Is it Christmas already? Judge rejects challenges to contraception mandate - HARD.

Go read this.  No, seriously.  Go read it.

Oh, fine.  For those not inclined to click through, Judge Carol Jackson of a federal district court in Missouri basically told anti-contraception assholes where to shove it.  She stated flat-out that the ACA's contraception mandate does not infringe on religious freedom, period the end:
… [T]he health care plan will offend plaintiffs’ religious beliefs only if an OIH employee (or covered family member) makes an independent decision to use the plan to cover counseling related to or the purchase of contraceptives. Already, OIH and Frank O’Brien pay salaries to their employees---money the employees may use to purchase contraceptives or to contribute to a religious organization. By comparison, the contribution to a health care plan has no more than a de minimus impact on the plaintiff’s religious beliefs than paying salaries and other benefits to employees.
Is it just me, or is there an implied "...so shut the fuck up already" at the end of that paragraph?

And it goes on from there, rejecting every single argument they put forth, from the "defining a religious exemption means the government is excessively entangled in deciding what's religion and what isn't therefore it's establishment of state religion" claim (??? So they're fine with the IRS dropping all tax-exempt statuses for religious organizations, right?  Because there has to be a definition somewhere for those, too.) to the "compelled subsidized speech" claim (just because someone, at some point of the process, uses words to facilitate something happening doesn't make the thing happening fall into the category of 'speech'), and basically said "Yes, you *can* claim that the regulation was "arbitrary and capricious", but you're flat the fuck wrong, so go away."

I'm sure it will be appealed, etc., but this is a fantastic start to work from.  Thank you, Judge Jackson, for shutting down their collective temper tantrum so thoroughly from the word 'go'.


xuinkrbin said...

Yeah, no. The "incidental burden" argument upon which Judge Jackson relies was considered in "Thomas v. Review Board of the Indiana Employment Security Division". The Supreme Court rejected that argument outright.

Jadelyn said...

Considering I have no knowledge of the case you're referring to, and whether its context differs significantly from this, I'm going to go ahead and assume good faith on the judge's part, that she wouldn't make a decision based on a standard which is totally inappropriate, as you seem to be saying.

Not to mention, there have been plenty of standards and precedents that, on later challenge, were overturned.  So even if this does use precisely the same standard in precisely the same context, SCOTUS may well see it differently on this challenge (if it reaches that point; it might not anyway).  


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