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Mon Jun 30, 2014, 10:02 AM

Live Blog of Opinions, June 30, 2014 LIVE

Source: Supreme Court of the United States blog

At 9:30 a.m. on Monday we expect orders from the June 26 Conference, followed by opinions in argued cases at 10:00 a.m. We will begin live-blogging at this link at approximately 9:15 a.m. The only remaining undecided cases of the Term are Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn. - See more at: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014#sthash.vXje5Qmc.dpuf

Both decisions from Alito. Harris is first. In Harris, the Court refuses to extend Abood. These employees can't be required to contribute to unions. This case does not involve full-fledged public employees, the Court notes.
The majority opinion is 39 pages. The dissent is 25.
The Court recognizes a category of "partial public employees" that cannot be required to contribute union bargaining fees.


Kagan writes for the dissenters. The four liberal Justices are the dissenters. The vote is 5-4.
It remains possible that in a later case the Court will overturn its prior precedent and forbid requiring public employees to contribute to union bargaining. But today it has refused to go that far. The unions have lost a tool to expand their reach. But they have dodged a major challenge to their very existence.

The opinion is here: www.supremecourt.gov
- See more at: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014#sthash.vXje5Qmc.dpuf

How shocked would you be, on a scale of 1 to Andy-Kaufman-Is-Alive, if Justice Alito writes an opinion where Hobby Lobby loses?

Kagan dissent in Harris is strongly critical of dicta re Abood's supposed weaknesses. - See more at: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014#sthash.vXje5Qmc.dpuf

(Here is Hobby Lobby)
This is a 5-4 opinion.
The Breyer and Kagan opinions are, to be clear, separate dissenting opinions.
Breyer and Kagan each filed a dissenting opinion.
Ginsburg joined by Sotomayor and joined in part by Breyer and Kagan.
There are three dissenting opinions.
Ginsburg dissents; it is 35 pages.
Decision looks like a monster: 49 pages for the majority, four for Kennedy concurrence.

Here is more qualification: It does not provide a shield for employers who might cloak illegal discrimination as a religious practice.
- See more at: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014#sthash.vXje5Qmc.dpuf
Here is a further attempt at qualification: This decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to mean that all insurance mandates, that is for blood transfusions or vaccinations, necessarily fail if they conflict with an employer's religious beliefs.

Justice Kennedy's concurring opinion says that the government could pay for the coverage itself, so that women receive it.


The Court says that the government has failed to show that the mandate is the least restrictive means of advancing its interest in guaranteeing cost-free access to birth control.
RFRA applies to regulations that govern the activities of closely held for-profit corporations like Conestoga, HL and Mardel.


Closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraception coverage.


Here is Hobby Lobby.
- See more at: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014#sthash.vXje5Qmc.dpuf


Read more: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014



NOTE: All the entries in "Excerpt" portion are from the link - not my opinions or comments.

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Reply Live Blog of Opinions, June 30, 2014 LIVE (Original post)
Divernan Jun 30 OP
Divernan Jun 30 #1

Response to Divernan (Original post)

Mon Jun 30, 2014, 11:10 AM

1. Hobby Lobby raises 2 follow up questions for future cases.

On a quick read, the Hobby Lobby decisions raises two important follow-up questions for future cases: (1) Whether HHS has the legal authority to now extend the non-profit exemption regime to closely held corporations (if it doesn't, that would suggest that the women employed by those companies may end up without coverage); and (2) whether RFRA protects objecting corporations from even certifying their objection (thereby triggering alternative coverage for the employees), which is the question that is pending in other cases working their way to the Court in the context of non-profit companies.

For purists, it is important to note that this case was decided purely on statutory grounds (RFRA) and Alito closes the opionion of the Court by noting that they are not reaching the First Amendment claims raised by Hobby Lobby.
- See more at: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014#sthash.vXje5Qmc.dpuf

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