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The Big Shoes Drop

Two 5-4 decisions from SCOTUS today. The first was on forcing non-union employees to pay union dues. The Court decided they can not be forced to. The second was on mandated contraception coverage. The Court ruled narrowly that closely-held corporations can get a religious exemption. But it kept the door open for the government to provide such coverage.

I think the Court ruled correctly in both cases but expect very ugly commentary, especially on Hobby Lobby. There is a huge problem in the Left Wing in understanding the difference between something being a good idea (employer insurance should cover birth control) and something being mandated by law (employer insurance should be forced to cover birth control). So expect lots of commentary about how women’s rights have been set back (all the way to yesterday), how the court was mansplaining, how none of the female justices rules in favor of Hobby Lobby, etc., etc.

Just remember this. At the end of the day, women have no less access to birth control than they did last week. If you really want to make a difference in access to birth control, push the FDA to make it available over the counter. That will do a lot more good than forcing corporations to pay for it.

Update: A very important point from McArdle. The net result of this decision will almost certainly be that Obama will extend the deal he made with religious non-profits — where insurance companies agree to pay for contraception — to closely-held for-profits. And this compromise could have been made years ago.

As I see it, this case should never have made it to the court; the Barack Obama administration should have pre-empted the issue by quietly allowing exemptions for nonprofits and closely held corporations that had clear and deep religious beliefs that existed outside of the desire not to pay for contraception. (Hobby Lobby, for example, is closed on Sundays in observation of the Sabbath, even though this costs them sales; I think we can all agree that the Little Sisters of the Poor have demonstrated a fair amount of commitment to demanding religious principles.)

Instead, the administration chose to pick this fight — and got a definitive ruling that will probably have much broader impacts than quiet exceptions. Nor is this surprising; it was pretty predictable from earlier rulings like Citizens United, in which the court also held that people don’t lose their First Amendment rights simply because they have come together in a group or legally organized that group as a corporation.

Presumably, the administration hates this ruling — but at the same time, it has to love the passion that it has engendered. This is going to be fundraising gold for Democrats for the next two years. In a politics that cares more about symbolism than substance, that too was predictable. And it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that this was the prediction that mattered more. Politics may not be rational, but it still has its own remorseless logic.

Look at Twitter. Look at Facebook. Look at the liberal blogs. They are exploding with rage over a decision that will ultimately have almost no impact on women at all. Women will get contraception coverage; just through a different financial means. So the Obama Administration has riled up their base over next to nothing.

This is how they operate, people. Let’s not act surprised.

12 comments

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  1. Seattle Outcast says:

    I’ve yet to hear a logical reason as to why it ISN’T an over the counter medication – there are decades of data to show that it’s as safe as many other OTC meds.

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  2. Hal_10000 says:

    Decades of data, endorsement by the College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the prospect of lower prices and easier access …

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  3. AlexInCT says:

    Just remember this. At the end of the day, women have no less access to birth control than they did last week. If you really want to make a difference in access to birth control, push the FDA to make it available over the counter. That will do a lot more good than forcing corporations to pay for it.

    Seriously? It’s not blatantly obvious to you that politics, and nothing medical, is precisely why this isn’t an over the counter medication? If the left didn’t benefit drastically from pretending access to this drug was being taken away from poor oppressed womyn who prefer to do it bareback anyway, by evil people that want to stop you from having sex in the first place, all while doing all the controlling and lying themselves, they would have to create the issue.

    Anyone that still thinks this should be an issue that’s taken seriously, instead of understanding this is a totally manufactured issue the left uses to scare the low information voter, is a fucking moron. And stop explaining that the objection is about who gets to pay for it: fucking leftist douchebags always feel someone else should pay for their shit. Anyone that disagrees with that is depriving them of something.

    Stupid people will not get it however.

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  4. Seattle Outcast says:

    poor oppressed womyn who prefer to do it bareback anyway,

    Well, quite honestly, everybody prefers it bareback….

    Obama apparently hasn’t learned his lesson about executive over reach (or blatant lying) and is no preparing to get his ass kicked in the courts over “immigration reform”

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  5. hist_ed says:

    Somehow birth control/abortion are the MOST IMPORTANT RIGHTS. There s a whole separate set of standards where ovaries are concerned. I have a right to free speech, that doesn’t mean my employer must provide me with a newspaper column. I wish we could applty the same logic to the Second Amendment: “Hey boss, I’m gonna need you to provide me with a AR-15 and a case of 5.56 or I am going to sue your sorry ass.”

    The labor one is another example of hyperbole: On a teacher blog one of the sites organizer/founders write that this means every state in the US is now a right to work state and teachers will be getting fired for their political beliefs.

    What gets me is that the left doesn’t realize how damaging this hyperbole is to their causes: Rational people can see that e.g. Keystone is not going to destroy the planet, limitations to late term abortion does not mean we are starting a theocracy, etc. Eventually more and more people just start tuning you out.

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  6. ilovecress says:

    I wish we could applty the same logic to the Second Amendment:

    Wouldn’t the situation be if it was mandated that all employers provide their employees with access to a firearm, and Moveon.org refused citing religious grounds?

    I wish this wasn’t getting framed in terms of reproductive rights.The ramifications are more about corporate personhood.

    And who the hell downvoted SO’s bareback comment?

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  7. Hal_10000 says:

    This is too much. People were spewing bile at SCOTUSblog, thinking they were the Supreme Court:

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/angry-tweeters-mistake-scotusblog-for-scotus-hilarity-ensues/

    Yeah.

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  8. Xetrov says:

    That’s hilarious.

    FTW RT @tory_dube @SCOTUSblog decisions upset so many people & all they are doing on twitter is mocking those people. That’s just disturbing

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  9. Dave D says:

    I’m lame at Twitter-ese. What the hell does that “FTW RT Atory_dube…….” even mean, Xetrov?

    (Feeling old, unhip and out of touch)

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  10. Xetrov says:

    I don’t tweet, but basically whoever tory_dube is (and hundreds of other people who are also twittering) doesn’t realize that the twitter handle SCOTUSblog is not controlled or run by the Supreme Court, it’s a private website/blog/twitter account that monitors and reports on Supreme Court rulings. So read it like this -

    @tory_dube: The SCOTUSblog decisions upset so many people & all they are doing on twitter is mocking those people. That’s just disturbing

    @SCOTUSblog: @tory_dube FTW (For The Win)

    They’re mocking tory_dube for not realizing that they (SCOTUSblog) are not the Supreme Court.

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  11. hist_ed says:

    FYI here is a list of birth control that Hobby Lobby provides its employees free of charge (no copay, no deductible):
    Male condoms
    Female condoms
    Diaphragms with spermicide
    Sponges with spermicide
    Cervical caps with spermicide
    Spermicide alone
    Birth-control pills with estrogen and progestin (“Combined Pill)
    Birth-control pills with progestin alone (“The Mini Pill)
    Birth control pills (extended/continuous use)
    Contraceptive patches
    Contraceptive rings
    Progestin injections
    Implantable rods
    Vasectomies
    Female sterilization surgeries
    Female sterilization implants

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  12. Dave D says:

    Thanks, Xetrov. I am still tragically unhip, but that now makes sense!

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