Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Highlights From Ginsburg's Dissent In Hobby Lobby

Janet Allon at AlterNet offers a list of 10 such highlights, and since I can't begin to approach Justice Ginsburg's clarity of thought and sharply expressive prose, I'll simply refer you to Allon's article, which contains the following highlights:
  1. "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."
  2. "Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be 'perceived as favoring one religion over another,' the very 'risk the [Constitution's] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude."
  3. "Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. Workers who sustain the operations of those corporations commonly are not drawn from one religious community."
  4. "The exemption sought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga would…deny legions of women who do not hold their employers' beliefs access to contraceptive coverage."
  5. "Any decision to use contraceptives made by a woman covered under Hobby Lobby's or Conestoga's plan will not be propelled by the Government, it will be the woman's autonomous choice, informed by the physician she consults."
  6. "It bears note in this regard that the cost of an IUD is nearly equivalent to a month's full-time pay for workers earning the minimum wage." *
  7. “Even if one were to conclude that Hobby Lobby and Conestoga meet the substantial burden requirement, the Government has shown that the contraceptive coverage for which the ACA provides furthers compelling interests in public health and women’s well being. Those interests are concrete, specific, and demonstrated by a wealth of empirical evidence.”
  8. “The distinction between a community made up of believers in the same religion and one embracing persons of diverse beliefs, clear as it is, constantly escapes the Court’s attention. One can only wonder why the Court shuts this key difference from sight.”
  9. “Suppose an employer’s sincerely held religious belief is offended by health coverage of vaccines, or paying the minimum wage, or according women equal pay for substantially similar work?”
  10. “The Court does not even begin to explain how one might go about ascertaining the religious scruples of a corporation where shares are sold to the public. No need to speculate on that, the Court says, for ‘it seems unlikely’ that large corporation ‘will often assert RFRA claims.’”
* Quoting Sid Kirchheimer at WebMD:
Although both have upfront costs of about $500 in product and medical costs, they are the cheapest contraception types over a five-year period, when the financial price of a possible unwanted pregnancy is also calculated, says lead researcher James Trussell, PhD, a Princeton University economist and director of the school's Office of Population Research.
I wish to goodness at least one of five cranky, ideologically obsessed people had read her dissent (scroll to p. 60) with better attention... and from the real world the rest of us inhabit.

ADDENDUM: Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, daughter of the last honorable governor the State of Texas had, is ready to give new meaning to terms like "unrest," "unruly," "civil disobedience," etc. You go, Cecile! Be sure to have cameras rolling (do digital cameras and videocams "roll"?) everywhere you go...

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