Liberal freak-out commences in the aftermath of #SCOTUS Hobby Lobby ruling

Panic button

I had a million things going on today so I wasn’t around much in the immediate aftermath of today’s Supreme Court ruling on the Hobby Lobby case, but it was pretty predictable how the left would react if the court didn’t rule in favor of the Obama administration’s position on the so-called “birth control mandate.” Just to recap, the court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby’s position:

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that certain “closely held” for-profit businesses can cite religious objections in order to opt out of a requirement in ObamaCare to provide free contraceptive coverage for their employees.

The 5-4 decision, in favor of arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby and one other company, marks the first time the court has ruled that for-profit businesses can cite religious views under federal law. It also is a blow to a provision of the Affordable Care Act which President Obama’s supporters touted heavily during the 2012 presidential campaign.

“Today is a great day for religious liberty,” Adele Keim, counsel at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty which represented Hobby Lobby, told Fox News.

The ruling was one of two final rulings to come down on Monday, as the justices wrapped up their work for the session. The other reined in the ability of unions to collect dues from home health care workers.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion in the ObamaCare case, finding the contraceptive mandate in its current form “unlawful.” The court’s four liberal justices dissented.

In other words, it was a bad day all around (again) for liberals when it comes to Supreme Court verdicts. The first wave of bad news hit last Thursday with their rulings against President Obama’s recess appointments position as well as striking down the Massachusetts abortion clinic “buffer zone law” on First Amendment grounds.

Understandably, Thursday was bad enough but today’s “setbacks” for the left were too much for some to bear, and they lashed out in a big way.   Sean Davis at The Federalist blog compiled a tweet round-up (with responses) of some of the most ridiculous arguments coming from high profile Democrats in the aftermath of SCOTUS’ majority opinion on Hobby Lobby, while Twitchy Team took left-wing Twitter’s temperature earlier today after all was said and done and found more than a few folks, er, hot under the collar.

Probably the dumbest Tweet of the day was a quote from – surprise – Senator Harry Reid:


Because only five (liberal) female Supreme Court justices would be able to “correctly” interpret the US Constitution in cases involving “women’s rights”, right? *insert eye roll here*

Open Thread: #SCOTUS Hobby Lobby ruling

SCOTUS

The interior of the United States Supreme Court.

As I noted yesterday, the Supreme Court is expected to announce today their verdict in the Hobby Lobby religious freedom case, which pits the family-owned company against the Obama administration’s Obamacare “birth control mandate.” The Hill provides a preview of what’s ahead:

The boundaries of religious freedom hang in the balance as the Supreme Court prepares to close out its term with a decision on the Affordable Care Act’s “birth control mandate.”

Monday’s ruling, the most closely watched of the season, decides round two for ObamaCare at the high court, and will be the second time that the justices will close their term with a ruling on President Obama’s signature law.

The stakes are high. A ruling against the administration could undermine the statute’s provision requiring companies to offer contraceptive services to workers as part of their insurance coverage.

It would peel away a significant portion of the mandate, potentially affecting preventive health coverage for millions of women, the government and backers of the law say.

Perhaps even more important, they contend, are the ramifications of a finding that corporations could be exempt from federal statutes on grounds that they have religious objections.

“This really is about whether or not employers based on religious views can pick and choose which federal laws to follow and not follow,” Kathleen Sebelius, who guided the law’s rollout through rough political waters during her turbulent tenure as Obama’s health secretary, said Friday.

Critics of the provision are on equally sharp tenterhooks in advance of the ruling, which will strike at the very root of the Constitution’s First Amendment.

The consolidated case, generally known as Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, centers on challenges to the contraception mandate brought by a pair of companies: the Hobby Lobby craft store chain and Conestoga Woods Specialties, a Pennsylvania-based cabinetmaker.

The firms and like-minded critics of the mandate say it violates both the First Amendment’s free exercise clause and the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which provides that, “government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion.”

That statue trumps the contraception rule, argues Noel J. Francisco, a partner at Jones Day, who has represented business interests before the Supreme Court and chairs the firm’s government regulations practice.

“That regulation, like all regulations is subordinate to RFRA, which is a law,” he said, asserting that Congress approved the measure “to protect against this kind of thing.”

10 a.m. ET today is when we’ll find out. Please make sure to check SCOTUSblog’s live blog of proceedings as well as their Twitter feed in order to stay updated on the latest news regarding the high court’s ruling on this case. And no doubt all the major 24 hour news networks like Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC will be providing news and analysis of today’s verdict in real-time.  Also, please feel free to use this as an open thread to express your opinion on both the ruling and its implications going forward.

#SCOTUS verdicts in Hobby Lobby, union fees cases to be announced Monday

SCOTUS

The interior of the United States Supreme Court.

The Associated Press reports that Supreme Court is preparing to release verdicts tomorrow in two more key cases, most notably the one involving Hobby Lobby versus Obamacare:

The Supreme Court is poised to deliver its verdict in a case that weighs the religious rights of employers and the right of women to the birth control of their choice.

The court meets for a final time Monday to release decisions in its two remaining cases before the justices take off for the summer. The cases involve birth control coverage under President Obama’s health law and fees paid to labor unions representing government employees by workers who object to being affiliated with a union.

Two years after Chief Justice John Roberts cast the pivotal vote that saved the health care law in the midst of Obama’s campaign for re-election, the justices are considering a sliver of the law.

Employers must cover contraception for women at no extra charge among a range of preventive benefits in employee health plans. Dozens of companies, including the arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby, claim religious objections to covering some or all contraceptives. The methods and devices at issue before the Supreme Court are those that Hobby Lobby and furniture maker Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. say can work after conception, the emergency contraceptives Plan B and ella, as well as intrauterine devices, which can cost up to $1,000.

The Obama administration says insurance coverage for birth control is important to women’s health and reduces the number of unwanted pregnancies, as well as abortions.

[…]

The other unresolved case has been hanging around since late January, often a sign that the outcome is especially contentious.

Home health care workers in Illinois want the court to rule that public sector unions cannot collect fees from workers who aren’t union members. The idea behind compulsory fees for nonmembers is that the union negotiates the contract for all workers, so they all should share in the cost of that work.

The court has been hostile to labor unions in recent years. If that trend continues Monday, the justices could confine their ruling to home health workers or they could strike a big blow against unions more generally.

The opinions on these cases should be revealed Monday at 10 a.m. ET. Make sure to tune in to SCOTUSblog’s live blog of proceedings as well as their Twitter feed to stay updated on the latest developments.  

Liberals were not pleased with last week’s verdicts on the issue of Obama’s recess appointments as well as their strike-down of the “buffer zones” law in Massachusetts that essentially limited the free speech of pro-life advocates.  Let’s hope the trend continues.

Did Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) threaten a presidential coup d’etat?

**Posted by Phineas

Hypocrite

Lackey

The topic was immigration, both the current crisis at the border and the Democrats’ desperate desire to have the House pass the comprehensive amnesty bill already approved in the Senate. You can read the whole thing at PJM, but I think the senior senator at Illinois might want to walk this part back:

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) piled on. Noting that a year has passed since the Senate passed a sweeping immigration reform bill with broad bipartisan support, he urged House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to bring a similar bill to the floor.

“I don’t know how much more time he thinks he needs, but I hope that Speaker Boehner will speak up today,” Durbin said. “And if he does not, the president will borrow the power that is needed to solve the problems of immigration.”

“Borrow the power,” Dick? Pray, under what authority would the president, to whom the Constitution assigns no lawmaking power (that’s your job, Dickie-boy), “borrow” the power to “solve the problem,” that is, to make law? What you mean is that he would unilaterally seize the power and abuse his administrative authority and prosecutorial discretion (even more than he already has) to create a new immigration reality (and millions of new Democratic voters, you hope) by fiat. By ukase. By his will, alone.

You call it “borrowing power,” Dick.

A rational person, on the other hand, and not some fawning courtier of a liberal fascist, calls it what it is: dictatorship.

Resign, Dick. You’re a disgrace to your oath of office.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Obamacare: Employees at failed Cover Oregon exchange receiving $650K in bonuses

**Posted by Phineas

"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

And yet Oregon might well reelect Governor Kitzhaber, whose responsibility this fiasco is?

How do I get a job where I’m paid a bonus for maintaining something that doesn’t work? Given that the DOA Cover Oregon web site cost the taxpayers around $200,000,000 and that it’s estimated another $40,000,000 will be needed to transition to the federal exchange, one would think pitchforks and torches would be more in order.

via David Freddoso

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Rick Perry to Obama: Come visit the Texas/Mexico border, Mr. President

TX Gov. Rick Perry

Texas Governor Rick Perry

Not one to mince words, Texas Governor Rick Perry today issued a written invite to President Obama to come take a look at the Texas/Mexico border himself to see how bad the illegal immigrant influx has become, especially in recent weeks:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is inviting President Obama to visit the U.S.-Mexico border, saying he needs “to see firsthand” the humanitarian crisis from an influx of illegal migrants.

In a letter sent to the White House on Friday, Perry called the president to Texas to survey the areas where tens of thousands of unaccompanied children have illegally crossed the border.

Perry also asked Obama to deploy 1,000 National Guard troops to the border, authorize the use of Predator drones for surveillance flights, and direct the Centers for Disease Control to survey facilities where detained children are being held. 

“There is no doubt that I have disagreed with you and your administration on many policies over the years,” Perry wrote. “This crisis, however, transcends any political differences we may have.

“The safety and security of our border communities is being threatened by this flood of illegal immigration, and the crisis worsens by the day,” he added.

Perry also called on Obama to “modify or rescind policies that serve as a magnet to encourage illegal immigration,” in particular the so-called catch-and-release program. That program releases illegal immigrants into relatives’ care and orders them to appear at a later date for deportation proceedings.

“The complex situation along the border is deteriorating, and it requires a multifaceted approach to resolve, and must begin with border security,” Perry wrote.

Earlier Friday, the White House announced it would send tens of millions of dollars to Central American countries to help them improve security and repatriate immigrants who had attempted to enter the U.S.

How many want to bet that this emerging humanitarian crisis comes as a direct result of the Obama administration’s astonishingly naive and politically motivated executive actions that have relaxed immigration rules and regulations over the last few years? It’s something even they seem to be acknowledging indirectly, if this report from the New York Times is any indication.  

Make sure to read Hot Air’s Noah Rothman for much more on this developing story.  And pray for those children a safe return home, no matter what you think on the issue of illegal immigration. 

It begins: The words you ‘can & can’t’ use when discussing Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden

Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden

Just as the case was in 2008, a growing list of Words/Things You Can’t Say When Discussing Hillary Clinton is emerging in time for her ongoing preparations for her to make the official announcement about her second run for the presidency. Good job getting the documentation rolling, Ashe Schow:

Oh dear, someone called former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “feisty” and now ThinkProgress is out crying sexism.

CNN host Christiane Amanpour – a woman, if you didn’t know – said that Clinton “got quite feisty” during her interview Tuesday with Diane Sawyer – another woman (just making that absolutely clear). Wolf Blitzer – who is not a woman – agreed, and also said the word “feisty.”

This sent ThinkProgress into a tizzy (wait, is that sexist?) and allowed the liberal website to bring up a 2012 “guide” from the Women’s Media Center that details more than 100 words and phrases that are apparently sexist.

Feisty is one of them. How is feisty sexist? Well, the WMC claims the word is “normally reserved for individuals and animals that are not inherently potent or powerful.”

[…]

Other words that are apparently sexist include “aggressive,” “brunette,” “childcare” and “complain.” Even “politically correct” is apparently no longer politically correct.

And don’t forget, we’re also not supposed to talk about La Clinton’s fashion choices or hairdos … unless the purpose is to praise all of the above in the spirit of how her “look” gives off the appearance of power (for example: wearing “power red”).  From a piece I wrote in 2007 on the “controversy” surrounding a fashion column the WaPo published about Mrs. Clinton showing some, er, cleavage on the floor of the US Senate:

As a woman, and knowing many women, I can tell you from first hand experience that when professional women dress, nine times out of ten they’re dressing to impress, I don’t care where they’re working. They also expect to get noticed for how ‘sharp’ and/or ‘stylish’ they’re dressed and, shocker of all shockers, they actually like to receive compliments for what they wear. Now I can guarantee you that if Givhan’s column had been more flattering about the way Hillary dresses, i.e., if she was wearing red, how the color and style she was wearing was a symbol for power, or if it was along the lines of “Hillary is showing some cleavage and leg in a Congress that traditionally shies away from overt displays of skin. You go girl! Break down those walls!” the reactions to that column would have been totally different – especially amongst the liberal women responding to what was written. The fact that it wasn’t a very flattering piece on Hillary’s attire and what it displayed was where Givhan erred – not that she wrote about cleavage per se.

In any event, feel free to add to the list of things you can and can’t say when discussing She Who Wants to be President  in the comments! Can’t wait. #popcorn

Efficient as ever, Hillary Clinton attacks 1st and 2nd amendments in one sentence

**Posted by Phineas

Tolerance

Hey, why only gut one amendment in the Bill of Rights when you can trash two at the same time? It’s a progressive win-win!

During a televised town hall, Hillary Clinton was asked about guns, and said that the viewpoint held by gun-rights advocates “terrorizes” the majority of Americans.

The town hall, broadcast live on CNN on Tuesday, closely resembled a commercial for Clinton’s new memoir, “Hard Choices.”

(…)

“We cannot let a minority of people – and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people – hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people,” said Clinton.

Get that? Not only are you allowed to own firearms only at the sufferance of the State, but you are not even allowed to hold a point of view that differs from the majority opinion, presumably as long as that majority happens to agree with the progressive statist position.

And “terrorizes?” Really, Hillary? I’m not allowed to hold the opinion that the natural right to self-defense allows me and all other Americans to arm ourselves and that the Bill of Rights recognizes that unalienable right against government power, because said opinion might make your neighbors in Chappaqua get the vapors? How weird. In all my reading about the American Founding and our constitutional settlement, I never ran across the part that talked about how we have free speech as long as it isn’t scary. I don’t recall Voltaire saying “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it, as long as it does not offend the majority.”

Hey, Hillary? What about other minorities? Blacks in the 1950s and 1960s were of the opinion that they held the same natural and civil rights as other Americans and loudly demonstrated to demand those rights be honored. That surely scared the majority Whites at the time, so should Blacks have not been allowed to hold those opinions? I’m curious for your thoughts on the matter.

File this away for 2016, folks, should Lady Macbeth decide to run: it is the opinion of a leading candidate for President of the United States, who swears an oath to uphold, protect, and defend the Constitution –including the Bill of Rights– that you are only allowed to express your own opinions as long as most people are comfortable with them.

Comforting, isn’t it?

h/t Bryan Preston

PS: Hillary is no outlier for her party: just the other day, President Obama was praising Australia’s draconian gun confiscation law. The simple truth is that the Left approves of the Constitution only when it is convenient to them.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Transgender group steps in over “gender non-conforming” teen’s dispute w/ SCDMV

Chase Culpepper

Chase Culpepper

Sigh:

(CNN) — A transgender rights advocacy group says the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles restricted a teen’s free speech rights by asking him to remove his makeup for a driver’s license photo.

Sixteen-year-old Chase Culpepper went to take his driver’s test in Anderson in March.

Chase considers himself “gender non-conforming,” he told CNN affiliate WYFF. He regularly wears makeup and girl’s clothes.

After passing his driver’s test, Chase went to take his photo for his license. But an employee at the office asked him to remove his makeup.

The employee told Chase he couldn’t wear “a disguise” and didn’t look “like a boy should,” the teen told the affiliate.

CNN reached out to the state DMV and was told it had a policy specifying the requirements for the photograph.

“At no time will an applicant be photographed when it appears that he or she is purposely altering his or her appearance so that the photo would misrepresent his or her identity,” the policy says.

“That’s been the policy since August of 2009,” spokeswoman Beth Park said.

“Stage makeup is not acceptable because it can be used to alter appearance. Regular everyday makeup is accepted because it’s used to highlight or hide blemishes,” she said.

The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund is now asking that the DMV allow Chase to retake his photo.

“His freedom to express his gender should not be restricted by the DMV staff,” the fund’s executive director, Michael Silverman, said.

HIS GENDER IS “MALE”, dum dums, and unless he has a sex change to reflect his “choice” of gender later on in life, he’ll always be … a MALE in the legal sense, and one who needs to take his damn DMV license picture FREE of make-up. For the same reasons women can’t wear anything covering their faces in their license pics.  In fact, once upon a time here in NC you weren’t even allowed to smile in your driver’s license picture because they said it “altered your features.”

Why must every little bleeping thing be surrounded by drama? Sometimes the rules are just fine the way they are, and mean there are times when we won’t get our way. And that should be ok. Oh, but we’re living in the world of the perpetually offended so, by all means, let the “outrage” and hysteria continue … 8-|

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SC Senator Graham garners high praise from Senator Reid

Senators Reid and Graham

Senators Reid (D) and Graham (R)

Via The Hill:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday said Republicans should follow the lead of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Reid said Graham defeated conservative challengers and avoided a runoff after co-authoring immigration reform last year, unlike House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who was defeated in a shocking result the same night.

“I believe the Republicans should follow the lead of Lindsey Graham. Lindsey Graham was part of the Gang of Eight to come up with immigration reform. He never backed down, backed up. He kept going forward on this issue,” Reid said.

“We need more Republicans who are Lindsey Grahams,” he added. “Lindsey Graham is a very conservative man but I’ve worked with him on a number of issues, some of which we don’t even talk about publicly.”

Graham may have easily won his GOP primary fight last night at the top of a crowded field, but it’s still safe to say this endorsement of sorts – especially on the contentious issue of illegal immigration – from the hardcore Nevada liberal who just happens to be the Senate Majority Leader will cause Graham considerable grief among the GOP faithful in South Carolina, from where several local GOP chapters have censured him.

Thanks, by the way, to Senator Reid about the tidbit of information on how he and Graham work together behind the scenes sometimes without anyone knowing publicly.  Nice to know that the senior Senator from SC doesn’t have any issues whatsoever working closely with complete snakes in senior leadership positions in the US Senate who are out to destroy the party for which Graham claims to represent.