Weekly preview, with Music

Kris Kristofferson at Austin City Limits in 2009:


  • We’ll have posts from Diana (True Blood), Jeremy (Batman), and CompGeekDavid (Music) here and the usual features at Just Gene’O.
  • We’re a go for a Feminist Friday discussion at Part Time Monster this week; we’re still working on the topic.
  • I’m not sure about the Tolkien post for this week or the Follow Friday on the blog yet. I’ll explain briefly why I am not sure below.

WARNING: Politics after the jump.

We’ve been following the fallout from the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores decision for the last week. If you’re unfamiliar, this is a case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that closely-held, for profit corporations may assert religious rights to avoid compliance with the federal mandate to provide insurance coverage for contraception for female employees. If this Atlantic article is to be believed, the victory has emboldened supporters of this move, and they are now pressing for more.

And here’s a Bloomberg Businessweek article from today that examines further developments and divisions on the court:

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on June 30 in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores case that closely held, for-profit corporations may invoke religious liberty to avoid compliance with the contraception-coverage mandate in the president’s 2010 health-care reform law. Then on July 3, an unspecified majority of the high court temporarily exempted a Christian college from a modest paperwork obligation imposed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—an obligation that the conservative majority appeared to have endorsed just four days earlier in Hobby Lobby.

Confused?  No wonder. Herewith, four blunt points to clarify—at least to the degree that clarification is possible.

We’ve learned not to drop our scheduled posting and get sucked into writing reactive pieces when things like this happen. That’s why you didn’t see an angry post here when the ruling was handed down. That said, this issue appears to snowballing. We need to say something about it. If we don’t do it soon, there are going to be too many developments for us to cover without spending a whole week of posts catching up on it.

So, as much as I want to be reading The Two Towers for the next couple of days, I can’t. Reading the Supreme Court opinions has to take precedence until we get a handle on this. I don’t know if I’ll have a post on this issue ready to go this week, but I will have one just as soon as I can get a grip on the situation and put something together.


2 thoughts on “Weekly preview, with Music

  1. That’s a sticky topic to jump at – it’s one that the political binary is incredibly polarized on, because even though the specifics of the case are themselves bland (Hobby Lobby was only against 4 types of contraceptive, and were still providing others), but the far-flung consequences of a closely-held business having the rights of a person have not yet been fully realized, and probably won’t be for decades.

    A lot of the corporations that people seem most worried about – the big sort that employ so many people, and that are publicly traded – are not included. However, to have rights like the sorts that this ruling implies, will newly formed businesses stay as closely-held and avoid going public?

    The judicial process takes so long… the case might have been less of an outrage/victory (depending on politics) if it had come right after the ACA passed, rather than years later. Since that’s when it all started.

    Anyway… these are some of the back-and-forth thoughts that have us not sure how to approach this topic. Good luck! (We’ll probably go with Science Fiction Today, as is our wont ;))


    • 🙂 Sci-fi is rarely the wrong decision.

      The first step on that other is to brief the case myself, so we’re not relying on big media sources for evidence. That’s what we’re working on now.

      Agree with you on the overall legal anlysis, especially the part about allowing for-profit corporations the sort of legal personality that is mostly reserved for natural persons.

      It’s hard to get at it 1,000 words at a time, though.

      Liked by 1 person

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