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Tue Jul 1, 2014, 01:23 PM

 

Big flaw in Hobby Lobby decision is in assuming 'corporate personhoods' can hold religious belief

If you assume, as the Court does, that Hobby Lobby is a corporation - not a sole proprietorship or even a partnership - there isn't any recognized role that religion plays in such a corporate structure as defined by the Court.

The Supreme Court, in 'Citizens United' recognized rights for corporations which are associated with the individuals who form those entities for the purposes of protections of their freedom of press; or to secure their property from unreasonable searches or seizures. The Court recognized the individuals who formed the entities interest in pooling their resources to conduct financial transactions and grow their businesses.

Corporations aren't formed for religious purposes, like churches, they're formed for profit, and only recognized as such under stringent state laws. The only way to get to the religious belief of the owners of Hobby lobby would be to recognize the views of the owners as individuals; not the definition of the corporation, itself, which the Court has already described as a business entity; not a religious institution which is guaranteed those protections of belief and practice.

The corporation can't, itself, hold religious belief - not under the Logic of corporate personhood. The Court is really saying that Hobby Lobby isn't a person, after all - defying all of the logic and reasoning they've used to allow corporations 'free speech' rights to spend as much unaccountable money as they want in campaigns - and has reduced them to what they arguably are; a business made up of people.

But the Court hasn't gone all the way and recognized corporations, themselves as religious entities. As far as anyone can discern from what the Court has said corporations like Hobby Lobby represent, there isn't any religious element that supports that recognition, just rights afforded the individual owners to conduct business. Nowhere in that recognition of corporate personhood by the Court is there any understanding that there is something integral, necessary, or even predominant about religious belief to the operation of these businesses or their ability to conduct business.

That's what the recognition of the Courts of corporations as persons was all about; not a refuge for religious belief. That refuge is already afforded to churches and synagogues. For instance, you can't apply most discrimination laws in the hiring of clergy. That refuge for religiosity isn't incorporated into any understanding the Court has determined as a necessity for conducting business.

Besides, the entire rationale for recognizing corporations was to separate the businesses from the owners. Hobby Lobby and the Courts can't have it both ways. Either they are just an accountable owner and investors, or they are a corporation of interests.

A corporation can't hold or express a religious belief; they're not afforded religious liberty, so there is none to be restrained by complying with the mandate. And, remember, all rights afforded to individuals can't be reasonably applied to corporations . . . Second Amendment, Fifth . . .

Correct me where I'm wrong here, because I'm obviously no expert.

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Reply Big flaw in Hobby Lobby decision is in assuming 'corporate personhoods' can hold religious belief (Original post)
bigtree Jul 2014 OP
cerveza_gratis Jul 2014 #1
HereSince1628 Jul 2014 #5
bigtree Jul 2014 #6
HereSince1628 Jul 2014 #11
unblock Jul 2014 #2
MohRokTah Jul 2014 #8
Johonny Jul 2014 #3
dawg Jul 2014 #4
ohheckyeah Jul 2014 #7
MohRokTah Jul 2014 #9
bigtree Jul 2014 #10
Xolodno Jul 2014 #12

Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Jul 1, 2014, 01:41 PM

1. Brilliant

Sounds exactly right to me. I am not a legal expert, so maybe there's a flaw, but this seems entirely correct. A corporation's charter is granted by the government, it's not a natural thing. I don't know how this could have been argued in court, or whether it still can in the future. If we leave this stand, it basically says no one is responsible for anything more or less. In fact, each of us may as well incorporate ourselves to create an artificial entity that has all the rights of us as individuals and none of the obligations. Makes for a ridiculous state of affairs.

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Response to cerveza_gratis (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 1, 2014, 04:00 PM

5. This seems a step toward sovereign corporations

if the corporation is closely held...

the owners' incorporation basically becomes recognition of their newly minted peerage and a grants them feudal-like independence to both be above the law and to be the decider of the law for their 'serfs'.

This brings the old "company town" model of the coal fields to all of America

The whole east coast must be vibrating to the founding fathers spinning in their graves.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 1, 2014, 04:07 PM

6. granted two sets of speech rights

 

. . . one set for the owner, and another for his corporation.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #6)

Tue Jul 1, 2014, 04:15 PM

11. That's the essential double dipping nature of corporate personhood

A corporation is a group of people, each with rights as individuals.

Granting the group personhood in addition moves some people the rights of citizens plus the privilege of investor, controlling investors essentially have personhood plus ultra

That's a model for royal feudal society

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Jul 1, 2014, 02:25 PM

2. but the courts have long held that corporations have such rights

due process, search and seizure protections, etc.

it makes sense that the government shouldn't be able to just take corporate property without a trial, e.g.

it's less clear that a corporation can even *have* a religion for the government to infringe upon the free exercise thereof, nevermind whether or not that religion extends into the particulars of employee medical coverage.

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Response to unblock (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 1, 2014, 04:10 PM

8. Religion is a belief.

 

A corporation cannot hold any belief. IT is a legal fiction. It is incapable of feeling, of sensing, of thinking, so it is most certainly incapable of believing.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Jul 1, 2014, 02:41 PM

3. I assume God looks like a giant Walmart sense she made us in her image.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Jul 1, 2014, 02:44 PM

4. If the owner's religion "extends" to the corporation ...

I see no reason why the corporation's tort liability shouldn't "extend" to the owners.

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Response to dawg (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 1, 2014, 04:08 PM

7. Exactly -

the owners hide behind the corporation to escape any personal responsibility but can then claim their religious beliefs extend to the corporation.

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Response to dawg (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 1, 2014, 04:12 PM

9. There's going to be a lawsuit about just that. Count on it.

 

It can be rightfully claimed that the moment the owners extended their religious beliefs to the corporation, they pierced the veil of protection afforded by incorporation and are thus personally liable for anything and everything done by the corporate entity.

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Response to MohRokTah (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 1, 2014, 04:14 PM

10. right, they should have relinquished their corporate personhood

 

. . . before expecting for the individual owner's religious beliefs to be recognized. They are assuming religious characteristics about corporations, within their own definitions of corporations, that don't actually exist as essential or necessary for them to conduct business. There is no way to define religious beliefs of a corporation; nor is it essential to the existence or functioning of that collection of business interests to make such a definition. The Supreme Court is assuming religiosity but can't define or measure it, outside of the belief of the owner of Hobby Lobby.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Jul 1, 2014, 04:24 PM

12. They were in such a hurry to grab a victory...

...over Obamacare...they didn't stop to think of the ramifications.

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