Friday, April 1, 2016

4.2 Religious Freedom Restoration Acts

1. LGBTQ advocates fear that business owners will use it as a way to legally discriminate. 
2. Section 4 protects religious nonprofits from having to provide services that violate their faith, unless they agreed to do so in a contract or grant application. Section 5 protects the rights of religious nonprofits to hire only people who support and practice their faith. These both would allow for discrimination. 
3. Atlanta has laws in place that ban discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, which Georgia's laws would overpower. 
4. RFRA's have been in place for 25 years to allow discrimination in different states, but there have hardly been any legal cases regarding the discrimination. RFRA's don't give individuals or organizations unlimited religious power against the law. They only allow for reasonable accommodations if the government can't prove it has a compelling interest to enforce a law or regulation in a certain way. 
5. They allow people to challenge undue burdens on their faith that result from laws and policies, but only if the government can't show that it has a compelling interest to apply the burden and a reasonable accommodation isn't available.
6. Religious minorities benefit from these laws. 
7. Businesses cannot be forced to provide birth control to their employees if it goes against their religious views. 
8. The protection of LGBTQ people is not explicitly stated in the Bill of Rights, but their equality is important legally which goes with civil rights. 

4.1 Religious Freedom and Health Care Laws

1. The outcome will probably be even with 4-4, which would take the decision back down to the lower courts. 
2. The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover all forms of contraception without any copays.
3. Social conservatives like Catholics do not believe that birth control is okay, so enforcing it violates their religion. 
4. They said that churches and houses of worship are exempt and as is any nonprofit that is not religiously affiliated. 
5. Closely-held for-profit corporations should also be exempt from providing contraceptive coverage if the owners object because of their religion. 
6. They should not be made complicit in something they strongly oppose and they should not face a penalty if they do not comply. 
7. Five of the eight justices are Catholic, so they are more likely to be willing to help the nuns out. 
8. The insurer is a third party and a separate entity from the plaintiffs, so what the government requires them to do shouldn't matter as long as the plaintiffs don't have to pay for or administer the plans including contraceptive coverage.
9. If the Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, it will open the door to a limitless number of religious exemptions that the courts have no way to truly evaluate, and this would weaken the idea of religious exemptions as a result.
10. It could open the door to employers refusing to buy plans that cover PrEP, which many gay and bisexual men take to prevent HIV, or doctors refusing to treat a transgender woman with breast cancer.
11. It would defeat the government's purpose, which is to make sure that women have seamless access to birth control coverage and are more likely to use it. It would lead to an inconceivable administrative headache for women seeking coverage, insurers, and the government, and it would require women to have two different insurance plans that might not even cover the same doctors-assuming that any insurance company would agree to offer such an impractical plan in the first place. 
12. Respecting the religions of bosses may actually intrude on the religious freedom of the employees by denying them access to care other citizens receive.