T Nation

SCOTUS and Hobby Lobby

Well, what do you guys think? Personally, I agree with the majority decision in that women’s “right” to contraceptives isn’t being usurped here since they are still free to buy it wherever they want and no one is restricting their ability to do so. Last time, free birth control wasn’t a “right” per se.

HOWEVER, I also agree with part of Ginsberg’s scathing dissent in that this could very well be a slippery slope of monumental proportions. What other laws will be tossed aside for religious beliefs? What about drug use within a religious setting? Or genital mutilation? I know that the majority decision explicitly stated that this decision was ONLY applicable to this particular scenario, but that always reeks of some sort of politically-motivated reasoning. Stare decisis is as fundamental to the functioning of the Court as anything, and I fail to see how this precedent will be limited to such a narrow scope.

The last time I remember the Court saying that a decision essentially had no precedent applicable to future similar rulings was in Bush v. Gore, and we KNOW that that decision was politically-motivated (as if Rehnquist actually citing a long list of Warren Court precedents of all things is anything but).

Any time the SCOTUS reprimands the government for overstepping it’s reach is worthy of celebration, however, this decision isn’t nearly clear-cut a victory for liberty as the headlines would make you believe. My understanding is that the ruling applies to a narrow set of circumstances - only closely-held businesses that have the requisite number of employees to mandate coverage under ObamaCare. The larger issue is that as the more laws we have, the more multiple sets of rules and behavioral standards, depending on who the law is designed to regulate. The efficacy of laws is undermined when there are different sets of standards for different groups. If a law is fair and just, it should apply equally to all.

What do I think? There’s more work to do, but this is a good first step.

Frankly, Obama should be glad the whole thing didn’t get tossed. Had it been upheld, the idea that we value free religious expression in our affairs would have been self-delusional. If they had felt compelled to rule “all or nothing,” I get the feeling it would have been nothing. Instead of the whole thing coming down, they actually tried to save it.

[quote]moroots wrote:
If a law is fair and just, it should apply equally to all.[/quote]

It wasn’t, so it couldn’t. The pre-mandate condition did, though.

[quote]DBCooper wrote:
…HOWEVER, I also agree with part of Ginsberg’s scathing dissent in that this could very well be a slippery slope of monumental proportions. What other laws will be tossed aside for religious beliefs? What about drug use within a religious setting? Or genital mutilation? …[/quote]

Doesn’t this exist for American Indians and Jews respectively?

As I understand the decision Hobby Lobby is paying for multiple forms of contaceptive, just not the “morning after” pill as that is akin to an abortion of an embryo.

Their decision is the only logical one possible.

[quote]Big Banana wrote:

[quote]DBCooper wrote:
…HOWEVER, I also agree with part of Ginsberg’s scathing dissent in that this could very well be a slippery slope of monumental proportions. What other laws will be tossed aside for religious beliefs? What about drug use within a religious setting? Or genital mutilation? …[/quote]

Doesn’t this exist for American Indians and Jews respectively?

As I understand the decision Hobby Lobby is paying for multiple forms of contaceptive, just not the “morning after” pill as that is akin to an abortion of an embryo.

Their decision is the only logical one possible.[/quote]

Right on all counts, except that circumcision isn’t considered genital mutilation and is performed for many non-jewish people in hospitals.

There is already an exception for “sacramental” drug use and has been for a while now

[quote]DBCooper wrote:
and I fail to see how this precedent will be limited to such a narrow scope.

[/quote]

Gun control leads to licencing. Licencing is de facto registration. Registration has lead to confiscation in many historical cases. Therefore firearm regulation could likely lead to confiscation and direct violation of our protected rights as Americans.

Same sex marriage recognition could certainly lead to polygamy also being decriminalized under the same rationale.

I could go on.

Is all slippery slope reasoning valid, or only some?

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]DBCooper wrote:
and I fail to see how this precedent will be limited to such a narrow scope.

[/quote]

Gun control leads to licencing. Licencing is de facto registration. Registration has lead to confiscation in many historical cases. Therefore firearm regulation could likely lead to confiscation and direct violation of our protected rights as Americans.

Same sex marriage recognition could certainly lead to polygamy also being decriminalized under the same rationale.

I could go on.

Is all slippery slope reasoning valid, or only some? [/quote]

The correct answer is that only some arguments utilizing slippery slope reasoning is valid. A slippery slope argument becomes a fallacy when one constructs an argument using a slippery slope and then asserts that that series of events leading to the conclusion of a slippery slope argument must logically follow from the premise, either by direct assertion or indirectly by ignoring that other outcomes may arise (the indirect assertion is the source of many, many fallacious arguments involving slippery slopes).

An example of a potentially valid argument using a slippery slope argument might take the form of establishing a valid logical chain of events that could potentially arise from the premise and from there construct an argument asserting that the potential harm of this outcome is so great it is not worth the risk of going along with the initial action(s) in the logical chain. The strength of an argument like this would rely on the arguer’s ability to convince others of the final part of the argument, not the slope itself.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
circumcision isn’t considered genital mutilation and is performed for many non-jewish people in hospitals.
[/quote]

You may be surprised to know that there is a growing and highly vocal group who consider male circumcision, whether done for medical, religious, or cultural reasons, to be precisely “genital mutilation”.

Incidentally, what many people think of as “female genital mutilation” (i.e. the complete removal of the clitoris) is quite uncommon outside of Africa.

In Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country in the world, all that happens is a small bit of the inner labia or clitoral hood is cut (the equivalent of a male circumcision), and these days not even that: just a pinprick to draw blood.

If that qualifies as mutilation, then so does a bris or khitan.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]DBCooper wrote:
and I fail to see how this precedent will be limited to such a narrow scope.

[/quote]

Gun control leads to licencing. Licencing is de facto registration. Registration has lead to confiscation in many historical cases. Therefore firearm regulation could likely lead to confiscation and direct violation of our protected rights as Americans.

Same sex marriage recognition could certainly lead to polygamy also being decriminalized under the same rationale.

I could go on.

Is all slippery slope reasoning valid, or only some? [/quote]

It is only valid when liberals argue it.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]DBCooper wrote:
and I fail to see how this precedent will be limited to such a narrow scope.

[/quote]

Gun control leads to licencing. Licencing is de facto registration. Registration has lead to confiscation in many historical cases. Therefore firearm regulation could likely lead to confiscation and direct violation of our protected rights as Americans.

Same sex marriage recognition could certainly lead to polygamy also being decriminalized under the same rationale.

I could go on.

Is all slippery slope reasoning valid, or only some? [/quote]

Slippery slopes exist, no doubt about it.

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]DBCooper wrote:
and I fail to see how this precedent will be limited to such a narrow scope.

[/quote]

Gun control leads to licencing. Licencing is de facto registration. Registration has lead to confiscation in many historical cases. Therefore firearm regulation could likely lead to confiscation and direct violation of our protected rights as Americans.

Same sex marriage recognition could certainly lead to polygamy also being decriminalized under the same rationale.

I could go on.

Is all slippery slope reasoning valid, or only some? [/quote]

The correct answer is that only some arguments utilizing slippery slope reasoning is valid. A slippery slope argument becomes a fallacy when one constructs an argument using a slippery slope and then asserts that that series of events leading to the conclusion of a slippery slope argument must logically follow from the premise, either by direct assertion or indirectly by ignoring that other outcomes may arise (the indirect assertion is the source of many, many fallacious arguments involving slippery slopes).

An example of a potentially valid argument using a slippery slope argument might take the form of establishing a valid logical chain of events that could potentially arise from the premise and from there construct an argument asserting that the potential harm of this outcome is so great it is not worth the risk of going along with the initial action(s) in the logical chain. The strength of an argument like this would rely on the arguer’s ability to convince others of the final part of the argument, not the slope itself.[/quote]

Always good to read you Dr. Matt, and spot on as usual.

so civilized :slight_smile:

It depends on what ends up being attached to religion.

A lot of people aren’t considering the precedent of this or negatives it can lead to… Obviously lots of short sighted in the moment sorts here.

Where some people see this as religious freedom expression, I see it as a gateway to moral relativity, a real one.

In order for the ruling to be fair, religious beliefs have to be backed by moral principals…

Now what we need to do is understand that there may be legitimate moral principals for people to have as something like a convention, say there may be a group of people who are non violent as a convention.

Then they are justified in not paying taxes for things that have to do with what they perceive as violence… Say not paying taxes that support the military or vets or police or national defense. It’s not here now, but it’s going to happen. :slight_smile: