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Ginsburg’s “blistering” dissent to Hobby Lobby ruling is statist ravings

She's no Antonin Scalia

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As always, Mother Jones left her dim porch light on for all the Leftist moths to gather.  They’ve published the 8 “Best Lines from Ginsburg’s Dissent” on the Hobby Lobby decision. They’re described as “blistering”.  I got a blister on my tongue from biting it to keep from laughing too hard.  Really.  They’re short so I’ll list them in full and save you a few brain cells from having to actually visit MJ.

  • “The exemption sought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga would…deny legions of women who do not hold their employers’ beliefs access to contraceptive coverage”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”
  • “The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.”

There’s so many pompous presumptions attached to these comments, but let’s unpack them, shall we?

“…deny legions of women…access to contraceptive coverage”:  the presumption is that women may only purchase health insurance coverage from their employers.  Last I checked, this is a free country where anyone can buy any coverage they want, personally by themselves, without asking “bossman, may I?”  The totalitarian country Ginsburg envisions would force everyone to buy everything from the vendor, in the manner, at the price, prescribed by the State, apparently.

“Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith.”  WTH?  Really, this one seems to be fabricated out of whole cloth, because the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)’s 753 words don’t have that anywhere in the text.  Neither does the 1st Amendment, which simply states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”  Ms. Ginsburg’s definition would presume that the State has the power to define religion, instead of free exercise of religion informing the trustees of government.

“Any decision to use contraceptives…will not be propelled by the Government…will be the woman’s autonomous choice…” Yes, I actually agree with that one.  The presumption that somehow an employer will “propel” the choice that the Government won’t—either it’s autonomous or it isn’t—is nonsense.  Then again, Ginsburg is perfectly happy with the Government “propelling” employers to pay for the autonomous decision, whether it comports with their religious beliefs or not.

“the cost of an IUD…a month’s full-time pay…minimum wage.”  Really.  How many minimum wage workers get employer-paid health insurance these days?  How many of those employees would make IUD’s the top priority on their coverage?  I smell straw burning here.

“Would the exemption…” followed by litany of religious objections to medicines.  Is Ginsburg a lawyer?  You see, I’m not.  I’ll defer to Leon H. Wolf’s post (he is a lawyer) to correct Justice Ginsburg.  In short, she’s knowingly spewing ridiculous examples.  The RFRA states “governments should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification” and cites a case, Employment Division of Oregon v. Smith.  In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that a state (Oregon) could deny unemployment benefits to Native Americans who smoked peyote and then went to work, claiming it was a religious rite.  It was Justice Scalia who wrote the majority opinion in that case, which found that the Government does have a right to regulate behavior in which the State has an interest, and religious freedom does not exempt in those cases.

In exquisite irony, RFRA was passed by a Democrat controlled Congress and signed by a Democrat president (Clinton) to address this perceived miscarriage of justice, and giving more weight to religious-based exemptions.  RFRA still retains a test, which the courts can apply, of “substantial burden.”  I believe Ms. Ginsburg would relieve the courts of their job to rule on cases and apply legal tests, and that kind of lawyer-judge stuff.  She wants to simply have rules that everyone follows.

“Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy…favoring one religion over another”: the presumption here is that the Government is always right so some religions must be wrong if a court dares to rule on a religious exemption.  If one court rules on a case’s merits, it must be religious bias, not the merits of the argument or the Government’s interest.  The ravings of a Statist.

“The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.”  Just absolute rubbish.  The minefield to which she refers is simply that the lower courts have to do their jobs, ruling on religious exemptions as they always have.  Now they have better guidance in cases where the owners of closely held corporations, for profit or not, have their rights trampled by an ever-more-powerful State.

I’m so glad that Justice Ginsburg’s blistering dissent has the weight of desiccated toilet tissue.  She’s no Antonin Scalia.  But her vision is obvious.  Mr. Wolf said it far better than I:

Make no mistake; this is the America liberals are trying to create. Both the quality of the opposition itself and the fury with which it is currently being expressed (see here, for instance) show that these people have no tolerance for being stalled in their agenda, and have no willingness to even allow opposing viewpoints from their own to exist. If we allow them to continue to win at the ballot box, America as we know it – that is to say, a relatively free nation – will soon cease to exist.

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