Today five old, white Republicans Justices on the Supreme Court (that’s right, i think that Clarence Thomas is an old white guy at heart) declared that privately held corporations are “persons” who can profess to hold religious beliefs. In addition these five, old white guys ruled that those corporations can, based on those religious beliefs, refuse coverage in the insurance plans of certain contraceptive prescription drugs they find objectionable.
All women and everyone who supports equal justice for women should be appalled. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her dissent, the ability of women to operate freely in the work place depends in part on their ability to control their reproductive lives. The ruling seeks to impose the religious beliefs of the corporations owners on those who work for it (or should that be he or she because a corporation is now a person?) by imposing a financial penalty on those employees who believe otherwise.
So where does this end. Will the court ultimately support the claims of a privately held corporation whose owners (still living in the dark ages) don’t believe that the use of any form of contraception (other than the rhythm method). Will such a corporation be allowed to refuse payment for any contraceptive prescriptions and devices? What about a privately held corporation whose owners are dead set against abortion. Can they refuse to pay for coverage of a medically required abortion to save the mother’s life? As you move through the list of possibilities you will eventually come to situation where the owners of a corporation believe only in “natural healing” by God. Will they ultimately be able to refuse to cover any kind of medical treatment? Hopefully, it will never get that far, but if it doesn’t it will only be because the Supreme Court has gotten into the business of determining on case by case basis which religious beliefs are “reasonable” and which are not. Where in the constitution is the authorization for the Supreme Court to assume that role?
However, since the Supreme Court has the final say on the law of the land, what is done, is done. Let the five old white Justices figure out how to handle the slew of religious objection court cases now heading their way. In the meanwhile if you don’t like the ruling here are some things that you do: 1) Support a constitutional amendment making it illegal to discriminate against women when administering insurance. (Probability of success: Nil.) 2) Ensure that no Republican is elected to the Presidency until at least two or more of the five conservatives on the Supreme Court are replaced. (Probability of success: Doable.) 3) Boycott companies like Hobby Lobby which place their religious beliefs above the welfare of their employees. (Probability of success: Unknown, but it might feel good.)