The Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case places greater importance upon what employers, in their capacity as employers, believe about religion and contraception, over what employees as individuals think and believe about the very same issue.
Here corporate entities with five or fewer owners do not lose their individual rights as biological human beings to obtain contraception, nor are they as biological human beings required to personally support contraceptive benefits in health insurance or contraceptive birth control as individual human beings in any way whatsoever.
Female employees of these businesses are now required to subscribe to what their employers both as corporate entity, and biological human beings demand, without a corresponding means of influencing this situation that bears any relation to equality before the law.
This flies in the face of logic, reason, and most of all the equality before the law guaranteed biological human beings by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the First Amendment to the Constitution.
This distinction I make between corporate human beings and those that are biological forms of individual human life is a necessary one due to the Court’s making corporations people in the Citizens United case that is law.
Normal, biological humans understandably have a hard time figuring out why a business organization should be equal to them at all. How can they compete with organizations with bucket loads of money, power, and influence over all three branches of government that all but the top one percent enjoy?
Does the Supreme Court’s majority decision written by Justice Samuel Alito distinguish who shall receive the full blessings of liberty and who shall not? Apparently so.
Not lost also, is the fact that the five member court majority are all men. Three of the four justices dissenting were women. This was not just a conservative vs. liberal court clash. It was also one where the sensibilities of American women of all political affiliations were not consulted.
Note that dozens of scientifically researched polls and studies have concluded that nearly 99 percent of women, even including Catholic women, and Republican women depend on contraception.
The court acted here to prevent women from the folly of their sexual irresponsibility both Alito and conservatives said today. Contraception and outright abortion are now on the same playing field. Your contraceptive rights as a woman are now equally insecure with your right to an abortion. How comfortable are you? Is the threat to either comfortable? Is it right? We think not.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s blistering dissent got to the heart of the matter:
“The reason why is hardly obscure. Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. 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.”
The decision applied only to closely held corporations, or those with five or fewer owners. But a distinct precedent now exists for further challenges to employee rights and beliefs held individually by all other corporations or small businesses.
The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision has already classified corporations as individual citizens of the United States of America. If you feel comfortable vying for the protection of your rights when measured against how corporations desire you feel, think, and the access you have to legal remedies, how confident are you that you’ll come out equally with them before our courts?
What has been happening here since the Roberts court was initiated is the shrinking of the public space. That is, the common or civic good we all share with the myriad ways in which government at all levels provide services to us as individual, biological human beings. The Robert’s court conservative, 5-4 majority fundamentally distrusts and opposes the public sphere whether expressed in public parks, universities, public schools, or anything of communitarian value to the entire polity as a whole.
By contrast, the Robert’s majority specifically defends individual private prejudices, and the private sector, and its prejudices and presumptions over all else.
What the public sector can do for individuals who though full, law abiding citizens, do not have the means to in Ayn Randian fashion provide for themselves no matter what government, nor business, nor other individuals may do is problematic to the further continuation of our democracy as we’ve known it.
It has been a very long time since any American truly and honestly relied solely upon themselves as individuals, whatever they profess or believe true. Somewhere, every single human being in America has needed and will need the public sector or the public space to advance their interests and concerns or to equally enjoy the blessings of liberty promised us in the Constitution.
Folks, the plain fact, the bald truth is, that everyone, not just the wealthiest one percent of us as humans, or corporate businesses need government at all levels. Without the public space and or public sector benefitting us all in equal measure, any sort of democracy or republic worthy of the name is an mpossibility.
Perhaps that is what the Scalia originalist approach supported by the conservative Roberts majority has been aiming at the whole time. That doctrine held robustly by Justice Scalia simply declares that only what the original founders of the United States and those who brought the Constitution into being in 1789, thought, believed, expressed, can guide our courts.
On that basis, slavery, votes for women, labor unions, women’s reproductive rights and anything that in evolutionary fashion changed about the application of our laws and justice since the founders be damned.
We aren’t permitted to know anything or express anything the founders did not.
Worst of all, is that vulnerable members of our society are most exposed to these immoral and unwise Supreme Court decisions. This is to say nothing about what women feel and think. This court makes women legal non-entities.
If you are poor, racially of color, not popular with the white majority, you’re in deep trouble. Those people don’t need to be told that. They feel it, they see it, they are harmed by it, and they know it intellectually.
The only true originalism is how this court interprets the Constitution of the United States. It makes the Warren activist court look like legal sea slugs.
Struggles for Justice has stood and will stand in future for the vulnerable, for the voiceless, for the legally disenfranchised. It is the morally and legally right course to take, and we make no apologies for our liberalism, compassion, empathy, and moral sensibilities. Minority rights must be upheld as robustly as those of the majority.
Yes rich, conservative, evangelical, individualist Americans stand equal to those who are not. But they do NOT STAND BEFORE THE LAW as our SUPERIORS.
No one ought to stand above the rest of us. Most of all, women are NOT second-class citizens.
They do not stand above “the least of these,” spoken of by Jesus of Nazareth, The Christ. With whom did he stand during his all too brief ministry to humanity?
We invite conservatives to hate us, to despise us, and denounce us. For it legitimizes the stands we have taken, and will take. We glory in the struggle. We at Struggles for Justice welcome their hatred, but are sad for it when expressed for what it says of their souls.
But we do NOT hold to things as we do in hate, fear, ignorance, or violence of any kind. We do make it according to the great moral teachers of all faiths as they have always made it.
Every human being deserves an EQUAL place in the United States. Every human being’s humanity must be lifted up over selfishness, power, hatred, ignorance and greed.
Those of you opposed, consider the gauntlet laid upon this field of battle!
Thomas Martin Saturday
for Struggles for Justice
“Speaking for the Voiceless, Protecting the Vulnerable”