Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby William Thornton » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:52 am

Businesses, especially large corporations, are sensitive to public opinion. I doubt we will see a huge expansion of business claiming RL exemptions on this or other obama mandates. Those that are like Hobby Lobby et al, should have the right to do so under the same circumstances. Maybe the gummit could get out of mandating what business should do in regard to their employees health care.

Keith seems to think that if a majority of a closely held companies employees have no moral objection to contraceptions then the owners' religious views should be set aside. SCOTUS disagreed, properly, in my view, maintaining that it is not generally the gummit's prerogative to decide which religious views are worthy of protection and which are not. It seems inescapable to me that Keith believes that it is perfectly acceptable for gummit to make these decisions, but he can clarify that. In the case we are discussing (and I hate to say it again but it seems to slide past my old friend) Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., the government (Burwell, HHS Secretary) did not argue that employees have a FA right to contraception, although critics of the decision complained that it allows employers to force their religious beliefs on employees which is as close as the argumentation gets to what Keith keeps opining. The simple answer to that objection is that government can easily overcome what is lost in the mandate and that employees are not so aggrieved as to require gummit to substantially burden their employer's religious beliefs.

Need any of us have to declare that none of us are legal scholars? Not to despair there is surely more litigation to come on these religious liberty issues.
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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby Sandy » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:22 am

William Thornton wrote:Businesses, especially large corporations, are sensitive to public opinion. I doubt we will see a huge expansion of business claiming RL exemptions on this or other obama mandates. Those that are like Hobby Lobby et al, should have the right to do so under the same circumstances. Maybe the gummit could get out of mandating what business should do in regard to their employees health care.


This wasn't an "Obama mandate." Hobby Lobby had paid employee benefit premiums for prescription medications, including contraceptives, under the previous Bush administration rules without objection. This ruling puts the corporation owners in the business of deciding what medication their employees should receive under benefits that belong to the employees because they are earned as part of the compensation for helping Hobby Lobby keep its stores open and provide generous return on investment to their owners. Given its growth boom during the latter Obama term, and under Obama economic policy, and the opening of 50 new stores between 2012 and 2016, the owners of Hobby Lobby may frown and frump about "Obama mandates" but the are frumping and frowning all the way to the bank. Were the owners generous enough to compensate their employees for the lost benefits?

William Thornton wrote:Need any of us have to declare that none of us are legal scholars? Not to despair there is surely more litigation to come on these religious liberty issues.


No doubt. The Mormon church's attorneys have apparently paid a great deal of attention to this particular decision. The corporate empire owned by the church would, no doubt, love to declare itself "inherently religious" in order to deliver a good sum of what it now pays in taxes to the church itself. Guaranteed, any moves in that direction will get into the court pipeline.
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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby Jim » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:19 pm

There's no such thing as corporate person-hood. Corporations involve many persons and so cannot be the conscience of them all. Corporation boards and officials decide not conscience but policy. Those persons who can't live with those policies, whether based on religion or otherwise, can take appropriate action, including lawsuits and anything else worth attaining a financial windfall, the usual aim. HL exercised a corporation policy and SCOTUS said okay. Not to have said that would
have amounted to chaos.
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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby Dave Roberts » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:11 pm

I personally think that the SCOTUS decision opens Pandora's box for potential legal problems and it certainly redefines religion from being a personal relationship with God, however you conceive of God, to being a political or a legal stance. In doing so, I believe SCOTUS is stripping the heart from religion in the name of politics.
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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby KeithE » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:07 pm

William Thornton wrote:Keith seems to think that if a majority of a closely held companies employees have no moral objection to contraceptions then the owners' religious views should be set aside. SCOTUS disagreed, properly, in my view, maintaining that it is not generally the gummit's prerogative to decide which religious views are worthy of protection and which are not. It seems inescapable to me that Keith believes that it is perfectly acceptable for gummit to make these decisions, but he can clarify that.

William does not seem to know that many people have religious/social moral objections to unwanted babies and thus favor contraceptives. Thus when the owner's religious views are in conflict with employees that wish for no unwanted babies, the views of those employees should be simply set aside in William’s view.

The viewpoints are in conflict. I feel that since the FA are for people (not corporations) and the contraceptive-approving employees are more numerous that closely-held corporation owners, the SCOTUS should have ruled differently than they did. Available financial burdens of both groups to put up with the other view being law are small.

Perhaps William believes a moral precept is only a religious one (and thus subject to protection under the FA) when it is a recent culture war item. Contraception has been a religious issue for centuries - with some church bodies accepting it (most Protestant denominations; but a few of which recently flipped) and some not accepting it (Mormons, Catholics).

William Thornton wrote:Need any of us have to declare that none of us are legal scholars? Not to despair there is surely more litigation to come on these religious liberty issues.

I’m certainly not a legal guru, but I can see things from multiple points of view.
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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby William Thornton » Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:49 am

I think it is a weak argument to assert that there are many who claim that their religious liberty FA rights are violated when they are denied free contraceptives. It would support the argument if it could be shown that the gummit has been challenged on this basis. What was persuasive to SCOTUS is that some have religious objections to contraceptives and gummit may not, therefore, violate the FA in their cases by forcing them to act in violation of their religious views.

I regret that Keith plays the culture war card, since it is irrelevant to the discussion. I didn't pick the topic here.

For now the FA rights of closely held corporations cannot be separated from the FA rights of the owners. This is a good decision, in my view. Employees wanting contraceptives can obtain them easily elsewhere or choose to work for another employer.
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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby KeithE » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:43 am

William Thornton wrote:For now the FA rights of closely held corporations cannot be separated from the FA rights of the owners. This is a good decision, in my view. Employees wanting contraceptives can obtain them easily elsewhere or choose to work for another employer.


And owners can allow for coverage of contraceptives and not feel like they are guilty of being part of some sin (if contraception is a sin, the onus is on the user). If they are trying to eliminate sin throughout their enterprise, good luck.

Enough said (from me) on this relatively minor issue.
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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby William Thornton » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:13 am

KeithE wrote:
William Thornton wrote:For now the FA rights of closely held corporations cannot be separated from the FA rights of the owners. This is a good decision, in my view. Employees wanting contraceptives can obtain them easily elsewhere or choose to work for another employer.


And owners can allow for coverage of contraceptives and not feel like they are guilty of being part of some sin (if contraception is a sin, the onus is on the user). If they are trying to eliminate sin throughout their enterprise, good luck.

Enough said (from me) on this relatively minor issue.


You have a lot on your plate and I sincerely sympathize with you.

The persuasive argument was not yours for reasons previously stated.
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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby Dave Roberts » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:13 am

It seems getting off into the contraceptive side of the HL decision and not the ultimate effect on religion is a side trip. The real concern needs to be how SCOTUS is defining religion and how the administration is redefining religious liberty.
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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby William Thornton » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:27 am

Dave Roberts wrote:It seems getting off into the contraceptive side of the HL decision and not the ultimate effect on religion is a side trip. The real concern needs to be how SCOTUS is defining religion and how the administration is redefining religious liberty.


I don't think they are defining religion. Your question has to do with how they are considering who has religious freedom rights. It was a narrow decision.
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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby Haruo » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:01 am

If corporations are persons, are they (or can they become) citizens? I ask in light of the recent purported* conferring of citizenship on a robot by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

*I say purported because I can find no solid documentation that it happened in legal fact, but also no solid documentation that it was essentially just a joke or a publicity stunt.
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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby Sandy » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:11 am

William Thornton wrote:I think it is a weak argument to assert that there are many who claim that their religious liberty FA rights are violated when they are denied free contraceptives. It would support the argument if it could be shown that the gummit has been challenged on this basis. What was persuasive to SCOTUS is that some have religious objections to contraceptives and gummit may not, therefore, violate the FA in their cases by forcing them to act in violation of their religious views.


Free contraceptives? I must have missed something. The contraceptives in this case were paid for by the employees, out of the earnings they received as their compensation for their labor on behalf of the company. If the owners were being required to provide them for free, then that's a whole different issue. As I read what's provided regarding this case, the contraceptives were covered under the insurance plan that employees were offered, and the owners objected to the kind of contraceptive that was provided. It was a pretty narrow decision, since there was no previous objection to contraceptives provided under their previous insurance provider, just this particular brand and type of drug. They weren't free, just covered by the insurance which was paid for partly by an employee payroll deduction and partly as a benefit provided by the company as part of the employee compensation for their labor.

I'm not so much interested in how a corporation becomes a citizen, but how it becomes saved? And how would you baptize one?

And I'll add a note to this discussion. I work for an institution that is clearly identified as "religious," specifically "Christian," with a written statement of faith. Religious liberty, as it applies to us, involves our ability to protect the religious identity and nature of the institution by hiring people who hold specific religious beliefs that are in agreement with our statement of faith, and through the admissions process, to determine the Christian beliefs of families who send their children to school here. However, we can't determine the prescription drug coverage of our health insurance provider on religious grounds. But a for-profit company with no identifying religious identity can.
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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby Dave Roberts » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:15 am

Here is where the problem begins with religious rights to define medical care.

https://www.facebook.com/TheWittyLiberal/photos/a.554782434543412.1073741828.554682674553388/1616300758391569/?type=3
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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby William Thornton » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:11 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:Here is where the problem begins with religious rights to define medical care.

https://www.facebook.com/TheWittyLiberal/photos/a.554782434543412.1073741828.554682674553388/1616300758391569/?type=3


Ah, Facebook. We're getting into deep intellectual water here. :roll:

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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby Sandy » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:47 pm

Good questions actually. Looking at the way the SCOTUS majority opinion was written, legitimate questions because a corporation owner who was either JW or CS could decide that their religious convictions could apply to insurance coverage they decided to provide.
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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby Dave Roberts » Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:34 pm

William Thornton wrote:
Dave Roberts wrote:Here is where the problem begins with religious rights to define medical care.

https://www.facebook.com/TheWittyLiberal/photos/a.554782434543412.1073741828.554682674553388/1616300758391569/?type=3


Ah, Facebook. We're getting into deep intellectual water here. :roll:

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I love when you don't have an answer how you copy Trump's art of deflection, but it just tells me the same thing as his do.
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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby Dave Roberts » Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:03 pm

William Thornton wrote:
Dave Roberts wrote:Here is where the problem begins with religious rights to define medical care.

https://www.facebook.com/TheWittyLiberal/photos/a.554782434543412.1073741828.554682674553388/1616300758391569/?type=3


Ah, Facebook. We're getting into deep intellectual water here. :roll:

J

Another deflection when you have no answers. Sounds just like DT.
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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby William Thornton » Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:32 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:
William Thornton wrote:
Dave Roberts wrote:Here is where the problem begins with religious rights to define medical care.

https://www.facebook.com/TheWittyLiberal/photos/a.554782434543412.1073741828.554682674553388/1616300758391569/?type=3


Ah, Facebook. We're getting into deep intellectual water here. :roll:

J

Another deflection when you have no answers. Sounds just like DT.


It's a Facebook ad absurdum drive by scattershot that doesn't address or discuss anything. I'm all for a serious discussion. You raise good questions but rarely participate in any discussion of them.

The JWs for example. There is a body of litigation on their prohibition of blood transfusions. Has this been litigated relative to health care mandates? Likely, neither you nor the FB drive by knows but think you have a winning argument anyway.
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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby Sandy » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:51 pm

William Thornton wrote:The JWs for example. There is a body of litigation on their prohibition of blood transfusions. Has this been litigated relative to health care mandates?


It doesn't seem that this would matter much, if a JW owned a company that was mandated to provide insurance coverage, they could object, on religious grounds, to providing blood transfusions as part of the policy coverage.
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Re: Trump Admin and Corporate Personhood

Postby KeithE » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:21 pm

Great Facebook post. Thanks Dave.

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