Hobby Lobby Lobbies Supremes!

Which is to say, Hobby Lobby’s claim (and also Conestoga Wood, another company fighting this) that its owners can’t pay for employee contraception without violating their moral code has come before the Supreme Court. Dahlia Lithwick sees the voting, based on the Court arguments so far, as four/four with Justice Kennedy as the swing vote. Which she suspects is bad, because Kennedy is anti-abortion and he says that if corporations can be forced to pay for birth control, abortion is the next step.
My personal response would be, so? Abortion is legal and as one of the appellate judges already said, Hobby Lobby is a corporation. Even though it’s owned by a small family, legally it’s a separate entity. The owning family benefits because this protects them from being sued for corporate misdeeds or debts (there are exceptions that let someone “pierce the corporate veil” but that’s not the norm). So turning around and saying the corporation is defined by their religious beliefs is a bit too selective. And as the two links above point out, if corporations can refuse birth-control, what about refusing gay workers? Divorced workers? Women in positions of authority? Will judges just rubber-stamp everyone who claims a religious belief or will they have to critique how sincere the owners’ views are? And in a large corporation who decides what offends the owners. 51 percent shareholder vote? Is 40 percent enough?
Plus, of course, the owners aren’t paying for anything. They provide their staff with insurance as part of their compensation. The insurance has to meet minimum standards, which include providing women’s gynecological needs. Claims women want someone else to subsidize their sex are bullshit.
Lithwick does think the decision might be narrow, applying only to closely held corporations for instance. But even that would be a big plus for the corporate side.
Of course, part of this is about the belief that only irresponsible sluts use birth control. We have, for example, a Fox News analyst who claims contraceptive coverage includes euthanasia. And Hobby Lobby even objects to paying for doctor visits if the doctor discusses contraception or abortion (shades of the global gag rule). Despite which the Independent Women’s Forum says it sides with Hobby Lobby to protect the rights of patients to talk freely with their doctors (no it doesn’t make sense. Anti-feminist women usually don’t).
Mother Jones points out Hobby Lobby’s insurance actually covered contraceptives before the mandate kicked in. Which leads several bloggers at the links above to think that opposing the Affordable Care Act is a big part of the issue. Likewise one right winger says the faithful can find common ground with the enemies of faith: Just repeal part of Obamacare and kill off the tax exemption for employer-provided health insurance.
Bonus: LGM looks at the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which requires the federal government cut believers some slack if a law imposes an unfair burden on a particular religion. The blog concludes the burden imposed by having birth control (which, as noted by several of the writers linked herein, is not an abortifacent) covered by insurance doesn’t make the cut.


Filed under economics, Politics, Undead sexist cliches

4 responses to “Hobby Lobby Lobbies Supremes!

  1. Pingback: Frequently on a Sunday | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: Time for some links | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  3. Pingback: Secularism will destroy us all (and other political links) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  4. Pingback: Hobby Lobby triumphant and other links | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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