Wednesday, July 02, 2014

GP RELEASE Green Party: Hobby Lobby ruling should spur demand for single-payer health care, abolition of corporate personhood‏

GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Contacts:
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-904-7614, mclarty@greens.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene@gp.org


Green Party: Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling should boost the movements for single-payer national health care and abolition of corporate personhood

• Greens condemn the ruling, which holds that "corporate rights supersede the rights of women"

• Green Party Speakers Bureau: Green leaders available to speak on health care, women's rights, and corporate power

• Green Party 2014 Annual National Meeting in St. Paul, Minn., July 24-27
"Back to Our Roots: People. Planet. Principles."


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party leaders and candidates strongly condemned the Supreme Court's Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores ruling, and said that the decision should motivate more people to demand single-payer national health care and abolition of corporate "personhood."

"The Supreme Court's ruling lays bare the need to separate health insurance from employment status and exposes the absurdity of affording corporations the same constitutional rights as natural persons," said Isa Infante, Green candidate for Governor of Tennessee (http://www.isainfante.org).

"The ruling grants business corporations the 'religious freedom' to impose the beliefs of owners on the lives of employees and tamper with their medical care on the basis of the owners' beliefs. We hope that the anger provoked by the ruling leads people to join the Green Party's call for Medicare For All and a constitutional amendment affirming that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights," said Ms. Infante.

The Green Party of the United States supports making replacing the current for-profit health insurance system (maintained under the Affordable Care Act) and employer-based coverage with a single-payer program that establishes quality health care as a basic human right.

Greens called single-payer more urgently needed in the wake of the ACA's failure to contain medical costs, projected to rise 6.8% in 2015 ("well in excess of the rate of inflation"; see http://pnhp.org/blog/2014/06/25/disturbing-pwc-report-on-employer-medical-cost-trends), and a Commonwealth Fund report published June 16 on the high cost and low quality of U.S. health care (http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/06/us-healthcare-most-expensive-and-worst-performing/372828/).

The Green Party also supports passage of an amendment rescinding the legal status of corporations as persons that possess the same rights and protections under the U.S. Constitution that humans enjoy (https://movetoamend.org).

Greens agreed with the widespread criticisms of the 5-4 Hobby Lobby ruling handed down on Monday, including Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's sharply worded dissenting opinion. The ruling denies women who don't share their employers' religious beliefs access to coverage under their health plan for contraception, interfering with the right of women to make medical decisions for themselves in consultation with their physicians and placing a financial hardship on many women.

The ruling also applies the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom to for-profit corporations that exist for nonreligious purposes and that employ and sell its wares to people regardless of their beliefs.

"Five men on the Supreme Court decided that, not only do corporations have constitutional rights, but corporate rights supersede the rights of women," said Amy Balderrama, Green candidate for Tennessee State Senate, 23rd District (http://balderramaforsenate.org). "Furthermore, Hobby Lobby has profited from investments in companies that manufacture the same abortion and contraception products that Hobby Lobby denies women employees for religious reasons -- a gross hypocrisy the five justices chose to overlook."

(See "Hobby Lobby's Hypocrisy: The Company's Retirement Plan Invests in Contraception Manufacturers" by Molly Redden, Mother Jones, April 1, http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/hobby-lobby-retirement-plan-invested-emergency-contraception-and-abortion-drug-makers)

Although the ruling's scope is limited, it establishes a dangerous precedent: as Justice Ginsburg noted in her dissent, it may allow corporations to evade nearly any law that they claim to be "incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs... Would the exemption… extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah's Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations[?]… Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today's decision." (http://www2.bloomberglaw.com/public/desktop/document/Burwell_v_Hobby_Lobby_Stores_Inc_No_13354_and_13356_US_June_30_20#id1169492760194)

See also:

Text of the Supreme Court's Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores ruling, June 30, 2014

National Women's Caucus of the Green Party


MORE INFORMATION

Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org
202-319-7191
• Green candidate database and campaign information: http://www.gp.org/elections.shtml
• Speakers Bureau http://www.gp.org/speakers
• Green Papers http://www.greenpapers.net/
• Facebook page http://www.gp.org/facebook

Green Party 2014 Annual National Meeting in St. Paul, Minn., July 24-27
"Back to Our Roots: People. Planet. Principles."

Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States

Green Shadow Cabinet http://greenshadowcabinet.us


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Thursday, June 19, 2014

GP RELEASE Green Party: No new US military action in Iraq‏

GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, June 19, 2014

Contacts:
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-904-7614, mclarty@greens.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene@gp.org


Green Party: No new U.S. military action in Iraq

• Airstrikes, ground troops will not solve new conflicts, say Greens

• Green Party Speakers Bureau: Green leaders available to speak on foreign policy and peace

• Green Party 2014 Annual National Meeting in St. Paul, Minn., July 24-27
"Back to Our Roots: People. Planet. Principles."



WASHINGTON, DC -- The Green Party of the United States is calling for no new U.S. military action in Iraq, including on-the-ground troop deployment and airstrikes.

Greens are urging President Obama to resist demands by belligerent politicians and pundits for a U.S. assault in Iraq against ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).

"Those who want peace in the region should prepare to resume the protests that answered President Bush's drumbeat for war. Americans should resist propaganda claiming that U.S. military assaults lead to peace and liberation. The 2003 invasion caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, as well as 4,486 U.S. service members, and destruction of Iraqi society and infrastructure," said Cheri Honkala, the Green Party's 2012 nominee for Vice President (http://www.jillstein.org/cheri_honkala).

Greens across the U.S. have begun to organize and participate in protests against military action. The Miami-Dade Green Party is officially co-sponsoring and will speak at an anti-war rally on June 21 in Downtown Miami (https://www.facebook.com/events/1419148715034648/).

Drone attacks, which President Obama escalated in Pakistan and other countries and which the Green Party has vigorously opposed, don't only "take out" enemies, they also cause civilian death and widespread terror among populations that live near targets.

Greens said that further U.S. military action is likely to aggravate the current crisis and may empower ISIS and other factions, as the history of U.S. engagement in Iraq demonstrates. The invasion ordered by President Bush in 2003 made such conflict inevitable: sectarian extremist groups, which had a marginal presence in Iraq before 2003, began to emerge in the chaos of war, especially after the Iraq's armed forces and civil services were dismantled. Such groups include al-Qaeda and militias supported by Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other countries. 

CIA officials warned the Bush Administration in advance that war would cause a larger breakdown and increase tensions in Iraq between Shiites and Sunnis, but the Bush Administration ignored ignored this advice and misrepresented the CIA's analysis.

Green Party leaders also noted the dangerous inconsistency of a foreign policy that supports arming sectarian anti-Assad rebels in Syria and anti-Gaddafi factions in Libya while bombing their counterparts in Iraq. (See "ISIS Iraq Offensive: Can the Empire Reassert Control of the Jihadists?" by Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report, June 17, http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/isis-iraq-offensive-can-empire-reassert-control-jihadists)

President Obama withdrew U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011, in accord with the timetable signed by Bush and under pressure from the Iraqi Parliament.

"The President should not heed the advice of Republican and Democratic warhawks who were completely wrong about Iraq twelve years ago," said Howie Hawkins, Green candidate for Governor of New York (http://www.howiehawkins.org). "The current situation shows the consequences of a doctrine of military aggression that was behind an attempt to establish U.S. political hegemony and unrestricted access to oil resources in the Middle East."

"The U.S. media and Democratic Party leaders swallowed the Bush Administration's false statements about WMDs, Iraqi involvement in the 9/11 attacks, and Saddam Hussein's nuclear ambitions. Instead of enjoying more airtime, Bush officials who lied should be investigated and prosecuted for conspiracy related to manipulation of intelligence, public deception, and violation of international law to which the U.S. is signatory," said Mr. Hawkins.

Greens said that Congress must repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and the bipartisan "blank check" for the White House to wage war, which initiated an era of endless war and increasing attacks on Muslim countries that had not attacked the U.S. The Green Party also calls for deep reductions in military spending and transfer of funding to human needs.

See also:

"The United States' Tragic Role in Iraq"
By Stephen Zunes, The Progressive, June 16, 2014

"Vets Say: No Military Intervention In Iraq"
By Staff and VeteransForPeace.org, Popular Resistance, June 16, 2014

"Wake Up and Smell the Oil: The Grass-Roots Struggle Against the Oil Plunder in Iraq"
Book review of "Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq" by Greg Muttitt
By Eddie J. Girdner, Monthly Review, April 2014

"Do Not Bomb, Arm, or Send Troops to Iraq" (petition)


MORE INFORMATION

Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org
202-319-7191
• Green candidate database and campaign information: http://www.gp.org/elections.shtml
• Speakers Bureau http://www.gp.org/speakers
• Green Papers http://www.greenpapers.net/
• Facebook page http://www.gp.org/facebook

Green Party 2014 Annual National Meeting in St. Paul, Minn., July 24-27
"Back to Our Roots: People. Planet. Principles."

Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States

Green Shadow Cabinet http://greenshadowcabinet.us


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