take a Constitutional amendment?  Could it not be done with regular legislation?

Chris, could you give us a lawyer's informed opinion on this?
When all else fails hug the dog.

ben says

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Re: Religious Freedom for Corporates?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2013, 04:53:20 PM »
HIGHLY recommend this documentary for anyone interested in corporations and/or corporate personhood, it's inception,  from theory to practice. Not just informative but highly entertaining.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa3wyaEe9vE
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Adam W

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Re: Religious Freedom for Corporates?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2013, 05:21:49 PM »
I enjoyed that movie (though, if I recall, it had a somewhat irritating computer-voice narrator). Unless that was another documentary I watched. But the Corporation was a really interesting movie - I guess "enjoyed" is the wrong word. But you know what I mean.