HOBBY LOBBY SCOTUS DECISION VALUES CORPORATE INDIVUDALS OVER HUMAN ONES BY THOMAS MARTIN SATURDAY


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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”

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3 thoughts on “HOBBY LOBBY SCOTUS DECISION VALUES CORPORATE INDIVUDALS OVER HUMAN ONES BY THOMAS MARTIN SATURDAY

  1. So, you are saying that Hobby Lobby should be chastized for only providing 16 of the approximately 20 forms of birth control under their insurance….And somehow that is preventing their employees from enjoying their civil rights???? Talk about taking things WAY to the extreme! I often read your posts, and although I disagree with you on most issues, rarely do you go so far out on a limb to grab low hanging fruit! Birth control is the responsibility of any adult who decides to be sexually active but does not wish to have a child at that particular time – I think we can all agree on that. What I don’t understand is when did that responsibility become the employer’s? What form of birth control you use is your business, and it seems simple to me that if your insurance doesn’t cover your preferred method, you have 2 choices. Select a method that IS covered, or pay for it yourself. Just as in the early days of depo-provera, I paid out of pocket because my health insurance policy did not cover it. And just as I paid out of pocket for Welbutrin for smoking cessation, because it was only a covered prescription for depression, not to quit smoking. Just because something isn’t covered doesn’t mean you must go without. Each person has the ability to direct the course of their own life, and it seems people are increasingly comfortable letting others make their choices for them. The victim mentality that is so common these days infects the very essence of the human condition. It makes me so sad to see so many be fooled into believing that they are unable and incapable of being the decision-maker for themselves and their families. Maybe those who are so incensed about Hobby Lobby’s (and everyone else’s) right to religious freedom are forgetting that the United States came to be as a result of people fleeing religious persecution! Your right to believe as you do is the same as mine, whether I own and run a business or not!

    And for the record, as far as your rant regarding the all male decision in this case….please remember that it was an ALL MALE Supreme Court that gave us Roe V Wade.

    • Holly: Thanks once again for an elegant reply from the other side of things. Were any of Hobby Lobby’s owners (the family) had their religious rights impinged as individual citizens I’d be right with you. But corporations are entities that are still chartered in the States they began operating from. They are “clothed in a public interest” said the Munn vs. Illinois decision in the 1880’s. No, I do not believe one single corporation is a human being. The Slaughterhouse Cases, also a product of the 1880’s, did offer some Fourteenth Amendment legal protection to business organizations that were narrowly applied and considered quote, “a legal fiction.” This court continues down a road from Citizens United that is morally, as well as legally untenable. And no, I don’t think Unions should be benefitting from that decision either!

      I much admire Chief Justice Roberts for his, on the whole, judicious sense in leading the court. Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito are where the trouble is. A lot of liberals are calling for the impeachment of these men. That is just as silly as impeaching our current President.

      Women today use birth control for much more than preventing unwanted pregnancies. These things have become extremely important to treat what used to be called “women’s complaints” a century and more ago. Practically all women use birth control or contraception drugs and devices. As a woman, you know that in conservatives minds, murder occurs right when a human egg joins with a sperm if it fails to implant itself in the Uterus. But women have this happen all the time, the fertilized egg, not implanting on that inner wall of the womb, to put it more delicately. Even RU 246, when properly administered, does this.

      If you don’t get pregnant, you don’t need an outright abortion.

      For profit businesses, simply are not human beings whose religious freedoms require further protection. They ought not have religious freedom at all as they are not among “We the People,” the larger American polity.

      I’d invite women, including you Holly, to contradict me on the fact that there are a lot of uses for these devices that go beyond mere pregnancy cessation right into reproductive health care and women’s overall health generally.

      No less than Sandra Day O’Connor championed my position in decisions she wrote the majority opinion on. She was appointed by Ronald Reagan.

      I’ve got to tell you, I think Roe vs. Wade a poorly crafted decision. Personally, I am Pro Choice, but as a Christian I have definite Pro-Life sensibilities like a majority of Americans do.

      The biggest long-term effect on women by this decision could lead us to further court decisions that begin to take from women the control over their very own fertility. Control over a woman’s reproductive decisions soon cuts into women’s basic rights and freedoms. They are just as important, nay, more so, than the human rights of for profit businesses.

      That’s the source of this rant. Again though, your comments are always appreciated, and I will not tell you that you are wrong. Here, people have a right to their opinions and I value yours whatever I may feel about them.

      With respect and consideration,
      Thomas Martin Saturday, Editor, Struggles for Justice

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