Sonia Sotomayor Rips Court a New One

By: Mike Tuttle - July 4, 2014

The dust from the “Hobby Lobby” ruling at the Supreme Court has not even settled yet, and the next SCOTUS scandal is already hitting the ground.

In the landmark case involving the Affordable Care Act, certain forms of contraception, and whether corporations can claim religious differences that exempt them from following the law of the land, the Court handed down a ruling that divided the country sharply. Through the loads of misinformation on both sides of the issue, the Court sought to allay fears that their decision would have far-ranging consequences. They assured the public that their stance was only applicable to “closely-held” corporations.

The IRS defines closely-held corporations this way:

Generally, a closely held corporation is a corporation that:

* Has more than 50% of the value of its outstanding stock owned (directly or indirectly) by 5 or fewer individuals at any time during the last half of the tax year; and
* Is not a personal service corporation.

In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “In a decision of startling breadth, the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.” She said the Court had “ventured into a minefield,” and that her dissent was because she was “mindful of the havoc the Court’s judgment can introduce.”

Now, mere days removed from that case, the Court has expanded on its decision, just as Ginsburg feared.

The new development is a case where Wheaton College objects to having to fill out a simple form for the Department of Health and Human Services, which would exempt them from providing the contraception in question. The form is simple; one page, front and back. You can see it here. The College says that the act of having to fill out a form burdens their religious freedom. They see it as making them “complicit in the provision of contraceptive coverage, in violation of [their] religious beliefs.”

Churches do not have to fill out the form. Thus, non-profits like Wheaton are asking to be treated as churches.

The Court agreed, and said that Wheaton did not have to fill out the form.

This time, it was Justice Sonia Sotomayor who took the heat to the five male justices who made that call. In a dissent coming from all three female justices, she said the Court had assured the American public that their decision only affected certain types of companies, but now they were going back on their word.

“Those who are bound by our decisions usually believe they can take us at our word,” Justice Sotomayor wrote. “Not so today.”

“After expressly relying on the availability of the religious-nonprofit accommodation to hold that the contraceptive coverage requirement violates [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] as applied to closely held for-profit corporations, the Court now, as the dissent in Hobby Lobby feared it might, retreats from that position.”

The fears that the Hobby Lobby ruling would sprawl to include other organizations, even to the extent of telling companies not to even bother with the paperwork of the law that would make them exempt, appear to be coming to pass.

Keep in mind that it was Sotomayor who temporarily blocked the contraceptive provision in the first place, as seen in this news story. So this is not about birth control, it is about Supreme Court decision creep.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

About the Author

Mike TuttleWriter. Google+ Writer for WebProNews.

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  • D.B. Cooper

    I can’t stand racists, and we didn’t need an Affirmative Action racist like Sotomayor on the Supreme Court.

  • Cecil

    Sotomayor was raised Catholic. I wonder if she is going to rule against her own church and what the church will do to her if she does.

    • vee12

      /what does church have to do with anything?

      • Lauren

        Seriously??? Are you that uneducated about the issue??? You’d better not comment if you have no idea!

        • Jack8r

          Lauren, you believe yourself so informed that you’ve become obtuse… allow vee12 the benefit of doubt understanding the church is not a Justice of the Supreme Court, Ms. Sotomayor is.

    • Jack8r

      In 1960 Protestants openly worried that John F. Kennedy would cave in following the lead of the Pope… no matter what religion you “subscribe” to you Cecil are a fool.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.cousins.14 David Cousins

    Angry Liberals…always angry. No wonder they HATE the constitution.

    • vee12

      Really???What a jerk…yeah, you.

    • CitizenWhoCares

      It is the republicans who hate the constitution. They only look at the parts that fit their agenda. Will this decision only apply to christian religions or to every religion? If it applies to all, does that mean Muslims can institute sharia law at their businesses and if not, why not? If it only applies to christian religions, freedom of religion is already gutted and here you are celebrating. Obamacare whether you like it or not is the law!! It was passed like it states in the Constitution and the Supreme Court said it was constitutional. The end. If you don’t like a law, you work to change it. Is it only Obamacare where religious nuts can get exemptions or any law? Why should this only apply to this law? Now religious leaders like Warren Jeffs who went to prison for child sexual assault don’t have to worry about that law. He can get an exemption from child sexual assault laws. He also really believes that law goes against his religious beliefs and he belonged to a real church. Remember their beliefs don’t have to be correct, i.e. hobby lobby wrongly believes that the morning after pill causes abortion. Also the members of the church were OK with this and the parents were OK with this. Be careful what you ask for – you agree with this one but you might not agree with the next exemption it might be a law you think is important. Republicans can’t see anything through their hate. What have they done to help this country through the recession – Nothing – all they worried about was getting rid of President Obama. This is not about liberal or not, this is simply wrong. Look past your hate.

      • Rex_Delicti

        You are correct: if Republicans don’t like Obamacare then they should change the law. Likewise, if Democrats don’t like the Restoration of Religious Freedom Act then they should change that law too. Obamacare, however, didn’t repeal that law.

        As for Christians fearing toleration of Muslim practices…veiled bigotry is hardly an argument. The larger issue is the extent of government power as it relates to individual free exercise of religion. The Constitution, as interpreted by a majority speaking through Justice Scalia, determined that the First Amendment favors government power over individual liberty when the government law is, among other things, a law neutral to religion and generally applicable. Congress, speaking through the likes of Democrat Senator Kennedy, thought the court’s interpretation wrong, too crabbed.

        If you fear “religious nuts” then join me in fearing statist secularist nuts. I, for one, would rather allow private actors to discriminate on the basis of religion because I know that with private actors, unlike with governments, I can opt out. I can find a different store to work for, I can start my own business, I can do business elsewhere. Try not “doing business” with the government, try not paying your taxes, try starting your own government. See how well that goes. Sloppy pluralism wherein we live with people we disagree with is much better than statist absolutism where conformity is valued more than conscience.

      • Obsequious

        I can object to a person’s policy without finding fault with the person. You explain the common logic fallacy of ad hominen. Or attack the messenger rather than the message. Let’s not confuse the source of objection.

    • Jack8r

      @David Cousins… why is it that folks such as you declare others to hate the Constitution as if you and your fellows clearly understand every nuance of that glorious document. How dense and hateful can you folks be?

  • Tony Skye

    Bull$hit article….The ladies on the court don’t understand what religious freedom is….ask them, ‘what is religious freedom?’ and I bet you get a blank look! Dopes!

    • CitizenWhoCares

      I wonder who the real “dope” is.

    • Jack8r

      Religious freedom was never meant to permit people to create their own bubble within which to live.

  • CourtWatcher

    She needs to be EXCOMMUNICATED.

    • vee12

      So??? That’s supposed to be a big deal?

    • CitizenWhoCares

      The Catholic church allows priest to rape little boys and people have a problem with her.

    • Jack8r

      @Courtwatcher… It’s A-Hat’s like you that require people not only have freedom of religion, but freedom from others force feeding their religion or religious beliefs. Why so hateful?

  • Chaz Lesniewicz

    The Dumb Latina speaks again….

    • vee12

      Oxymoron

  • 3 wheeler

    How did this Racist person even get considered. Everyone knew she was a loud foul mouthed Chica and no one apparently had the common sense to stop her nomination. She might have been great leader for the Spanish Inquisition but she is not suited for the job Barry has her in.

    • Tom

      You are the fuckin racist…calling her a “chica” is an extremely thin-veiled racist remark. Most of you on here are incredibly ignorant people. When you people don’t like something, you just start using race as a crutch…just call her a “dumb latina” or “chica” when the truth is she (along with the rest of the Justices to be fair) have done so much more than you could dream of. Wake up people, I still hold out hope that ignorance can be defeated.

      • 3 wheeler

        Chica…Female…Your just ignorant of any language . Your fourth word is proof you are just another big mouth ignorant liberal. Or if you prefer, an angry fool. She has no business being where she is and were it not for the people of this country who believe they are entitled to everything for free, she would never have been appointed because Barry would never have been elected. Now stomp your feet some more and twist up your hankie and get your panties all in a bunch dear.

        • ldean

          in Bengali it means “small rat” – it’s an insult. If it was meant in Spanish, it is disrespectful to refer to a woman as a “girl” in both Spanish and English.

          • Lauren

            nothing disrespectful with the term- and I am a hispanic female. So shut up. Cleary, the term was not meant to be used in Bengali. Gosh – fishing for a negative comment, aren’t you???

          • mang

            Because everyone speaks Bengali, right? I know a guy named Chika. I suppose his Nigerian parents thought they gave birth to a small rat? In Urdu, Idean means stupid freaking idiot. True story.

          • ldean

            I believe that is incorrect, “mang.” “Chika” is actually Indonesia, and there is no translation for the word “ldean” in Urdu – liar, not true at all.

          • mang

            lol, glad you looked it up.

          • ldean

            :)

        • vee12

          But she is there…just like the vile Scalia.

        • John Bridges

          It is better to have people think you are a fool rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

        • jack

          Dear Genius 3 wheeler: at least get the English language correct. It is not “your just ignorant…”. It is “YOU’RE just ignorant. In that context the word is a contraction of You Are, hence, you’re. So I think it is rich that you’re calling someone else ignorant when the ignoramus is the person you see when you look in the mirror.

        • clifton 40

          you are an awful racist.

      • vee12

        Not with this lot Tom.

    • antillies4

      You are better, superior even, than every latino and black that ever set foot in the USA…..you are a fantastic ethical and nice person who is perfect in every way. I love you and hope every girl child in your family under the age of 16 grows up to have a tall dark black husband!

  • Bob Mccullough

    If you don’t get your way, complain!!

    • vee12

      Exactly. Palinista!!

  • Nicknack

    But it they have no issues with Viagra, used for ED, and vasectomies a form of birth control for me. That’s my issue with the lawsuit. If they don’t what insurance covers, don’t offer it. It’s a fringe benefit in addition to wages for work. offer a taxable stipend for healthcare and get out of people’s personal business.

    • $4875328

      Uhm, Viagra coverage is not mandated. this is abut forcing closely held family companies. The federal government does NOT force coverage for viagra

      • vee12

        No, it’s just covered, like it’s a right.

      • antillies4

        Hope fully they will be put out of business, go bankrupt…..as all those generic (zero cost to a health plan) contraceptive pill poppin women take their business to a less “religious” corporation!!

    • http://batman-news.com Lib hater

      How many babies does Viagra kill??

      • mang

        They’ll never understand. It’s like talking to a tree. A really dumb tree.

  • Marion Otto

    Barb throwing lunatics dominate these comment pages, and it is so disheartening to read over and over. If everyone could take a deep breath and think about what it is they are writing, maybe something close to a discussion could occur.

    • $4875328

      what do you expect? Sotomayor is a raving hypocrite. She is on record saying using the slippery slope on gun control is illegitimate yet she uses slippery slope argument on this?

      • vee12

        The post from Ravi32 just proved your point.

      • CitizenWhoCares

        You mention gun control. The 2nd amendment reads, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” How does letting anybody have any gun anywhere have anything to do with “A well regulated militia?” Gun control is not against the constitution, it is only the republicans picking and choosing the parts they like and discarding the rest.

    • notfondoflibs

      Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everyone who doesn’t agree with you is a lunatic. Do you people ever conduct an analysis of your own comments? Those who disagree with you do say the same of you. Sotomayor was a very poor choice to be a Supreme Court Justice but was selected by Obama solely on the basis of her minority status.

      • Marion Otto

        your screen name suggests you are the one with the problem. you don’t know any libs because to know someone is to listen to them, at least on occasion. you are the type that wants to do all the talking and when you’re done talking you think a conversation is over. no one gets on the SC without accomplishing a whole lot more than you or I have. your comment re: Sotomayor is ignorant.

        • notfondoflibs

          You are wrong again, Otto. I do know liberals, talk to them, and know what they are all about. They can’t stand dissent and want to silence it regardless of the topic. Nice try Otto.

  • aa aaa

    Maybe she took too much insulin again? Double the dose tomorrow…. the court was GREAT when Roberts screwed up when he voted FOR Bobo care wasn’t it?

    • vee12

      You should be proud.

  • SallyinChicago

    The best revenge is for all women to vote — vote for a Democratic candidate no matter if you like him/her or not.

    • notfondoflibs

      That’s usually the practice of mindless idiots. Glad to see you approve. Now we know where idiots like you stand,

    • aa aaa

      Look what that got us…. a baboon in the WH.

    • sid

      Statements like that are why women shouldn’t vote at all. You hags elected Obama.

  • harrison j. bounel

    SHE disrespects the court by her mouth. 20 contraceptives and 16 have been and still are bot and paid for by hobby lobby. 4 are not. the four that are abortion pills. can you live with 16?? yes. planned parenthood will give you the other 4 for free. stop making the tax payer pay for everything under the sun

    • http://batman-news.com Lib hater

      It just proves it has to be the liberal way, or no way at all.

    • CitizenWhoCares

      Just because somebody says something it does not make it true. Look at a medical site those are not abortion bills!

    • sid

      Bought not bot…..

  • chipmanmike

    She better get used to losing a few decisions. Are we going to hear her sour grapes every time a decision goes against her philosophy?

    • Mark Coonan

      Actually, the right needs some practice at losing. All this current spate of fascist trash will be overturned sooner than any SCOTUS opinions of the past, and it will be a very long time before we see another conservative court such as those we’ve seen since the Nixon era.

      • notfondoflibs

        Actually Mark, it’s you people who need to get used to the fact that you are NOT going to get your way on every issue. Sotomayor would do well to go eat a salad and live with it.

  • Fred

    I think it’s great. Now you get to decide what laws you want to follow and which ones you don’t, which is how it always should be. The religion I follow has all sorts of strange and important decrees that will prevent me from following many of society’s laws. Good to have the Court’s blessing.

  • tom

    Sotomayer isn’t even qualified to be a sc justice. She got appointed by obama because she was a minority and female

    • Eileen Ruth

      Aha! The truth comes out! Thanks Tom!

  • Karen Siegel

    i thank the people that owned hobby company telling the goeverment that god is imporant then health

  • antillies4

    “…. case involving the Affordable Care Act, certain forms of contraception, and whether corporations can claim religious differences that exempt them from following the law of the land….

    What!!!? “Religious differences?”
    Corporations can now claim to have religions?? You are telling me that corporations go to church? Pray?, Take communion? Go to confession? Sing the great gospel music hymn book? What a laughing stock the SCOTUS has become.
    If this is true it is time for Obama and Holder to burn the country side like General Sherman did and start to put convicted criminal “corporations” in jail. If corporations can pray and go to communion, or Friday prayers, and object to contraception, on religious grounds……they can go to jail when they break the law too!

  • HeelHappy

    You go girl. The BS here is the religious aspect. In a country built on capitalism, it’s hard to believe that ANY religion doesn’t worship the dollar over a god. In some cases money is their god. This is just another way to oppress women. We’re getting a little too big for our breeches. And why would we thank them by getting out of hand? They let us get on the supreme court, didn’t they? Check a psychology book – it’s fear.

    • Loving mom

      Hobby Lobby Pays for 16 of the 20 birth control pills for their employees. The other 4 are to KILL babies. HB also Pay their employee starting at 14.00 hr. full time, and 9.50hr. part-time. Also employees get Sunday off. They never have to work late like Wal-Mart. If you want to compare Apple to Oranges than Planed Parent Hood Kills more babies than any other clinic in the country. In 2010 the abortion rate was 730,000 babies died. About 300,000+ of them was done by Planed Parent Hood. Go to CDC web site {CDC.GOV}. If you don’t look it up your self than explain this
      .

  • Al

    No one and we mean no one, DARE question subsidies to the abortion industry.

  • Eileen Ruth

    Soto is as inept in office as is Obama. She has no business being on the Supreme Court!!!

  • Lauren

    Excommunicate her. She has not business even claiming she is Catholic. She’s nothing but a traitor to God’s laws and may He have mercy on her soul.

    • enuabk

      You must be so proud that you know the mind of God and can speak for him. What a presumptuous privilege. Psalm 19:13.

  • CitizenWhoCares

    Since corporations are people and they have more rights under the constitution than people, they need to be held criminally liable when they break the law. For instance GM CEOs knew that a defective part was causing accidents and killing people. They did nothing and more people died. If “We the People” do that, we go to jail. Why don’t they? At the very least we should be able to sue them in civil court.

  • Rex_Delicti

    Wheaton “objects to having to fill out a simple form for the Department of Health and Human Services, which would exempt them from providing the contraception in question. The form is simple; one page, front and back.”

    Filling out a form isn’t the objection. Being complicit in an act that one considers immoral or otherwise contrary to one’s faith — that is the issue.

    The author note that there is much misreporting or misperception of the Hobby Lobby decision, and yet the author proceeds to mislead by reducing the issue to having to “fill out a simple form.”

    Terrible.

  • jackmeyhoffer

    Sotomayor- another affirmative action appointee by Obama. This “wise Latina”
    (l)esbian should be changing the (f)ecal and (u)rine encrusted sheets at the Holiday Inn in San Diego not sitting on the Supreme Court.

  • Rex_Delicti

    If we don’t want religious employers to be situated in their employer’s bedrooms, then why is government compelling those employers to pay for what happens in that bedroom?

    “Do you want higher pay, or do you want more expansive health insurance coverage?” People who care nothing about religion will take/offer the benefits. People who care greatly about religion will offer the higher pay. BUT..,Here comes big government deciding that what matters is not what the employer and employee can find mutually agreeable. No. What matters is the expansive coverage. The government picked a side, and, quite naturally, the side that lost has to gripe and has to assert its rights.

    My rights end where my fist meets your nose. My rights do not end where your wallet has no condom and my wallet has money.

  • http://freethingsforbabies.com/freebabydiapers freethingsforbabies

    smh……Get free baby formula and pampers

    http://freethingsforbabies.com/freebabydiapers

  • sid

    When the court decided corporations were “individuals” , they started this whole mess.

  • Jack8r

    The Founding Fathers wanted a nation where people would live with the freedom to follow the religious of their choosing rather than that force fed by a monarch. Whew, they believed themselves fortunate in the opportunity to create such a nation. Unfortunately they did not forsee those which were protected picking away at that right. Had they envisioned the Far Right Evangelicals they would have done better for the nation by allowing for freedom “from” religion. Having the right to be free from religion a person may select to follow one of their choice without interference from others. Freedom from religion would keep the Jehovah Witnesses off your doorstep and the Far Right out of your face. The only thing freedom of religion now allows if for people to indoctrinate children who otherwise may not select the same religion of they were free.

  • Don Dewar

    To quote every liberal ever born – “It’s settled law now, time to move on”

  • Tony Skye

    this is nonsense!……more propaganda from the looney left! You can’t force a person to do something if its against their religion….and besides Hobby Lobby still is ok with 16 of 20 contraceptives….just not the ones that kill life.

  • mang

    If I had to depend on all the misinformed ignorance about this issue, I would be led to believe my wife and daughter aren’t allowed to step foot in a doctor’s office again after this ruling. Educate yourselves on contraceptives (which PREVENT pregnancy) and abortifacients (which kills a fertilized egg). Abortion-inducing drugs are NOT contraceptives. And contraceptives are NOT what this case was about. Please become educated on this.

  • x

    what about when muslims claim religious belief that women have to be covered. And what is someone gets a job with a muslim company and tells new women employees that due to their religion, they must be covered head to toe. Now it’s no longer your comfortable christian notions–but muslims.

  • R.J.

    Thought the court was suppose to be thoughtful and above politics. Ms Sotomayor, suggest you resign or pull up your panties and get over it.