Author Topic: Four Decades Eroding the Foundation of Liberty  (Read 285 times)

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Offline flowers

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Four Decades Eroding the Foundation of Liberty
« on: December 12, 2013, 04:02:38 PM »
http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/terence-p-jeffrey/four-decades-eroding-foundation-liberty

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Our government has now taken this Christian family all the way to the Supreme Court. The administration is not arguing in court that its regulation does not force the Greens to act against their faith. The administration is arguing that the Greens lost their First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion when they formed a corporation to conduct business.

Nonetheless, the administration is also intent on enforcing the same regulation on individual Americans — who own no corporation — but who believe the mandate to buy and provide insurance that covers abortifacients forces them to violate their moral or religious beliefs.

If the U.S. government can seize the power to force Christians to act against their consciences, what power can it be denied?




Offline Oceander

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Re: Four Decades Eroding the Foundation of Liberty
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2013, 12:49:43 AM »
It has always been the case that one's constitutional right to freedom of expression is more constrained in the commercial arena than in the strictly private or strictly political arenas.  After all, one has the constitutional right to lie and to, for example, deny the holocaust when speaking in private or in the political arena; one does not have the right to lie about one's product and say that it can do what it cannot in the commercial arena.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 12:50:47 AM by Oceander »

Offline Cincinnatus

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Re: Four Decades Eroding the Foundation of Liberty
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2013, 01:30:54 AM »
one does not have the right to lie about one's product and say that it can do what it cannot in the commercial arena.

And? That's fraud and we are not talking about that in this case.
We shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we act worthy of its aid ~~ Samuel Adams

Offline Oceander

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Re: Four Decades Eroding the Foundation of Liberty
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2013, 11:48:54 PM »
one does not have the right to lie about one's product and say that it can do what it cannot in the commercial arena.

And? That's fraud and we are not talking about that in this case.

No it's not; fraud almost always involves a misrepresentation, but not all misrepresentations are fraud.  If it makes you more comfy, let's change it to the situation of someone who negligently makes a statement about his product that, had he performed reasonable due diligence, he would have known was wrong.  Businesses can be forced to do due diligence on their products before they make statements about them, and can be punished for not doing so.  And the broader point - that the rights to freedom of expression are more limited where commercial speech is involved - is most definitely well-settled.

Furthermore, it is well-settled that activities conducted through a corporation may be regulated or interfered with where they could not be if conducted directly by an individual.  The basic rationale is that, by accepting the benefits conferred by the incorporation statutes, those who avail themselves of the corporate form have impliedly consented to greater regulation by the government as part of the price for those benefits.  For example, at the time that the income tax as applied to individuals directly was unconstitutional, an income tax on the income of corporations was upheld as constitutional on the ground that it was an excise tax on the privilege of conducting business in the corporate form.

It is therefore quite reasonable to take the view that someone who avails himself of the benefits of conducting business in corporate form has agreed to more stringent rules - such as the requirements involved here - than the government would be able to impose on an individual conducting business in his personal capacity.  I'm not saying that I agree, or disagree, with this argument, I am merely stating that it is not an obviously wrong argument.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 11:53:31 PM by Oceander »


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