UIUC PHIL 110 - Religion in America 2 (4 pages)

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Religion in America 2

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Religion in America 2


Brief overview of the Obamacare, contraception, and religious liberty.

Lecture number:
Lecture Note
University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign
Phil 110 - World Religions
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Lecture 25 Outline of Last Lecture I Let s Begin with a Question II YES III NO IV Huh V Religious Toleration VI Emergence of Religious Toleration in Europe VII Peace of Westphalia VIII Maryland Toleration Act IX Religious Liberty X The First Freedom XI Historical Background Roger Williams XII Williams and Religious Liberty XIII Thomas Jefferson XIV Ambiguous Does Liberty Create a Secular State XV Question XVI Religious Neutrality XVII Everson v Board of Education of Ewing Township 1947 XVIII Everson decision PHIL 110 1st Edition Everson and the Wall of Separation Cheerleaders and the Wall of Separation Another Question Neutral Laws Neutral Laws cannot Hinder Religious Communities Santeria and Sacrifice Islamic Cnter of Murfreesboro TN Fight Goes On Liberty and Neutrality Two Possible Views Outline of Current Lecture XXVIII Burwell v Hobby Lobby Facts XXIX The Contraception Mandate XXX Exemptions to the Contraception XXXI The Plaintiff s Complaint XXXII The Government s Defense XXXIII The Court s Decision XXXIV The Court s Decision The Criterion XXXV The Court s Decision XXXVI In the Wake of Hobby Lobby XXXVII One More Free Exercise Case Holt v Hobbs XXXVIII How We Got There XIX XX XXI XXII XXIII XXIV XXV XXVI XXVII XXXIX See the Future XL Summary Recent Free Exercise Cases XLI Free Exercise and Conscience Current Lecture XLII Burwell v Hobby Lobby Facts a Case involves three companies that object to the mandate to provide insurance coverage to employees that includes specific forms of contraception b Named for Hobby Lobby i for profit corporation that operates a chain of retail stores Corporation owned entirely by a single family Greens No shares sold on a stock market ii Hobby Lobby includes 500 stores nationwide and employs more than 13 000 individuals XLIII The Contraception Mandate b Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ACA employers with 50 or more employees to offer group health insurance that includes preventive care and screenings for women without any cost sharing requirements i HHS regulations detail that coverage without cost sharing extends to all food and drug administration FDA approved contraceptive methods sterilization procedures and patient education and counseling XLIV Exemptions to the Contraception b excemptions from this requirement provided to i religious employers churches ii religious non profit organizations Social Service organizations established by the Catholic Church c In such cases the organization certifies its objection to the services and the insurer carrier is required directly to provide the coverage to the employee without cost i carriers willing to do this because contraception is cheaper to provide the pregnancy care XLV The Plaintiff s Complaint b Failure to provide an accomodation to the for profit corporations violates their free exercise rights c Insoluble burden of conscience Company must either i directly facilitate services that violate their own consciences thus involving them in immoral actions ii or they have to eliminate health care coverage all together and thus also become liable to significant fines XLVI The Government s Defense b Who exercises religious feredom i corporations are not persons for purposes of exercising relgious freedom ii different from non profits in which the mission is a direct extension of the organization c How does the requirement impose a burden i connection between the company s actions and the feared effects elimination of an embryo is only indirect and distant ii the use of the services is a choice of the employee not of the employer the conscience at issue is that of the employee XLVII The Court s Decision b Finds for the plaintiff c In cases of closely held corporations the company s identity is closely linked to that of the owner For profit status irrelevant i the corporate person can exercise the relevant religious rights d Plaintiff s view of moral situation controls the decision i The court must not presume to determine the plausibility of a religious claim XLVIII The Court s Decision The Criterion b case decided in keeping with both first amendment and a later law Religious Freedom Restoration Act RFRA 1993 c RFRA obligated governmental organizations to implement least restrictive means to pursue compelling interest of the state i Requites a means end analysis 1 Question Even accepting the government s argument that contraception is a necessary component of preventive health care is the HHS policy the least restrictive means XLIX The Court s Decision b Priority of Religious Freedom over other social ends c Not a balance of two legitmate goals i religious freedom takes precedence government must find appropraite means to accomodate d NOT ANSWERED does it matter if a person s religious conscience is in error L In the Wake of Hobby Lobby b many more cases on accomodation from contraception mandate pending c other aspects of corporate law implicated i non discrimination laws ii collective bargaining laws LI One More Free Exercise Case Holt v Hobbs b decision pending June 2015 c FACTS Arkansas Inmate believe his Muslim faith requires him to grow a beard Citing security concerns prison authorities have declined this request including a compromise request by the prisoner for one half inch beard d holt sued on the grounds that this policy deprived him of relgious freedom LII How We Got There b Lower court decision i we conclude that defendants met their burden of establishing that ADC s grooming policy was the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling penological interest notwithstanding Mr Holt s citation to cases indicating that prisons in other jurisdictions have been able to meet their security needs while allowing inmates to maintain facial hair it does not outweigh deference owed to expert judgement of prison officials who are more familiar with their own institutions c Note i definition of criterion least restrictive means effect of RFRA and related laws ii position of deference here court provides wide latitude to state authroities 1 this issue came up in preliminary S Ct hearing It wil be im portant in ultimate decision See the Future b we can t show how S Ct will rule but we can make some educated guesses LIV Summary Recent Free Exercise Cases b Have focused on only one thread of free exercise cases where individual perceives a state regulation to impose upon his her conscience i another thread centers on land use and ability of native American communities to sustain

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