The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

And now, the First Amendment argument against Obamacare hits the courts

The individual mandate in “Obamacare” survived constitutional challenge by virtue of Chief Justice roberts' ruling that its “penalty” was a tax and thus permitted under the first clause of Article I Section 8: “To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.” But further challenges are hitting the courts now. The Catholic Church has long believed that birth control was immoral, and the fact that Catholic institutions (except for those defined by such a narrow criterion as to exclude most of them) must, under Obamacare, provide free contraception, to them constites a violation of the freedom of religion clause of the First Amendment. And at least one judge agrees. According to the Daily Caller:

A coalition of civil rights groups has persuaded a Denver, Colo. judge that Obamacare’s preventive care coverage provides a “substantial burden” on a Colorado company’s free exercise of religion.

Judge John Kane, who was appointed by President Jimmy Carter, granted a “preliminary injunction” barring enforcement of the law against the family-owned company, pending a full trial.
The judge said, among other things, that the Obamacare mandate “could easily be served by the government providing contraceptive themselves … if there was the political will.” And this is clearly correct. Making observant Catholics pay for something they find morally repugnant is so clearly a First Amendment violation that I cannot see how anyone could think otherwise.

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