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The claim that if corporations are not considered people then the government could censor newspapers owned by corporations and seize corporate property without compensation ignores the fact that freedom of the press and protections for uncompensated seizure of property in the First and Fifth Amendments respectively is not conditioned on the form of ownership.

"People organized as corporations" makes as much sense as "people organized as an automobile." Corporations are not people, "made in the image of God" and to ascribe freedom of religion to property is an insult to human dignity.

The real focus in the Hobby Lobby case should have been on whether anyone's religious freedom entitles them to exemption from an essentially nonreligious arrangement, just because it in small part benefits people who don't follow that religion. If my religion abhors automobile travel, for example, that should not give me the right to excuse myself from providing parking spaces at my business serving the general public. The power to circumscribe the rights of people outside of your religious sphere cannot reasonably be deemed a constitutionally protected exercise of religion.

To put Ginsburg's argument (and the parallel argument against Citizens United) more starkly, the claim seems to be that only people organized to do things that, in the view of a few judges, are right, and true, and selfless, and noble, deserve to be permitted to exercise rights under the Constitution (or RFRA). People engaged in something as crass and ignoble as merely making a living (and providing jobs, filling wants and needs, paying taxes, innovating, lowering prices through competition, etc.) obviously deserve second class status when it comes to fundamental rights.

Do critics of these decisions really want to live in a world in which the Supreme Court grants and withholds rights to and from huge swaths of Americans on such wildly subjective grounds? One set of rules for the nobles, another for the serfs. Sounds grand.

HHS has written proposed regulations to comply with the Hobby Lobby decision, and they are up for public comment via the web:


HHS is seeking to make eligibility for exemption as narrow as possible by allowing only for-profit, non-public, narrowly held corporations to even apply for it. Thus, they are maintaining that a nonprofit that is not specifically religious (i.e., a church) is ineligible, and so are publicly traded narrowly held corporations, and so are widely held corporations. I am writing a paper to submit to them as a comment on why all corporations ought to be eligible, provided that the corporation can provide evidence of sincere religious objections (which *does* knock out 99% of corporations).

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