Wednesday, November 27, 2013

TFTD: Corporations Have No Rights?

On the CNN newsfeed, I saw an editorial claiming that individuals have rights but corporations do not. Therefore corporations like Hobby Lobby should not be able to get an exemption from the mandated contraception/abortion coverage since such rights only extend to the individual practice of religion -- which the author seems to interpret as worship.

But that's too narrow. The First Amendment reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The key words in this case are, "prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The free exercise of religion involves all aspects of a person's life... including the right to go into business.

If corporations founded by religious believers may not be run according to the religious convictions they hold, this is a restriction on the free exercise of religion.

Moreover, if religion is merely a right of individuals, then it follows that freedom of speech, press, peaceable assembly and petition of grievances are also individual rights.  That means organized social justice groups, the New York Times, unions and organized protests are also restricted.

That means Elizabeth B. Wydra has the individual right to opine on religious freedom but neither CNN (which published the linked article) nor the group she represents has that right.

Ridiculous? Of course. But that is what follows from her argument.

What we have here is not an appeal to reasonable constitutional law. We have partisan behavior seeking to abuse the laws and courts to compel a group to support a behavior the author approves of but they oppose.

Usually we call that fascism.

No comments:

Post a Comment