Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hobby Lobby to Defy Obamacare Mandate
Todd Starnes - Dec 29, 2012
The owners of Hobby Lobby face $1.3 million in daily fines after they decided to obey God rather than the federal government – refusing to comply with Obamacare’s contraception mandate.
The act of defiance came one day after Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied Hobby Lobby’s emergency request to block enforcement of the mandate, but said the company may continue its appeal in lower courts.
Hobby Lobby is a national arts and crafts chain. They own more than 500 stores in 41 states.
The company is owned by the Green family, devout, evangelical Christians. They believe “it is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured” and they seek to honor God by operating their company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.”
The family believes the Obamacare mandate to provide the morning-after and week-after pills is a violation of their religious convictions.“To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs,” Becket Fund attorney Kyle Duncan wrote in a statement.
Duncan said the company would continue to provide health insurance for its employees while they fight the government in court.
But on Jan. 1, Hobby Lobby will face a $1.3 million daily fine if they don’t comply with Obamacare.
“The Green family respects the religious convictions of all Americans, including those who do not agree with them,” the Becket Fund said in a statement. “All they are asking is for the government to give them the same respect by not forcing them to violate their religious beliefs.”There are now 42 separate lawsuits changing the mandate, the Becket Fund said.
Conservatives praised Hobby Lobby for standing by their convictions.
“God bless this company,” columnist Michelle Malkin told Fox News. “It’s incumbent upon every conservative who believes in freedom of religion and freedom of conscience to support those businesses that are standing up and taking the slings and arrows of this discriminatory administration.”
“This is the most egregious violation of religious liberty that I have ever seen,” wrote columnist Denny Burk. “The first line of the Bill of Rights says this: ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ Obamacare prohibits the free exercise of the owners of Hobby Lobby. Who’s next?”Conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham said President Obama “must step in to stop this madness.”
“It turns out as many feared, the president’s religious exemption to the contraception mandate is so narrow as to be meaningless,” she said on Fox News. “Unless you employ and serve only those of your same religious faith you don’t receive an exemption. So under that standard, Jesus himself would not qualify. This is unconscionable and unconstitutional.”
Abortion supporters hailed Sotomayor’s ruling.
“I hope the government earmarks every cent of that fee money for Planned Parenthood, just to spite these ass****,” wrote one reader on the Jezebel website.
“Anyway, I’m all for Hobby Lobby (and all other organizations that think birth control is totes gross) ignoring the law,” wrote Erin Gloria Ryan in a column titled, “Whore Pill-Hating Hobby Lobby Will Have to Pay a Buttload of Fines for Ignoring Obamacare.”
The website Think Progress said Hobby Lobby is ignoring two points.
“First, that Plan B is not an abortion-inducing drug, as Hobby Lobby claims, and second, that the company may well end up paying more to avoid covering contraception than they would simply providing access,” the website reported. “It also takes a twisted view on the ‘Freedom of Religion’ argument; the company is actually forcing its owner’s religious beliefs on all employees, no matter their personal religious views.”
Ingraham pointed out that in a previous case Sotomayor ruled in favor of a Muslim inmate who was denied Ramadan meals. She held that the meal was subjectively important to the inmate’s practice of Islam.
Malkin called it a selective double standard.
“Religious liberty for some, none for others,” she said.
This is a followup to a previous message on this most important violation of rights guaranteed us as American citizens in our Bill of Rights. The Obama administration, the U.S. Congress, or anybody else has no authority to unilaterally deny us those precious rights to practice our religion as we see fit without interference by the government. Any American citizen who holds our guarantees under the Bill of Rights precious should stand solidly behind the courageous stand taken by the Green Family and anyone else willing to oppose any and all attempts to infringe upon our right, as Americans, to freely express and practice our individual religious beliefs. 
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America
Knights of Columbus - 4th Degree

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Supreme Court denies Hobby Lobby request for reprieve from health care mandate
Published December 26, 2012 -
The Supreme Court has denied a request by Hobby Lobby to shield the company from the so-called contraceptive mandate while its legal battle plays out, after a federal court last week similarly ruled against the Christian-owned company.
The lower court had earlier refused to protect the company from an ObamaCare-tied requirement to provide contraceptive coverage, and the fines that come with it for not complying.
CEO David Green, who had taken his case to the appeals court after losing in a lower-court ruling, had argued that his family would have to either "violate their faith by covering abortion-causing drugs or be exposed to severe penalties."
The Supreme Court's latest ruling is not on the underlying merits of the mandate itself -- it simply denies the company's request for an injunction while legal battle on the merits plays out. There are currently more than 40 cases pending against that rule.
The mandate requires businesses and organizations, with some exceptions, to provide access to contraception coverage -- Hobby Lobby was most concerned about coverage for the morning-after pill, which some consider tantamount to an abortion-causing drug. Hobby Lobby has refused to comply, while saying the fines could add up to $1.3 million a day.In its earlier ruling, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said the company did not prove the rule would "substantially burden" its religious freedom. Though the mandate has exemptions for religious entities like churches, the lower court ruled that Hobby Lobby is not a religious group.
The company, founded in 1972, has more than 13,000 full-time employees across more than 500 stores.
This is a very strong indication that the final decision by the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately be in favor of the implementation of the very controversial clause in the Affordable Care Act which requires all employers to pay for free access to contraceptive devices. Although the clause is vehemently opposed by all anti-abortion groups, it remains an integral part of the Obama administration’s health care legislation. Such a ruling is a sad testimonial to the constant erosion of our right of freedom to practice our religion that is guaranteed us under the U.S. Constitution. If this can happen to our right to freely practice our religion as we see fit, one can’t help wondering which of the rights that we have come to take for granted in America will be the next to come under attack. We are headed down a very slippery slope when we stand by and do nothing while our precious  constitutional rights are infringed upon.
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America
Knights of Columbus - 4th Degree

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Obama’s uncle wins new bid to stay in US
He gets new hearing, immigration lawyers surprised
Boston Globe Staff Writer - 4 December 2012
President Obama’s uncle has won a new deportation hearing in Boston immigration court, more than a year after a drunk-driving arrest in Framingham revealed that he had violated a longstanding order to return to Kenya.
Last week, the Board of ­Immigration Appeals granted Onyango Obama’s request to ­reopen his immigration case based in part on his contention that his prior lawyer was ­ineffective, according to a government official with direct knowledge of the case. Obama’s new lawyers have also argued that the 68-year-old Obama has lived in the United States for nearly half a century and ­deserves a chance to make his case.
Brian P. Hale — spokesman for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is prosecuting the deportation — confirmed that the board has reopened the case but declined to elaborate.
The board’s decision raised eyebrows among immi­gration lawyers who say it is difficult to persuade the immi­gration courts to reconsider a case that involves an arrest and a flagrant violation of a depor­tation order, last issued in 1992.
Framingham police arrested Obama for drunken driving in August 2011 and he later admit­ted in court that prosecutors had sufficient facts to bring the charge against him. But the drunk driving charge will be dismissed as long as he complies with terms of his sentence, including a year of probation that ends in March.
“With an outstanding order and a legally fuzzy plea, it’s pretty unusual for the board to reopen” an immigration case, said Crystal Williams, executive director of the Washington-based American Immigration Lawyers Association. “It’s not unheard of, but it’s pretty ­unusual.”
Scott Bratton, one of Obama’s lawyers at the Margaret Wong law firm in Cleveland, said Monday night, “We are obviously extremely pleased with the board’s decision. This will allow him to pursue his application for permanent resident status.”
Lauren Alder Reid, the courts’ chief counsel for legislative and public affairs, said she could not comment on the immi­gration case or say when a hearing would be scheduled because case information is generally protected by federal privacy provisions, unless the immigrant or his representative ­authorizes its release.
Because immigration court records are generally closed to the public, it is unclear what evi­dence the board reviewed to support Obama’s claim that his lawyer was ineffective. The government official who provided the reasons behind the board’s decision spoke on condition of anonymity because that person was not authorized to speak to reporters.
However, prior immigration judges’ rulings in Obama’s case obtained by the Globe under the Freedom of Information Act show that the Board of Immigration Appeals criticized his lawyer, Joseph F. O’Neil, in 1992 for failing to file a legal brief to support Obama’s ­appeal.
About a year ago, Obama’s  Auntie Zetuni received permission to remain in the U.S. and to stay in subsidized public housing while she applied for permanent residency status even though she was living here in an undocumented status. Now, we have Uncle Onyango being granted a new hearing on his case even though he has been living here for “nearly a half century in an undocumented status and has ignored a court issued deportation order since 1992”. The most recent charge against Uncle Onyango is drunken driving, a felonious charge not a simple immigration violation.
It is nothing short of an abomination that these types of “special favors” can be given to relatives of powerful politicians while other persons who are living here in the same unenviable immigration status are being subjected to apprehension, detention for long periods in prisons with hardened criminals, and eventually deported for the most insignificant of misdemeanors most of which are related to their immigration status and are not felonies in the eyes of the law.
The unfortunate people caught up in these situations are also barred from legal re-entry to the United States for ten years. What is wrong with this picture?
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America