You don’t have to be a lawyer to realize that the Supreme Court’s decision today in the Hobby Lobby (HL) case was a bad one. Here are five reasons, I’m sure there are more.
5) Hobby Lobby’s claims were scientifically invalid.
HL objected to providing insurance coverage for certain contraceptives (IUDs and “morning after” pills) on the grounds that they were “abortifactants”. An IUD works by preventing the sperm from reaching the egg. The “morning after” pills do have labels suggesting that they upset the pregnancy process post-fertilization, however, the labels are wrong and the drugs do not, in fact, block implantation of fertilized eggs.
4) Hobby Lobby’s so-called moral qualms are blatantly hypocritical.
HL suppliers are disproportionately Chinese. The Chinese government has a one-baby policy forcing women to have an abortion if they get pregnant after already having a child. If HL were so concerned about the morality of abortion, they could refuse to do business with Chinese companies until the government reforms its abortion laws. In addition, HL’s 401(k) funds are invested in many drug companies that manufacture contraceptives.
3) The ruling favors certain religious beliefs over others.
HL objections are based on it’s alleged Christian values. However, the court specifically claimed the case related to contraception, therefore excluding other religious beliefs. For example, even though a corporation might be owned by Jehovah’s Witnesses, they do not get the opportunity to deny insurance coverage of blood transfusions, which are against their religion. This sort of favoritism is a direct violation of establishment clause of the first amendment, which has always been interpreted to mean that the government should not favor one religion over another.
2) It grants new rights to corporations.
Justice Ginsberg, in her dissent, noted that “until today, religious exemptions had never been extended to any entity operating in ‘the commercial, profit-making world.'” When the court does something brand new, it is setting precedent, and as such, the effects are wide-ranging. We’ve already seen this in the Citizens United decision, where corporations where granted “free speech” rights in the form of unlimited political donations.
1) It favors the rights of of men over women, and CEOs over workers.
Of course, only women are directly affected by this ruling, since HL has no objection to a man’s sexual expression, whether it be using Viagra or getting a vasectomy, either of which they’re happy to cover. And despite the assertion in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” this ruling says essentially that the rights of the owners of a corporation have more value that the workers. If the owners decide that a certain action is immoral, they are allowed to impose their viewpoint on the workers. It doesn’t matter that the employees subscribe to the same morality or even the same religion, the boss gets control over aspects of the worker’s life that have nothing to do with their job.
I think George Orwell had something to say about that.