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Supreme Court to rule on cases involving freedom of religion, abortion and Internet usage

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/13/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Among 20 cases yet to be decided, Hobby Lobby's right not provide contraception to female employees

The Supreme Court has its work cut out for them this month. Out of 22 cases on the high court's agenda, only two have been ruled upon and a whopping 20 remain to be addressed. Of thee 20, five will certainly have major repercussions in American life.

One of the decisions to be rendered is whether the Hobby Lobby, a fundamentalist Christian business chain must provide contraceptives for its female employees.

One of the decisions to be rendered is whether the Hobby Lobby, a fundamentalist Christian business chain must provide contraceptives for its female employees.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
6/13/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Supreme Court, decisions, Hobby Lobby, abortion clinics, First Amendment, Fourth Amendment


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In the Hobby Lobby case, the most anticipated decision will be whether a for-profit company has to provide contraceptive care for its employees if the owner has a religious objection. This even though the employees are entitled to it through the Affordable Care Act -- known as Obamacare.

The First Amendment lurks behind the case of McCullen v. Coakley. At heart is whether the right to free speech is violated by a Massachusetts law that created a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics. Supporters say this helps authorities police crowds and sets up a neutral area between the clinic and anti-abortion protesters. The protesters have argued that the law infringes on their right to protest.

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American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. should be of interest to anyone who watches TV over the Internet. The main issue comes down to copyright and retransmission fees. A Web startup company that allows consumers to pay an $8 or $12 subscription fee to watch their local TV networks live on any Internet-connected device at any time, Aereo stores up to 60 hours of programming in the cloud on a virtual DVR.

Major broadcast companies argue that Aereo amounts to nothing more than a theft of their product. Why, they ask, should Aereo be allowed to rebroadcast their programming without paying for it when all the other cable outlets, satellite distributors and affiliates have to pay the networks a lucrative retransmission fee?

Aereo says it is not hosting a "public performance" of the content, but rather a private showing of each program because the service it offers is no different from an individual who uses a DVR and an antenna to record the programming and watch it at his leisure.

The case of the National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning has the potential to strip the presidency of its recess appointment powers, or at the very least greatly reduce them.

Two key things must be decided upon: whether the president's recess powers can be used only to fill vacancies that occur during a Senate recess or if the vacancy simply has to exist in the first place; and whether the president can make an appointment during any type of break in Senate business or if it must be a formal break between sessions.

The final major case concerns cell phone privacy: The Riley v. California, United States v. Wurie is about whether the police have to obtain a warrant to search an individual's cellphone when an arrest is made. In essence, this case will focus on the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure.

Of the two cases that have been decided, POM Wonderful v. Coca-Cola Co., has dealt with whether a company can sue another one for unfair competition based on false or misleading product descriptions.

The remaining case, Clark v. Rameker, weighs whether individual retirement account (IRA) inheritance can be exempted from Chapter 7 bankruptcy under the "retirement funds" exemption.

This is the expected schedule for the justices to render their decisions: Monday, June 16 - five rulings; Thursday, June 19 - three rulings; Monday, June 23 - six rulings; Tuesday, June 24 - three rulings and Wednesday, June 25 - three rulings.

The court will likely save the biggest decisions for the last few days, but they could also come at any time.

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