The James Wilson Foundation on Natural Rights and the American Founding

“Religion, the Corporate Life, and the Court” —Prof. Hadley Arkes in The Catholic Thing

by James Wilson Institute on February 25, 2014
Courts, Politics

Writing in The Catholic Thing, Prof. Hadley Arkes discusses Obamacare’s contraception mandate in light of the Supreme Court cases of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood 

Some excerpts:

“We are approaching the eve now of the oral arguments at the Supreme Court in the cases of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties. Two owners of businesses, one Assemblies of God and one Mennonite, are faced with crippling fines if they will not obey the commands of Obamacare, and fund abortifacients and contraceptives for their employees.”

“Aristotle taught us that every act implied some notion of a state of affairs that was good or bad, better or worse. And every association – every coming together of persons – implied some notion of a “good” to be attained. Now how could it be that, among all of the sources that supply an understanding of a ‘good’ to be sought, the only illegitimate source is the understanding drawn from our religious tradition? The position of the Administration is untenable on those grounds alone.”

“The Obama Administration, however, seems to assume that the natural state of a corporation is secular, untouched by any moral concerns that may spring from the religious character of its founders. The Administration is willing to accept the religious character of churches and other religious organizations as corporations. But it assumes that any organization directed to turning a profit must have purged itself of any concerns apart from the pursuit of wealth.”

“The hope… is that our lawyers will add to their arguments the truths that undergird the convictions of the religious – and those principles of constitutionalism that protect the freedom of the religious along with everyone else.”

Read the whole piece here

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Law and liberty cannot rationally become the objects of our love, unless they first become the objects of our knowledge.
— James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1790