Thursday, July 3, 2014

Court Gives Broader Scope To Contraceptive Ruling, All 3 Female Justices Object (MAJOR UPDATES)

Very briefly, 'cause it's an AP article:
WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court on Thursday allowed, at least for now, an evangelical college in Illinois that objects to paying for contraceptives in its health plan to avoid filling out a government document that the college says would violate its religious beliefs.


Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor said they would have denied Wheaton's request and made the college fill out a form that enables their insurers or third-party administrators to take on the responsibility of paying for the birth control.

So now the sheer obscenity of the Court's conservative majority position has divided the Court along... well, gender lines as surely as partisan lines. Great. Just great. [/irony]

And having for the most part gotten what they wanted regarding abortion, they're targeting contraception. If I were a woman, I wouldn't expect them to stop there.

Conservatives, including the five Justices (plus one Justice normally not so conservative) in the majority of this ruling, make several outright misrepresentations of contraception:
  • It is a real stretch to say that any modern contraceptive method is an abortifacient. As a matter of scientific fact, they don't.
  • Many institutions (e.g., Hobby Lobby) who rant on forever about contraceptives for their employees nonetheless do business with China, where family size regulation by abortion is not uncommon.
  • The consequences of an unintended pregnancy brought to term can be devastating to young women, poor women and working women. The consequences (both circumstantial and psychological) of an abortion as opposed to an unwanted child are, despite contrary claims, almost always positive.
In other words, since the Hobby Lobby ruling, it's going to be open season on women of childbearing age. Ladies, prepare for second-class citizenship, or prepare to fight like hell!

(Now may be a good time for a contribution to Planned Parenthood if you're in a position to afford it.)

ADDENDUM: also very much worth reading is Lyle Denniston's post at SCOTUSblog.

AFTERTHOUGHT: this is a women's issue, of course, but it is much more than that: it is a constitutional separation-of-powers issue. It looks very much to me as if the Supreme Court is gradually using traditional judicial review to supplant parts of congressionally passed and presidentially signed laws, as well as to overrule legal executive orders to countervail their effect on policy. If I were president, or if I were in Congress, I'd be plenty angry!

AFTERTHOUGHT: still think it's "only" a women's issue? Think again, this time about a statement by Zoë Carpenter at The Nation:
... Business owners now have a new basis for trying to evade anti-discrimination laws and their responsibilities to their employees. Religious liberty is already the rallying cry for conservatives looking for a legal way to discriminate against LGBT Americans; other business owners have tried to use religion to justify opposition to minimum-wage laws and Social Security taxes. Faith groups are already trying to capitalize on the Hobby Lobby decision out of court; on Wednesday, a group of religious leaders asked the Obama administration for an exemption from a forthcoming federal order barring federal contractors from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Introducing religious belief as a basis for legal action eviscerates the freedom-of-religion clause of the First Amendment... we don't have to guess what will happen; it's already happening, and we can watch the whole sorry business unfold right away.

AFTERTHOUGHT:  Melissa Harris-Perry explains How the Supreme Court Undermined Women's Citizenship. (H/T l'Enfant de la Haute Mer, in comments.)


  1. How the Supreme Court Undermined Women’s Citizenship

    L'Enfant de la Haute Mer(

    1. Enfant, I can't help wondering how long it will be before these supposedly "conservative" people seek to repeal the American Constitution's 19th Amendment, the one establishing women's suffrage. Believe me, there are Americans who want to do that, and they're at work this very minute. The woman-haters are a fact of political reality in America today.



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