Friday, May 24, 2013

Comments on 2 legal cases in the news

Hobby Lobby
Yesterday, Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. presented its case to the 10th Circuit federal appeals court in Denver. They (as do many others) seek an exemption from the "Obamacare" requirement to offer health coverage that includes access to the morning-after pill. They contend that this requirement violates their religious and moral belief system.

In contrast the Department of Justice is arguing that allowing businesses an exemption from this requirement would have the effect of the business imposing its religious beliefs on its employees. The DOJ argument is non-sensical, although that doesn't mean it won't fly in court! Hobby Lobby is not asking to impose its religious beliefs on its employees. They are simply saying that they don't want to pay for someone else's religious and moral beliefs, or the lack thereof.

Churches and specifically relgious-based groups are allowed exemption from this portion of the health care law if it violates their religious beliefs. But as it currently stands, businesses are not. In effect, business owners are being told that they can practice their religious beliefs on Sunday, but not Monday through Saturday. That is almost no religous freedom or religious protection at all. Businesses should be allowed to opt out of violations of their sincerely-held religious beliefs.

Free Kate
"Stop the Hate, Free Kate" has apparently taken social media by storm, misrepresentations and all.

Today, 18-year old Kaitlyn Hunt must decide whether to accept a plea agreement offered by Florida state attorney Bruce Colton.

Kate is accused of an inappropriate sexual relationship with a minor. She is 18 and the minor is 14. I agree that the components of a case between 18 and 14 year old friends is not the same as adults who prey on small children. But the law is clear that a minor cannot legally consent to sex, whether or not they may audibly and physically do so.

Parents and friends of Kate are in wild spin mode, evidently hoping that a media campaign will succeed in getting the charges dropped. Many shameful misrepresentions have been floated by them, indicating that lieing to get what they want is OK. Perhaps they should have spent some time advising their daughter of the dangers of an adult sexual relationship with a minor -- which is clearly against the law. After the fact they are worried that their daughter's life will be ruined with the permanent label of sex offender. Even that is a misrepresentation; the state attorney's plea agreement states she will not be entered in the sex offender registry. "Under the plea agreement we agreed we would ask for no more than two years of community control. Under community control she would be free to go to work, free to go to school, free to go to church, free to go to the doctor," the state attorney said.

Stop the hate; Take the deal, Kate.

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