If Justice Clarence Thomas is the Supreme Court’s intellectual leader, surely Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is its resident drama queen.
On Monday the Supreme Court decided 5-4 in favor of craft supply store Hobby Lobby and cabinet maker Conestoga Wood Specialties, which filed suits against the federal government in 2012 opposing Obamacare’s mandate that they offer 20 birth control methods to employees or pay fines of up to $1.3 million daily.
The Court ruled that these “closely held” family-owned businesses aren’t obligated to offer 4 out of 20 birth control options they object to, at least one of which is considered an abortifacent or “morning-after pill.” Such a requirement, the Court ruled, violates the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Mitigating the left’s inevitable claim that the ruling constitutes another salvo in the war on women, here are all the things female Hobby Lobby and Conestoga employees can do if they don’t like the decision:
- Use one of the other 16 methods of birth control Hobby Lobby and Conestoga offer;
- Pay out-of-pocket for one of the 4 methods not offered;
- Apply for government-funded coverage directly from insurers, just as employees of non-profits who object to paying for birth control can do, to obtain one of these 4 methods;
- If it’s that big a deal to them to work for an employer that makes Sandra Fluke happy, choose one of the 8 million other companies in the country who offer all 20 methods.
Instead, the White House is jabbering about setting up a federal fund to pay for birth control, and Senate Democrats are chewing over legislation to ensure that every woman in America has free morning-after pills perpetually at her fingertips.
Meanwhile, back on the bench, three of the four liberal Justices had the sense to cast their votes and then keep their contorted reasoning to themselves.
But leave it to the histrionic Ginsburg, who gets inspiration for deciding Supreme Court cases from the opera, to hyperventilate for 35 pages about the disastrous consequences of the majority decision in a separate dissent.
Here are a few nuggets from Ginsburg’s jeremiad:
Ginsburg claims that the decision will wreak “havoc” on society. She argues that birth control facilitated women’s entry into the labor force, and that not requiring every employer to give out free morning after pills will drive women back to a barefoot and pregnant state of existence.
Ginsburg warns that the decision will require “the government, i.e., the general public, [to] pick up the tab” for birth control pills if employers don’t cover them. But only in the fevered imagination of a liberal does a commercial transaction require the federal government to either (1) force some private party to pay for it or (2) force taxpayers to subsidize it. How about individuals who want it buy it themselves?
In the most sweeping section of her dissent, Ginsburg slams the Citizens United (2010) decision and analogizes the two cases, claiming there is “no support for the notion that free exercise rights pertain to for-profit corporations. Until this [Hobby Lobby] litigation, no decision of this Court recognized a for-profit corporation’s qualification for a religious exemption from a generally applicable law.”
She adds, “The absence of such precedent is just what one would expect, for the exercise of religion is characteristic of natural persons, not artificial legal entities.” To which I would respond: Tell that to Marriott Hotel, which phased out pay-per-view adult TV and stocks its rooms with The Book of Mormon; In-N-Out Burger and Forever 21, which print Bible verses on their packaging; Whole Foods, whose CEO incorporates Buddhist philosophy into his management practices; and dozens of other corporations whose religions motivate their values.
Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan, who agreed with Ginsburg’s ruling, politely distanced themselves from large chunks of her nutty rantings, averring, “We need not and do not decide whether either for-profit corporations or their owners may bring claims under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.”
Is it any wonder that a justice who thinks government has the right to trample on people’s checkbooks when they refuse to buy a product on the private market also thinks it’s OK to force citizens to follow a law even if it tramples on their religious freedom?
Ginsburg gives the game away when she writes, “The state may justify an inroad on religious liberty by showing that it is the least restrictive means of achieving some compelling state interest.”
So Ginsburg thinks it’s peachy to crush religious liberties if that’s the least painful way to ensure some crucial government goal—in this case, the left’s century-long dream of socialized medicine.
Come to think of it, if I were a liberal who had been drooling over the fantasy of national health care for 81 years and faced the prospect of having it snatched away, I might react dramatically, too.
- The 8 Best Lines From Ginsburg’s Dissent on the Hobby Lobby Contraception Decision (motherjones.com)
- Here are the highlights of Justice Ginsburg’s fiery Hobby Lobby dissent (salon.com)
- Justice Ginsburg Writes Blistering Dissent On Hobby Lobby (crooksandliars.com)
- Hobby Lobby Clears Another Major Hurdle in Fight Against Obamacare (theblaze.com)
- Justices Rule in Favor of Hobby Lobby (nytimes.com)