Saturday, November 24, 2012

ObamaCare & Hobby Lobby - Religious Rights or Legal Standing?

A few weeks ago, Rick Santorum got some criticism for saying the U.S. Supreme Court erred in saying states may not outlaw contraception. The idea that Americans could legally be forbidden to buy condoms or birth control pills struck most people as a gross violation of personal liberty.
Obamacare Mandate has many in a Legal Uproar

With the highly publicized case of Hobby Lobby's fight against President Obama's Health Care mandate comes polarizing viewpoints, especially in the fight against Government oppression. Many are citing the American Revolution as a guide for the ultimate resolution of this dilemma; yes, physical violence is being ultimately advocated as the only measure for reasonable citizens against the tyranny of Obama and this direct attack upon religious liberties.

While many may engage in various amounts and types of debate over this issue, there is a fundamental issue that everyone needs to be aware of. It's a legal reality of established law that most have never thought of. It's the issue of status before the court and the rights of individuals before a court.

Many are screaming about fundamental rights being violated by government, in this case the rights of the owners of Hobby Lobby. It is presumed that Hobby Lobby is a duly formed Corporation. As such, all officers of a corporation have a different legal status than that of a natural person. A person acting as a corporate officer is not guaranteed the same rights as a natural person. Why? Well, let this portion of a well established case provide the reason.
 The individual may stand upon his constitutional rights as a citizen. He is entitled to carry on his private business in his own way. His power to contract is unlimited. He owes no duty to the State or to his neighbors to divulge his business, or to open his doors to an investigation, so far as it may tend to criminate him. He owes no such duty to the State, since he receives nothing therefrom beyond the protection of his life and property. His rights are such as existed by the law of the land long antecedent to the organization of the State, and can only be taken from him by due process of law, and in accordance with the Constitution. Among his rights are a refusal to incriminate himself and the immunity of himself and his property from arrest or seizure except under a warrant of the law. He owes nothing to the public so long as he does not trespass upon their rights.
Upon the other hand, the corporation is a creature of the State. It is presumed to be incorporated for the benefit of the public. It receives certain special privileges and franchises, and holds them subject to the laws of the State and the limitations of its charter. Its powers are limited by law. It can make no contract not authorized by its charter. Its rights to act as a corporation are only preserved to it so long as it obeys the laws of its creation. There is a reserved right in the legislature to investigate its contracts and find out whether it has exceeded its powers.
 Hale v. Henkel - 201 U.S. 43 (1906)

 Do you think this tidbit of legal information might make a difference when asserting that Constitutional rights have been violated?

As Christians, we need to make sure that we understand certain issues before we proceed blindly and end up suffering as evildoers, rather than as Christians for true righteousness.

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