Obamacare update: No arrested feds in WI. Lawsuits over taxation and contraception elsewhere.

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I have a feeling some of you were hoping for a nice showdown betwixt Wisconsin’s best good ole boys and some feds – weren’t ya!

Sorry, bloodthirsty ones. There is solace for the civilized Wisconsinite today. Scott Walker isn’t supporting a lunatic notion floated by nine Republican legislators.
We’re still waiting to see what he’ll declare about Obamacare. [more on that below the quote]

Gov. Scott Walker’s office said Thursday he is opposed to an idea floated by a group of tea party legislators to arrest federal officials in Wisconsin tasked with implementing the Affordable Care Act.

“Gov. Walker doesn’t support arresting individuals for implementing federal law,” said Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie in an email Thursday.
from madison.com

State exchange, or Federal exchange or, Lawsuit, or. . .

First, I’d like to remind the reader that there are signs Walker is working on a state exchange for Wisconsin. Update:
I guess this is a sign that he’s ummm… unstable or trying to keep you unstable? I have no idea.
From the madison.com article cited earlier:
Walker told the Times he would not disclose his decision until Friday, but added, “Why do I want to take on the potential risk to my taxpayers if I don’t really have any true authority about what’s going to happen?”

But if he were to reject the law by “nullification” as the nine extreme GOPers in his legislature requested, he’d be taking the state back to the 1800′s.

From Citizen Action of Wisconsin: “A Walker decision to forgo a state exchange would also give credence to the stunningly extreme Tea Party position that the states can nullify federal laws. The concept of “nullification” was developed in the 1830s by South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun to defend the institution of slavery from the federal government. In 1832-33 President Andrew Jackson had to threaten to use federal troops to force Calhoun’s South Carolina to adhere to federal trade policy.”

Taxation
Oklahoma is pursuing zero exchanges and is legally challenging the ACA over the taxation.

Oklahoma has a lawsuit against the federal government that charges “that the IRS’s recent rule on federal exchanges is unconstitutional”.

The language of the statute is explicit… Subsidies accrue to people who obtain coverage through state-run exchanges. The I.R.S. tries to get around that by providing subsidies for all insurance exchanges. That interpretation will almost certainly be challenged by someone.”-
James F. Blumstein, a professor of constitutional and health law at Vanderbilt University

Contraception:
American United for Life (AUL) is suing the federal gov’t on behalf of 6 states over contraception provisions in Obamacare (Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas). There are over 35 lawsuits against the ACA over contraception provision filed by over 100 plaintiffs.

The right-wing-Christian-owned Hobby Lobby is the first and most famous of all the private plaintiffs who claim that Obamacare violates its religious principles.

Hobby Lobby might even be closing down next year if they can’t get a win in court:
“By being required to make a choice between sacrificing our faith or paying millions of dollars in fines, we essentially must choose which poison pill to swallow,” said David Green, Hobby Lobby CEO and founder. “We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate.”

The head attorney for H.Lobby finds the notion that Hobby Lobby is a “secular” business to be “shocking”. I’ll tack his statment below. If you’d like to see it in its original environment, visit LifeNews. If you’d like to join the Boycott Hobby Lobby facebook page, here you go.

“The administration’s arguments in this case are shocking. Here’s what they are saying: once someone starts a “secular” business, he categorically loses any right to run that business in accordance with his conscience. The business owner simply leaves her First Amendment rights at home when she goes to work at the business she built. Kosher butchers around the country must be shocked to find that they now run “secular” businesses. On this view of the world, even a seller of Bibles is “secular.” Hobby Lobby’s affiliate, Mardel, sells Bibles and other Christian-themed material, but because it makes a profit the government has now declared it “secular.”

The administration’s position here — while astonishing — is actually consistent with its overall view of the place of religion in civil society. After all, this is the administration who argued in the Hosanna-Tabor case last year in the Supreme Court that the religion clauses of the First Amendment offered no special protection to a church’s right to choose its ministers — a position that the Court rejected 9-0. This is the administration which has taken to referring to “freedom of worship” instead of “freedom of religion” — suggesting that religious freedom consists in being free to engage in private rituals and prayers, but not in carrying your religious convictions into public life. And this is the administration who crafted a “religious employer” exemption to the HHS mandate so narrow that a Catholic charity does not qualify for conscience protection if it serves non-Catholic poor people.

As you point out, the administration is trying to justify its rigid stance against religious business owners by saying otherwise they would become a “law unto themselves,” and be able to do all sorts of nasty things to their employees — like force them to attend Bible studies, or fire them if they denied the divinity of Christ. Nonsense. Hobby Lobby isn’t arguing for the right to impose the Greens’ religion on employees, nor for the right to fire employees of different religions. There’s already a federal law that protects employees from religious discrimination and that’s a very good thing. This case is about something entirely different: it’s about stopping the government from coercing religious business owners. The government wants to fine the Greens if they do not violate their own faith by handing out free abortion drugs, and now it’s saying they don’t even have the right to complain in court about it.”
– Kyle Duncan, general counsel of the Becket Fund

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