The Satanic Temple has launched a campaign seeking religious exemption from laws that restrict access to abortions, citing the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling. The group, which "facilitates the communication and mobilization of politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual liberty," argues that states' "informed consent" laws violate its religious freedom. "An increasing number of states have passed 'informed consent' laws, requiring that women seeking abortions be subjected to state-mandated informational materials that are often false or misleading," the group wrote on its website. "We believe that personal decisions should be made with reference to only the best available, scientifically valid information." read more
Some states are publicly clarifying that they consider their health insurance marketplace created under Obamacare to be state-based, according to the Wall Street Journal. That would prevent their residents from losing their tax credits under the law if the Supreme Court were to decide that tax credits were not available through the federal marketplace, HealthCare.gov. Two officially state-based marketplaces, Idaho and New Mexico, used HealthCare.gov's technical platform this year. But in their decision, the federal appeals court judges who struck down subsidies through the federal website lumped them in with the other 34 states using the federal marketplace. Idaho quickly proclaimed itself to be state-based after the ruling, the Journal reported.
Martin Longman, Booman Tribune: There's merit in trying to ascertain what the Founders intended the Constitution to mean, but that doesn't mean that our understanding has to be the same. George Washington wanted a well-regulated militia but he couldn't imagine a teenager gunning down two classrooms of first graders in less than five minutes. I think if Washington took a guided tour of the Pentagon and the Situation Room, his concern about having a well-regulated militia would go out the door. If he saw what happens on a regular basis in our schools, malls, and workplaces with gun violence, I think he'd be appalled. In his day mass shootings weren't just unusual, they were impossible. I don't think he'd believe that the NRA was being reasonable at all. read more
Thomas E. Ricks, Politico: This is unexpected. In my late 50s, at a time of life when most people are supposed to be drifting into a cautious conservatism, I am surprised to find myself moving steadily leftward. ... I am puzzled by this late-middle-age politicization. I wonder whether others of my generation are similarly pausing, poking up their heads from their workplaces and wondering just what happened to this country over the last 15 years, and what do to about it. Mentally, I was a detached centrist. Today I remain oriented to the free market and in favor of a strong national defense, so I have hardly become a radical socialist. But since leaving newspapers, I have again and again found myself shifting to the left in major areas such as foreign policy and domestic economic policy. read more
Republican-appointed judges on the D.C. Circuit have taken a step towards gutting the Affordable Care Act, ruling that consumers that received coverage through the federal exchange marketplace can't receive subsidies. In a 2-1 ruling, a pair of conservative jurists said there was ambiguity in the language of the law, which they chose to exploit to push "Obamacare" towards catastrophic failure. In a separate challenge also decided Tuesday, a three judge panel on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the IRS rule allowing subsidies in federal exchanges. Federal Judge Roger Gregory wrote that the challengers could not "rely on our help to deny to millions of Americans desperately-needed health insurance through a tortured, nonsensical construction of a federal statute whose manifest purpose, as revealed by the wholeness and coherence of its text and structure, could not be more clear."