Monday ReadsPosted: May 16, 2016 | |
We have an interesting SCOTUS decision/nondecision just announced on the challenge to the Affordable Health Care’s provision for Birth Control. Basically, they sent the case back to the lower courts. I’ve noticed a lot of women’s groups are beginning to take notice of the assault on our reproductive rights. Remember, Hillary Clinton will appoint the next Supreme Court Justice if President Obama’s selection continues to be the victim of right wing stalling. This coming election means women’s lives are at stake.
In a surprise move Monday, the Supreme Court punted on a major Obamacare case challenging the law’s contraceptive mandate, and specifically, how it accommodates religious nonprofits that object to birth control. The Supreme Court sent the case back to lower courts to examine an alternative accommodation to the mandate that the court had been briefed on by both parties in the case after the oral arguments.
The move — which comes as the Supreme Court is down a justice with Justice Antonin Scalia’s death — allowed the court to avoid what looked like a split decision after March’s oral arguments. The Supreme Court was able to stay away from the thorny trade-offs between health care policy and religious freedom, a legal landscape that got much more complicated after the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2014’s Hobby Lobby case.
The challenge the court weighed in on Monday was Zubik v. Burwell. It was consolidation of cases brought by religious nonprofits, including The Little Sister’s of the Poor, who objected to the work-around set up by the Obama administration to provide contraceptive coverage to employees of organizations opposed to birth control on religious grounds. The non-profits said that even filling out the form or sending a government the letter declaring their objections to covering birth control was a burden on their faith, because it set in motion the process by which their employees received the coverage from their insurers, though that coverage was not paid for or part of the employer plans. Lower courts’ have overwhelmingly rejected the challengers’ argument that the workaround violated 1993’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), though one appeals court ruled in their favor. (That case was not among those consolidated for the Supreme Court).
In sending the case back down to lower courts, the Supreme Court signaled that it believed a compromise could be worked out that didn’t involve weighing the larger issues involved in the RFRA challenge.
“The Court expresses no view on the merits of the cases. In particular, the Court does not decide whether petitioners’ religious exercise has been substantially burdened, whether the Government has a compelling interest, or whether the current regulations are the least restrictive means of serving that interest,” Monday’s opinion said. The opinion also stipulated that whatever was worked out should not affect “the ability of the Government to ensure that women covered by petitioners’ health plans” have access to contraceptive coverage.
RFRA was at the heart of the Supreme Court’s decision in 2014’s Hobby Lobby case — which said that certain for-profit companies that object to birth control could use the nonprofit workaround that was on trial in Zubik.
Lyle Denniston writing for SCOTUSBLOG called it “A compromise, with real impact, on birth control”.
One reading of Monday’s developments was that the Court, now functioning with eight Justices, was having difficulty composing a majority in support of a definite decision on the legal questions. Thus, what emerged had all of the appearance of a compromise meant to help generate majority support among the Justices. With this approach, the Court both achieved the practical results of letting the government go forward to provide the contraceptive benefits and freeing the non-profits of any risk of penalties, even though neither side has any idea — at present — what the ultimate legal outcome will be and, therefore, what their legal rights actually are under the mandate.
Those uncertainties are now likely to linger through the remainder of President Obama’s term in office, which ends next January. The appeals courts may well order the filing of new legal briefs, and may hold new hearings, before issuing a new round of rulings on the controversy. However, the entire future of the ACA, including its birth-control mandate, may now depend upon who wins the presidential election this year and which party has control of Congress when it reassembles in 2017.
The two issues that the Court had agreed to rule on, and then left hanging at least for now, were whether the ACA mandate violates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act by requiring religious non-profits that object to contraceptives to notify the government of that position, and whether the move by the government to go ahead and arrange access to those benefits for those non-profits’ employees and students was the “least restrictive means” to carry out the mandate.
Doing on Monday much the same that it had done in several temporary orders at earlier stages of this controversy, the Court accepted that the non-profits already had given the federal government sufficient notice of their objection to the mandate, and that the government could use that notice as the basis for going ahead to provide actual access, at no cost, to the employees and students of those institutions.
The pictures you’re seeing are from a Friday night event where activists here in New Orleans –including me–assembled and composed Wire Hangergrams for Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards who is supporting a 72 hour waiting period here in Louisiana. We just can’t seem to keep these dirty old men out of our private parts!!! They don’t think we can make important decisions either. This is really getting disgusting.
The Louisiana legislature on Wednesday passed a bill requiring women to wait three days before receiving an abortion, tripling the state’s existing waiting time in one of the most stringent regulations of its kind nationally.
Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, has said he plans to sign the bill championed by anti-abortion groups. It passed with wide support from the Republican-controlled legislature.
The bill requires a woman to wait at least 72 hours after a state-mandated ultrasound for the procedure. The current waiting time is 24 hours, the same as in most states with waiting periods.
Only five other states require 72-hour waiting periods: Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Utah.
The measures are among a wave of laws being adopted by states as conservatives seek to chip away at the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision to legalize abortion.
I voted for the man but just couldn’t bring myself to work on his campaign even though he’d promised to not mess with things like Planned Parenthood. You may recall I was incensed about an ad he ran. I found the ad appalling. He just seems to be another example of a man drenched in patriarchy who can’t keep his personal need to control the women in his life away from the rest of us.
This is another weird tale on fellow New Orleanian Wendall Pierce who actually physically assaulted a woman supporting Bernie Sanders. Pierce has been an outspoken Clinton supporter which is fine. This action is beyond wrong.
Wendell Pierce, the New Orleans-born actor known for his work in the HBO series “The Wire” and “Treme,” was arrested Saturday in Atlanta after he was accused of attacking a Bernie Sanders supporter,according to the website TMZ and online Fulton County police records.
Pierce was at the Loews Hotel in Atlanta about 3:30 a.m. when he began a political discussion with the woman and her boyfriend, according to the celebrity news website.
TMZ said a hotel source reported that Pierce, a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, grabbed the woman’s hair and slapped her in the head after learning she preferred Clinton’s Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders.
On Sunday, the Atlanta Police Department confirmed that Pierce had been arrested at that hotel, where he was staying as a guest.
“The incident did not rise to anything significant, so no special notification was made … it was treated like any other arrest a patrol officer conducts,” police spokesman Donald Hannah told WWL-TV in an email shared with The New Orleans Advocate. “Mr. Pierce made no indication he was famous, nor did the officer inquire.”
Police records show Pierce, 52, was booked and released on Saturday. He was booked on simple battery and posted an online bond of $1,000, the records indicate.
Pierce, who now lives in Pasadena, California, was raised in Pontchartrain Park, the first African-American postwar suburb in New Orleans, and was active in efforts to rebuild it after Hurricane Katrina.
The actor and producer has been in more than 30 films and nearly 50 television shows and has performed in numerous stage productions, including Broadway productions of “The Piano Lesson,” “Serious Money” and “The Boys of Winter.”
He is perhaps best known for his roles as Detective Bunk Moreland in “The Wire,” trombonist Antoine Batiste in “Treme” and Michael Davenport in the movie “Waiting to Exhale.”
Ben Carson is beginning to leak the short list for Trump’s VP and it isn’t a pretty one. Many folks think that it will most likely be Jan Brewer but Sarah Palin’s name is on it. So is Chris Christie’s which is basically no surprise to me. I really doubt either of them would bring anything to the ticket since they’re as nasty and crazy as Trump himself. They also don’t represent any new votes.
Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon turned presidential candidate turned unfiltered pitchman for Donald Trump and now part of the presumptive nominee’s vice presidential search committee, sat in the back of a Town Car with his wife, Candy, on his way to a televised interview. He had just explained to the reporter riding along that he wanted no role in a Trump administration when news arrived of a new poll naming him as the best-liked of a list of potential running mates.
“Who else was on the list?” he asked quietly, maintaining his usual inscrutable calm. The most favorably regarded contenders after himself, he was told, were John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin and Chris Christie.
“Those are all people on our list,” he said.
Seriously! Trump/Palin. How much argle bargle could one country stand?
I’m making it short today because I have a long day so what’s on your reading and blogging list? This is an open thread so please share!!!