The Supreme Court announced that it plans to hear arguments regarding the Affordable Care Act's mandate requiring all health insurance policies to cover contraception and reproductive services without co-pays.
The mandate has been challenged by two business owners including the infamous Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts retailer with a nationwide chain of 500 locations. David Green, Hobby Lobby's owner, believes the requirement violates his Christian beliefs.
So now it'll be up to Justice Kennedy who will yet again serve as the tie-breaker in an inevitable five-to-four decision.
What'll happen if the Court (Justice Kennedy) decides in favor of Hobby Lobby and against the law?
Quoting a former presidential candidate whose name I forget: "Corporations are people, my friend." Thanks again to Justice Kennedy for helping to reinforce that one, too, by the way. Regardless of what I personally believe, yes, corporations are considered persons with, following Citizens United, constitutionally protected speech rights. With a decision in support of Hobby Lobby, corporations might suddenly enjoy religious protections, too.
And this is precisely why the Court will decide against the ACA. It's already established First Amendment rights for corporations. Justice Scalia's concurring opinion in Citizens United was all about the First Amendment's intent and history. If the Court decides against Hobby Lobby, it will have extended only one clause of the First Amendment to corporations, while denying other First Amendment rights. It won't surprise me if this becomes the prevailing logic in the case.
I suppose it's too late to make this case, but it seems as if the most effective way religious people can exercise their objection to contraception is to not use it. We all pay for things we don't like. Sorry, it's part of living in a, you know, society.
Suing the government, on the other hand, because we don't like paying into a system that provides free contraception is a not unlike suing the government because you morally object to drones and don't want your tax dollars helping to pay for the construction and use of that technology. Or, better yet, now that Pope Francis has expressed his objections to capitalism, can Catholics legally refuse to contribute tax dollars to policies that support businesses and economic growth? Can I form a religion that morally opposes tea party Republicans, and can I legally withhold taxes that help pay the salaries of the tea party caucus? Am I not a person with religious freedom?
Again, I know it's fait accompli at this point, but on top of being a part of a society and sometimes paying for things we don't always support, Christians like David Green should absolutely embrace the mandate anyway. Why? Because it helps to prevent unplanned pregnancies and therefore reduces abortions. I know, I know. Green and other evangelicals don't think on that level and every sperm is sacred, etc. It might not have occurred to them, however, that by denying women affordable contraceptive care, they could be indirectly responsible for more unplanned pregnancies and subsequent abortions -- just because they've decided to get all pouty about evil, evil Obamacare.
Incidentally, yeah, that's what this is really all about. It has less to do with religious freedom and more do with cranky-pants political objections to the president's sinister "government-run" healthcare program. It was the same with Papa John's and Applebee's. The objection isn't ethical or religious or even about profits. This is about the "Obama" part of the word "Obamacare." And the Supreme Court has decided to invite these people for an audience with the highest level of the judiciary.