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Protesters hold signs at the steps of the Supreme Court as arguments begin today to challenge the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employers provide coverage for contraception as part of an employee's health care, in Washington March 25, 2014. The U

Boy, the Roberts Five on the U.S. Supreme Court did a number on women this week, didn't they? The abortion clinic access decision was bad, the anti-labor decision—which disproportionately hits low-income female workers—awful, and then came Hobby Lobby, the one that has dominated news and discussion for three days. Here's a review of that decision and its aftermath.

On Tuesday, the court released it's long-awaited and wholly anticipated ruling that Hobby Lobby and other "closely held" corporations would not have to provide health insurance that covered birth control without a copay to their employees, as mandated by Obamacare, because some of these corporations might have wholly unfounded and totally misguided religious "beliefs" about what those contraceptives do. They "believe" that those kinds of birth control might cause an abortion. Which is completely, unequivocally, scientifically not true. But hey, SCOTUS says, as long as you sincerely believe in something that punishes women who have sex, okay by us. Don't miss Adam Bonin's analysis of the decision and its legal muster, or lack thereof.

Democrats in the Senate along with the White House immediately condemned the decision, and began discussions about how to make sure that women still have access to affordable birth control. The White House clearly prefers congressional action to executive action, but that's a luxury President Obama just doesn't have. Congress is incapable of acting, it's far too dysfunctional to pass a transportation bill, much less a fix to the hated Obamacare. No, executive action—bold, far-reaching, take-the-GOP-bastards-on action—is what's going to be required.

Outside of government, many analysts—buttressed by Justice Ginsburg's dissent— rejected the notion at first put forward that this was a "narrow" ruling. We saw the first instance of the slippery slope it created when a number of religious leaders who also happen to make a pretty penny through federal contracts wrote to President Obama asking that he exempt them from his order that federal contractors have to hire gay people, too. They're on a roll, apparently. Expect much more litigation on the birth control mandate in particular, but also on any number of religious-exemption demands.

As much as a setback this ruling is, and as many terrifying implications as it has for further jurisprudence in which religious freedom could trump everything else, it really could mark a turning point in the war on women. Electorally, the GOP has a huge birth control problem. Large majorities believe contraception is totally moral and good, and overwhelming numbers of women say so. This could be the catalyst to get those women, who tend not to turn up for midterm elections, to the polls this November. This could be the beginning of the end of the religious right and the GOP that bows down to it.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 01:22 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (26+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 01:22:24 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for all the informative links in one place (6+ / 0-)

    I will pass them on.

    If you don't like it, attack the message, not the messenger. The former may convince me that I am wrong, but the latter will always convince that I am right.

    by nancyjones on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 01:30:57 PM PDT

  •  Thanks Joan nt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BMScott, dewtx, SteelerGrrl, Matt Z

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 02:03:28 PM PDT

  •  The Supreme War On Women, Nat'l 5-Man Jihad nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dewtx, savannah43

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 02:18:52 PM PDT

  •  Hey, the Roberts 5 really Screwed the Women (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, silverfoxcruiser

    of America and they sure didn't use a Condom.  Nothing Safe about this Sex!

    Watch out for Sex with the Roberts 5.  The Women are Responsible, but the Corporations pay for the Men's Erections.  It's almost pornographic in the language of the Decision.  It certainly is in the Result.

    If Money is Speech, Speech isn't Free! I wonder what it is about that that Antonin Scalia cannot understand?

    by NM Ray on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 03:34:35 PM PDT

  •  offered in the vein of adding insult to injury (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Dretutz, silverfoxcruiser
    We saw the first instance of the slippery slope it created when a number of religious leaders who also happen to make a pretty penny through federal contracts
    not only do these fuckwads not have to pay their fair share of taxes, we actually dole out the cash to them?  WTF??

    But if that's the case, they should be subject to double plus rigorous scrutiny, not a complete lack of oversight.

    •  If they're federal contractors (3+ / 0-)

      They're supposed to be doing work for the cash we pay them.  If the Request for Proposals the federal agency puts out contains a "thou shall not discriminate against gay people" clause, and they submit their bid and get awarded the contract, and sign the contract with the "thou shall not discriminate against gay people" clause, they should have no leg to stand on.  If you don't want to abide by the contract requirement, don't submit the bid and don't enter into the contract.

      Just before Pearl Harbor, FDR created the FEPC, the Fair Employment Practices Commission, which inserted a similar clause into every wartime request for proposals and every wartime contract regarding race, religion and national origin.  If a company didn't want to abide, they didn't submit a bid - war and patriotism notwithstanding.

      "Corporations exist not for themselves, but for the people." Ida Tarbell 1908.

      by Navy Vet Terp on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 03:54:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You're right, It IS the beginning of the end. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Matt Z, silverfoxcruiser


    "It's no measure of health being well adjusted to a profoundly sick society"

    by buckshot face on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 03:48:25 PM PDT

  •  Board of Directors, GOP War on Women, Inc. (6+ / 0-)

    The Roberts Five put the horizontal posture into the Supine Court, as they are always eager to prostrate themselves on the floor in order to better lick the boots of their corporate masters.

    Alito, Scalia, Roberts, Thomas and Kennedy effectively serve as the Board of Directors in the GOP War on Women, Inc.  Not content with depriving millions of women of Medicaid by their earlier decision allowing states to opt out of ACA requirements, these judicial hacks twisted and turned themselves into Hobby Lobbyists for corporate interests, giving the green light to corporations to screw women over even more, demonstrating once again that if we're talking GOP, we're talking War on Women.  

  •  You said: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, silverfoxcruiser

    This could be the beginning of the end of the religious right and the GOP that bows down to it.

    To borrow a phrase from the religious-minded: From your mouth to God's ears.

    I don't know if Ghandi actually said "I love your Christ, but I don't like your Christians", but I'm gonna keep attributing it to him. If he didn't actually say it, he was probably thinking it.

    by pearlsarefuzzy on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 04:13:51 PM PDT

  •  I thought this was really interesting: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The opinion:

    The Hahns and Greens believe that providing the coverage demanded by the HHS regulations is connected to the destruction of an embryo in a way that is sufficient to make it immoral for them to provide the coverage. This belief implicates a difficult and important question of religion and moral philosophy, namely, the circumstances under which it is wrong for a person to perform an act that is innocent in itself but that has the effect of enabling or facilitating the commission of an immoral act by another. Arrogating the authority to provide a binding national answer to this religious and philosophical question, HHS and the principal dissent in effect tell the plaintiffs that their beliefs are flawed. For good reason, we have repeatedly refused to take such a step. See, e.g., Smith, 494 U. S., at 887… [emphasis mine]
    Tengrain's take at Liberaland
    which if you follow all the clauses, Justice Alito says that taking birth control is immoral. And then he tells us that the Supreme Court should not take a stand on birth control being immoral.
    Try it! When you take out all the clauses you get      
    "It is wrong to perform an immoral act."

    It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

    by Desert Rose on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 04:16:10 PM PDT

  •  My "socially liberal fiscally conservative" friend (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nannyberry, silverfoxcruiser

    said something we all should think about - he is problematic about the decision because though he believes in a woman's right to determine her own destiny, he also has a belief in religious freedom, and he really is sincere in seeing a fundamental contradiction. We see the phrase "closely held" as a fraudulent excuse to discriminate, and in this case I'm sure it is, though I think it is an excuse to discriminate against the ACA rather than actually against women (they are the victims, but also in this case just the target of opportunity - next will be "the Church of Heterosexuality" and then the "Church of Whites Only" - unless every corporation in America suddenly converts to Christian Science)
    Put aside the fact that the owning family of Hobby Lobby are hypocrites , the basic claim has some validity. Of course, (And I've heard that one of the Opus Dei 5 has said effectively so) the way around the question is to make it a condition of social membership - in other words, single payer. (frankly, if we had fought that fight 20 years ago we wouldn't be here today)
    Please don't think I am in any way supporting or apologizing for the decision; I am, however, saying that we should not attempt to "address" the decision, we should fight it head on. but for me that means fighting for single payer, not for the ACA. Remember, we are also facing ACA plans being sabotaged through limiting networks, lower reimbursement rates, and who knows what all. One thing I've learned from years of fighting regulatory battles - fight a symptom and you will spend the rest of your life fighting the next symptom - fight the disease.

    •  Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (0+ / 0-)

      I recently joined this group.  They are organizing with other religions who believe this is an absolutely wrong decision, by allowing the "church vs. state" connection.  They are also active in supporting the LGBT community, and very vocal about it.  They are strong supporters of Pope Frances -- charity, peace, love.  

  •  Not sure how five Men (0+ / 0-)

    got the last word on Women's health. Doesn't seem quite right! Guess we need more women Supremes!

  •  Hobby Lobby's Legal fees (0+ / 0-)

    Does anyone know how Hobby Lobby funded the law suit?  Did the Green family fund it, or did they use corporate funds which would be tax deductible?

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