Federal Appeals Court Rules In Favor Of Hobby Lobby


Via The Conversation:

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that Hobby Lobby, and its sister company, Mardel bookstores should be allowed to seek exception from the part of the ObamaCare mandate that violates their religious beliefs.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver said the companies can proceed with their lawsuit and can probably win, great news for Hobby Lobby, Mardel,and for the dozens of lesser known businesses with similar lawsuits in various states.

Hobby Lobby was facing fines of up to $475 million for failing to comply with the law, or pay $26 million to the government if it dropped its health care plan altogether.

The judges indicated that the Oklahoma court should have granted the companies an injunction with such serious financial penalties on the line.

The judges unanimously sent the case back to a lower court in Oklahoma, which had rejected the companies’ request for an injunction to prevent full enforcement of the new law.

“Hobby Lobby and Mardel have drawn a line at providing coverage for drugs or devices they consider to induce abortions, and it is not for us to question whether the line is reasonable,” the judges wrote. “The question here is not whether the reasonable observer would consider the plaintiffs complicit in an immoral act, but rather how the plaintiffs themselves measure their degree of complicity.”

Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., Mardel Inc. and their owners, the Green family, argue for-profit businesses — not just religious groups — should be allowed to seek an exception if the law violates their religious beliefs. The owners approve of most forms of artificial birth control, but not those that prevent implantation of a fertilized egg — such as an IUD or the morning-after pill.

The appeals court slapped down the DOJ’s obnoxious argument that  allowing for-profit corporations the option to exempt themselves from regulations that violate their religious beliefs, was somehow allowing the businesses to force their  religious beliefs on their employees.

The 10th Circuit cited a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that for-profit corporations have rights to political expression.

The judges said, “we see no reason the Supreme Court would recognize constitutional protection for a corporation’s political expression but not its religious expression.”

Judge Harris Hartz wrote, “no one suggests that organizations, in contrast to their members, have souls. But it does not follow that people must sacrifice their souls to engage in group activities through an organization.”

Emily Hardman, spokeswoman for the Washington-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents Hobby Lobby, called the ruling a “resounding victory for religious freedom.”

But Americans United for Separation of Church and State said the judges were wrong.

“This isn’t religious freedom; it’s the worst kind of religious oppression,” executive director Barry Lynn said in a statement.

On Friday – one day after the court ruled that their regulation was probably a violation of religious liberties,  HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius  announced a  finalized version of the contraception mandate in Obamacare that provides an “accommodation” for non-profit organizations that have a religious objection to the mandate…

The Washington Examiner reported:

HHS said that the final rule includes an “accommodation” for non-profit religious institutions that oppose the use of contraception. “Under the accommodation these organizations will not have to contract, arrange, pay for or refer contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds, but such coverage is separately provided to women enrolled in their health plans at no cost,” HHS said.

How convenient.

Somebody remind me what that whole “Republican War on Women” thing was about, last year, ’cause if I remember right, it had something to do with Republicans objecting to the grotesque, unconstitutional  overreach of the federal government that just got  unanimously slapped down by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.


The Conversation: HHS Accommodation Is No Accommodation At All:

the final rule only includes an accommodation for non-profit  institutions that oppose the use of contraception. “Under the accommodation these organizations will not have to contract, arrange, pay for or refer contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds, but such coverage is separately provided to women enrolled in their health plans at no cost,” HHS said.

A more careful reading on my part would have seen that the final regulation issued yesterday provides no accommodations at all for individual Christians or private for-profit employers who morally object to the mandate.

CNS reported:

Catholic and other Christian individuals in the United States will now be forced by the Obama administration to buy insurance coverage that pays for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs–whether they want that coverage or not and even though it forces them to act against their faith.

What these final adjustments to the regulation do is provide what the administration calls “accommodations” to religious non-profit organizations only–or what the regulation calls “eligible organizations.”
The Regime’s War on God continues apace – but the 10th Circuit ruling, Thursday indicates this is one battle they will almost certainly lose.
(Unless, of course Obama’s NSA has dirt on any of the OK  judges…)

Friday Free-For-All: CALM DOWN, The House Will Not Disappoint on Immigration!


Steve Breen cartoon via Townhall.

Sen. Cruz Statement on Gang of Eight Bill Vote:

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) issued the following statement regarding today’s vote on S.744, the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill:

Unfortunately, all of the concerns that have been repeatedly raised about this bill remain: it repeats the mistakes of the 1986 immigration bill; it grants amnesty first; it won’t secure the border; and it doesn’t fix our broken legal immigration system.

This bill doesn’t solve the problem because the process it went through was fatally flawed– it was written behind closed doors with special interests; in the Judiciary Committee, the Gang of 8 and Democrats blocked all substantive amendments because of a previously cooked deal; and on the Senate floor, the majority blocked any attempts to fix the bill.

Further, in conjunction with Obamacare, the Gang of 8 bill creates a tax penalty on employers – effectively, up to $5,000 – for hiring U.S. citizens or legal immigrants. But that penalty does not apply to those with RPI status, giving a powerful incentive for job creators to hire illegal immigrants instead of U.S. citizens or legal immigrants. That is indefensible. I filed an amendment to fix this defect, but was blocked by Senate Democrats from receiving a vote on that solution.

Sadly, this bill won’t fix the problem with our immigration system and will only encourage more illegal immigration and human suffering.

I strongly support commonsense immigration reform that secures the border before legalization, fixes our legal immigration system, and upholds the rule of law. This bill isn’t it.

Yid With Lid: Immigration Moves On: CALM DOWN The House Will Not Disappoint!

Speaker Boehner and House GOP leadership have three choices:

  • Do Nothing: Face it, immigration reform is a key item on the Democratic Agenda but not on the agendas of the American people.  The last Rasmussen poll which looked at priority of national issues (published two days ago) had immigration ranked tenth behind economy, health care, jobs, social security, govt. spending, corruption, taxes, education and national security. Boehner could simply agree that this is an important issue but the economy, jobs, and the deficit are more important and the House will take up immigration after they are done with the other nine items.
  • Pass their own version of a comprehensive bill and send it to a conference committee. This is both the least likely to happen and the one which frightens the conservative base the most.   A bill which comes out of a conference committee (if agreement could be reached) could be considered bi-partisan and there the speaker could face tremendous pressure). Agree or disagree with him, Boehner is not a stupid man.  This option has no upside and he will not go this way. 
  • Piecemeal: This approach gives the speaker the most options and therefore is the most likely approach. He will split the issue into its component parts and bring up each part as a separate bill. In fact yesterday Boehner indicated that this may be the way he goes.  

 “Chairman McCaul has done a good job passing a border security bill, Chairman Goodlatte is doing good work over in the Judiciary Committee, and if immigration reform is going to work, it’s essential that the American people have the confidence that it’s being done correctly,” Mr. Boehner said. “That’s how the House will approach this issue.”

The first step will be border security. The house will pass a border security bill which will die in the senate.  At the same time the House will ready a bill that fixes our present immigration system and a separate bill with a pathway to citizenship which has to be done eventually because in the end those 11 million illegals aren’t going anywhere and I believe can get that through if a border security bill is passed. The speaker will not bring the second two bills through the house until the border security bill passes the house (very unlikely).

Townhall: Oversight Committee Votes: IRS’ Lerner Waived Fifth Amendment Rights With Opening Statement:

The House Oversight and Government Reform committee voted Friday and determined that Lois Lerner, the head of tax exempt groups at the IRS, waved her Fifth Amendment rights during testimony over a month ago after she voluntarily made an opening statement. In that statement, Lerner said she had done nothing wrong. She was called to testify in front of the Committee after admitting at a conference that the IRS had inappropriately targeted conservative tea party groups.

Andrew Malcolm, IBD: The disturbing pattern: Obama rids America’s military of yet another top general:

It’s a developing pattern of this Obama White House.

Barack Obama cashiered yet another battle-seasoned American general Tuesday, even as the war in Afghanistan continues along with numerous other serious global threats to United States security.

This is the fourth senior officer Obama has forced from the country’s service.

All four were tied somehow to the Afghanistan mess that Obama has long argued was the most important war. Each departure was staged as a resignation. They were usually tied to some personal indiscretions to save face for Obama, who would know of indiscretions as a product of the corrupt Chicago Democrat machine.


Zero Hedge: Corzine Officially Charged By CFTC For Filing False Reports, Commingling Funds And Other Violations:

From the CFTC:

CFTC Charges MF Global Inc., MF Global Holdings Ltd., Former CEO Jon S. Corzine, and Former Employee Edith O’Brien for MF Global’s Unlawful Misuse of Nearly One Billion Dollars of Customer Funds and Related Violations

Settlement of charges against MF Global, subject to court approval, directs payment of all funds still owed to commodity customers and imposes a $100 million penalty against the company

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today filed an enforcement action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against MF Global Inc. (MF Global), a registered futures commission merchant (FCM), MF Global Holdings Ltd. (Holdings), former Chief Executive Officer of MF Global and Holdings Jon S. Corzine, and former Assistant Treasurer of MF Global Edith O’Brien based on, among other violations, MF Global’s unlawful use of customer funds that harmed thousands of customers and violated fundamental customer protection laws on an unprecedented scale.

MF Global has agreed to settle all charges against it on terms set forth in a proposed order that is subject to court approval and includes 100% restitution of the approximately $1 billion lost by all commodity customers when the firm failed on October 31, 2011. Commissioner Jill Sommers stated, “I am pleased that the MF Global Trustee has agreed to settle the charges against the company. There is nothing more important than doing everything possible to make full restitution to all commodity customers. I am also proud of the members of the Division of Enforcement team, who have worked so hard on this case to bring us to where we are today.”

According to the Complaint, Corzine, a former U.S. Senator and New Jersey Governor with more than twenty years of Wall Street experience, joined MF Global as CEO in March 2010 with a plan to transform the firm from a futures broker into a major investment bank. Corzine’s strategy called for making increasingly risky and larger investments of the firm’s money. In the summer and fall of 2011, as MF Global’s need for cash was rising and its sources of cash were diminishing, Corzine knew that the firm was relying more and more on proprietary funds that it held alongside customer funds in FCM customer accounts. During this time, Corzine did not enhance MF Global’s deficient systems and controls sufficiently to ensure that the firm’s increasing reliance on FCM cash did not result in unlawful uses of customer money. Ultimately, these failures contributed to the massive customer losses.

Via Gabe Malor at AoSHQ, you can take the  “Libertarian Purity Test” .

Among the cobs, I scored a 65. JohnE scored a 68. Andy scored a 56. Fairly close together.

For comparison’s sake, Adam Baldwin scored a 73. Kathleen McKinley, who commented here years ago as RightwingSparkle before going on to blogospheric success of her own, scored an 82.Domenech himself scored a 92.

On the low end, John Gabriel, who joined us for the podcast two weeks ago, scored a 41. Guestblogger Ben Howe, of Red State, scored a 31. And Townhall blogger and radio host Guy Benson scored a 26.

ND scored a 67 – right in line with the cobs, I guess.

Questions and Observations: The epic decline of American influence and power:

And it has primarily happened under this administration as Bret Stephens outlines in his Wall Street Journal piece.  The Snowden chase has been most instructive in how little influence American now has.  When your naive foreign policy is to have other countries “like” you instead of understanding the respect is currency you should be dealing in (and also understanding how you earn that), then the results are predictable:

At this writing, Edward J. Snowden, the fugitive National Security Agency contractor indicted on espionage charges, is in Moscow, where Vladimir Putin’s spokesman insists his government is powerless to detain him. “We have nothing to do with this story,” says Dmitri Peskov. “I don’t approve or disapprove plane tickets.”

Funny how Mr. Putin always seems to discover his inner civil libertarian when it’s an opportunity to humiliate the United States. When the Russian government wants someone off Russian soil, it either removes him from it or puts him under it. Just ask investor Bill Browder, who was declared persona non grata when he tried to land in Moscow in November 2005. Or think of Mr. Browder’s lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, murdered by Russian prison officials four years later.

Mr. Snowden arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong, where local officials refused a U.S. arrest request, supposedly on grounds it “did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law.” That’s funny, too, since Mr. Snowden had been staying in a Chinese government safe house before Beijing gave the order to ignore the U.S. request and let him go.

“The Hong Kong government didn’t have much of a role,” Albert Ho, a Hong Kong legislator, told Reuters. “Its role was to receive instructions to not stop him at the airport.”

Michelle Malkin: Another White House play date with Muslim jihad:

Forget Paula Deen. There are far more dangerous bigots and poisonous haters spoiling the American landscape. They cook up violent rhetoric and murderous plots against our troops, our citizens and our allies 24/7. And they have direct access to the White House.

Earlier this week, the indefatigable Investigative Project on Terrorism blew the whistle on the Obama administration’s latest flirtation with Muslim jihad.Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah bragged on his website that he had met with Team Obama on June 13. IPT reported that bin Bayyah was invited by National Security Council official Gayle Smith “to learn from you and we need to be looking for new mechanisms to communicate with you and the Association of Muslim Scholars.”

Someone associated with bin Bayyah deleted his website reference to the meeting, but the Internet is forever. The White House has now ‘fessed up to the confab. According to Fox News, a senior official spun the troubling event as a discussion about “poverty, global health efforts and bin Bayyah’s own efforts to speak out against al-Qaida.”

Bin Bayyah’s moderate Muslim costume shouldn’t fool anyone. This sharia thug, who has worked with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to boost his progressive-friendly cred, lobbied the United Nations to outlaw all mockery and criticism of Allah. He raised money to benefit the terror group Hamas. He is a top lieutenant of Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf Qaradawi, who exhorts followers to kill every last Jew; sanctioned suicide bombings and the killing of our soldiers; expressed support for executing apostates and stoning gays; and declared that the “U.S. is an enemy of Islam that has already declared war on Islam under the disguise of war on terrorism and provides Israel with unlimited support.”

AoSHQ: Muslim Brotherhood Local Headquarters Attacked; One Killed:

Tensions between the Muslim Brotherhood and its many opponents are turning into actual violence.

A Muslim Brotherhood member was killed and 60 people were injured on Sunday in an attack on the main office of the Brotherhood in the Egyptian Nile Delta town of Damanhour, the website of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party said.“Brotherhood member, Islam Fathy Masoud, 15, was killed and 60 were injured after thugs attacked the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters in Damanhour in the total absence of police forces,” the website said.

Judges are revolting against Musilm Brotherhood rule in their own way, with words, accusing the regime of asserting unrestricted executive power and thus diminishing the powers of the judges (which are supposed to serve as a check on the executive).

Legal Insurrection: Zimmerman trial blockbuster — Eyewitness says Trayvon on top punching Mixed Martial Arts style:

A neighbor, John Good, who witnessed the fight between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman has just devastated the State’s case, testifying that he saw the fight between the two, that Trayvon was on top punching Mixed Martial Arts style, and that the scream must have come from Zimmerman because Zimmerman was on the bottom and Trayvon was faced away from the witness.

Weasel Zippers: Sanity Prevails: Charge Dismissed Against Student Who Refused To Remove NRA Shirt…

Via Fox News:

The West Virginia eighth-grader arrested after refusing a teacher’s demand he remove a National Rifle Association T-shirt he wore to school won’t face criminal charges after all.

Jared Marcum, 14, was charged with obstruction following the April 18 incident after police who were called to Logan Middle School school said he refused to stop talking. The case generated national headlines, as Marcum’s family and attorney, Ben White, claimed the demand that he remove the NRA shirt violated his right to freedom of speech. On Thursday, Logan County Circuit Judge Eric O’Briant signed an order dismissing the charge.

Father Z is hearing things in Rome – which he does not divulge, but —

For a long time in certain circles there was a great concern that Masons, communists and homosexuals had systematically infiltrated the Church for the purpose of eventually attaining high positions and influence and so under mine or twist the Church and her mission from within.

“But Father! But Father!”, some of you may be sputtering, “You don’t believe any of this, do you? Even though you obviously hate Vatican II, do you buy this stuff?”

I do buy it, yes.

But when I hear about scandalous stories involving Church figures, I tend to shrug. They are only the very edge of a slimy underbelly.  Sin isn’t rare.

On the other hand…

There are those who hate the Church with as much hate as we love the Church. They are organized, they have a great resources, they have a Dark Prince. Dreadful liberal publications and websites, and even the blitherings of some priests and bishops, are only shadows of the deeper agenda flickered out on the back of the cave for popular consumption by barely witting dupes.

Deeper enemies, like our own beautiful missionaries and martyrs of ages past, are willing to set aside their appetites, put on a facade, and endure for patient years for the sake of a long term plan.

Yes, I buy it. I have seen manifestations of communist, Masonic, and especially homosexual networking in the Church both in the USA and in Rome. It would be stupidly naive to think that it isn’t present. In the USA, Masonic and communist? Maybe not so much.  Elsewhere, yes.  The other thing?  Ohhhh, yes.

Ohhhh boy.


MY Latest At The Conversation: 

Jeb Bush To Award Hillary Clinton With 2013 Liberty Medal

Judicial Watch: Obama Admin Collecting Financial Data From Private Citizens Without Warrants

Abortion Mob to Descend on Ohio Statehouse Today

Oversight And Reform To Vote On Recalling Lois Lerner, Friday (Video)

Video: Gowdy Grills IRS Official About Employee’s Homophobic Slurs

Senator Landrieu: People May Not like It – But Immigration Bill Is Going To Pass

DOJ Voting Section Lawyer Cusses Loudly In Response To Supreme Court Decision

Cruz on Obama’s Environmental Speech: ‘Climate change barely registers as an issue’

Democrats Are Not Taking The Supreme Court’s Voting Rights Decision Well, At All

Obama’s Twisted Priorities

Cruz On Rush To Pass Immigration Bill: ‘We’ve Seen This Play Before – Reminiscent of Obamacare’

The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watcher’s Council Results

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and we have the results  for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.

For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero


This week’s winner, Joshuapundit’s  Fear And Loathing In DC – The Gang Of Eight’s Amnesty Bill Is A Disaster is my take on the abysmal amnesty legislation the Senate just passed, written right after the bogus Corker-Hoeven Amendment surfaced from the ooze and before the actual vote. Like ObamaCare, it’s a supremely bad idea and something foisted on us by our Ruling Class in spite of vast opposition by the American people they supposedly serve Here’s a slice:

 Today at 5:30 PM, the United States Senate will vote on an important part of the Gang of Eight Amnesty bill, the Corker-Hoeven amendment. Majority Leader Harry Reid is rushing the nearly 1200 page bill through even though the Senate has only had a chance to look at it for a mere 72 hours.

 When you actually go over this bill submitted under the guise of ‘immigration reform’, you realize how awful it really is.

The language of the bill reminds me of the the Affordable Care Act, (AKA Obamacare) in that it’s filled with (a)obtuse, dense language that clues us in that it is deliberately deceptive (b)glosses over the real issues involved and (c) is absolutely filled with waivers, exemptions and exceptions left to the sole discretion of political appointees and language like ‘the Secretary, in the Secretary’s sole and unreviewable discretion, may waive…’

‘Sole and unreviewable discretion’? Just imagine what an Obama appointee like Janet Napolitano is going to do with that.

They denied it for a long time, but the bill’s proponents have finally admitted that this is an amnesty bill, and as even Senator Marco Rubio admitted back when he was trying to get elected with Tea Party support, the ‘path to citizenship’ rhetoric is just a euphemism for exactly that.

If the estimates on illegal migration into the U.S. are correct, we’re talking about 11.5 million people, except that when we include chain migration and family unification (which the bill doesn’t prohibit) we’re probably talking about 25 million or more. But let’s just talk about the estimated 11.5 million whom are here for now. Anyone who was in the U.S. prior to 2012 qualifies, but since the bill doesn’t call for any definitive real proof, fraud is going to be rampant.

The entire concept of amnesty is an interesting one, as is the idea of terming it immigration reform.

It basically turns the entire idea of immigration inside out.

Rather than it being a privilege extended by a sovereign nation to people it decides to welcome legally to fill its own needs, amnesty makes it a right, an entitlement.It’s no accident that many people in the amnesty lobby refer to themselves as ‘immigrant rights activists’.

The obvious that’s unsaid given the demographic makeup of the vast majority of illegal migrants is that it’s a right because this is supposedly ‘stolen’ Mexican land, something only groups like MeCha and La Raza say openly. But the context is obvious.

If that’s the actual argument, that America has no sovereign rights over a part of its territory the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo notwithstanding, fine. But that’s a separate argument.

The idea of ‘immigration reform’ is likewise interesting. Real immigration reform might involve cutting some of the immensely complicated and expensive red tape involved when an American citizen falls in love with a foreign national and wants to bring their spouse home to live, or when an American corporation wants to import a foreign scientist or technical expert to work here.Or creating a points system based on needed skills, English proficiency, ties to America or the willingness of an entrepreneur to bring financial capital to invest to start a business.

Nothing much is going to be ‘reformed’ for the 4.6 million legal immigrant applicants to America stuck in those situations. No one wants to discus how fair it is to give the 11.5 million people who are here illegally priority over the suckers who decided to follow the law and come here legally. Instead, we’re going to create special rules that apply to no other immigrants but a select group largely made up of one demographic who merit this special treatment strictly for political purposes.

A potential legal immigrant from Europe or Asia would hardly be unjustified in calling that unfair and racist. It is. One of my correspondents, an English speaking Dutch software engineer with 3 inches of degrees after his name,  over a decade’s worth of experience,  and a totally  clean  record finally gave up after spending a year and thousands of dollars trying to jump through the hoops ICE put in front of him and emigrated with his family to Israel, where they jumped at the chance and slashed red tape to get him. In America people like my engineer friend  will go to the back of the line behind an unskilled laborer from Sinaloa or Nuevo Leon with limited or non-existent English and an 8th grade education. The current amnesty bill would exacerbate this situation even more.

I’ve had some experience in conducting negotiations where there are diverse views involved. Here’s a fairly ironclad rule; when people’s goals are the same but their ideas on what mechanics to use to achieve them are different, consensus is usually attainable. But when their actual goals are different, actual consensus is excruciatingly difficult, and what you normally get instead is game playing, lies and deception.

What we’re seeing here is the second scenario.

In our non-Council category, the winner was The Sad Red Earth with “It goes without saying”: the Further Rhetoric of Terrorist Apologia submitted by Simply Jews. It’s a wonderful  examination of the perversions of language and rationalizations used by a class of people I refer to as ‘terrorist groupies’.   Do read it.

OK, here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in…don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us onTwitter…..’cause we’re cool like that!