The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 23, 2014

Faith and health care law to collide at Supreme Court

(Continued)

“Corporations, of course, cannot suffer. They are not sentient. They have no soul,” said Caroline Mala Corbin, a professor at the University of Miami School of Law. “Religious protection only makes sense when it applies to actual people.”

Others disagree.

“Followers of kosher rules run catering companies,” attorneys for Conestoga Wood Specialties wrote. “Families that observe the Sabbath operate fast food restaurants and craft stores. And those who value sacred texts publish and distribute books. Whatever the legal status of their organizations, owners and operators do not check their beliefs at the door each Monday morning.”

Ironically, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that conservatives might use to strike down the contraception mandate was a congressional reaction to a 1990 opinion by strictly conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia’s 1990 opinion reasoned that religious objectors are not exempt from a “neutral law of general applicability.”

Adding even more judicial spice, the conservative-dominated court that will decide this question is the same court that likened corporations to people in erasing limits on corporate campaign spending.

“Political speech does not lose First Amendment protection simply because its source is a corporation,” Justice Anthony Kennedy, often a swing vote, wrote in the court’s 2010 Citizens United case.

The potential consequences, moreover, reach beyond the 80-plus federal lawsuits that have been filed by colleges, charities and others challenging the contraception mandate.

The court’s eventual ruling, expected by the end of June, also could signal states about the future of legislation allowing businesses to deny services on religious grounds. A bill recently passed by the Arizona Legislature, but vetoed by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, for instance, would have permitted businesses to cite religious beliefs in denying service to gay couples.

“The cases are unprecedented,” said Supreme Court practitioner Tom Goldstein, founder of the popular ScotusBlog website. “The justices are going to have very different takes on who should win and who should lose.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • 1 hurt in fiery Twin Cities interstate crash ROSEVILLE, Minn. (AP) — Authorities say one person was hurt in a fiery crash involving four vehicles on a Twin Cities interstate. The crash on Interstate 35 brought morning traffic to a halt during a rainy commute. The Minnesota State Patrol says a

    July 25, 2014

  • Black box found at Air Algerie wreckage site PARIS (AP) — French soldiers recovered a black box from the Air Algerie wreckage site in a desolate region of restive northern Mali on Friday, officials said. Terrorism hasn't been ruled out as a cause, although officials say the most likely reason f

    July 25, 2014

  • Ukraine reports overnight rebel attacks on border MOSCOW (AP) — The Ukrainian army on Friday claimed that soldiers came under artillery fire from the Russian side of the border overnight and were attacked by rebels in several other places in the restive east. Ukrainian forces are trying to close in

    July 25, 2014

  • Deal still elusive for Gaza cease-fire CAIRO (AP) — Turbulent negotiations to broker a temporary truce in the Gaza Strip are continuing against the backdrop of fresh Israeli attacks on Palestinian militants. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met twice Friday in Cairo with U.N. chief Ban

    July 25, 2014

  • Transcript shows concerns during Arizona execution FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake was attending a ceremony for a judicial colleague when he received an urgent — and unusual — request: Lawyers for a condemned inmate wanted him to stop an execution that didn't seem to be workin

    July 25, 2014

  • Sniper-Author-Ventura [Duplicate] Day 3 of deliberations ends in Ventura lawsuit Jury has deliberated 19 hours

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man accused of stealing from group HASTINGS (AP) — An Apple Valley man is charged with five counts of theft for allegedly stealing more than $113,000 from a Rosemount youth athletics group. Sixty-two-year-old Robert Steven Reischauer was the former finance manager of the Rosemount Ar

    July 24, 2014

  • Sanders offers lower-cost bill to reform VA Bill would allow vets to go to private doctors

    July 24, 2014

  • Wetland Loss [Duplicate] Report says Prairie Pothole region losing wetlands BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Federal officials and conservationists say a recent report detailing wetland losses in the five-state Prairie Pothole Region over the past decade highlights the need for increased protection for the region that provides breeding

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • France: Air Algerie flight vanishes over N Mali ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali, the plane's owner and a French government official said. Air navigation services lost

    July 24, 2014