If you haven’t read Justice Ginsburg’s dissent in the Hobby Lobby case you really should. She makes excellent points – points that demonstrate how this ruling will extend beyond contraceptives.
In a decision of startling breadth, the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.
She’s correct, of course. No matter how the majority opinion tried to limit this ruling to controlling women (and Alito didn’t even bother to explain why this ruling was limited) it opens the door to every company’s “sincerely held religious beliefs”. How could it not?
What other laws could a corporation opt out of due to their religious beliefs? Could they cite their religious beliefs to pay men more? Could they refuse to hire homosexuals due to their “sincerely held religious belief” that homosexuality is an abomination before the eyes of their god? Why not? Seriously, why not? Go read the ruling and show me (other than Alito saying so) why this ruling couldn’t be applied to other sincerely held religious beliefs.
And you know this is coming. No matter how much the 5 conservative men on the Supreme Court put their fingers in their ears and went, “Lalalalala! We can’t hear you! This only affects contraception!” we knew, as soon as the ruling was handed down, that religious groups lawyered up. Which will leave the Court with the option of acknowledging all “sincerely held religious beliefs” or ruling that all religions aren’t created equal, thereby establishing a… national religion?
Ginsburg Points addresses this:
Indeed, approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be “perceived as favoring one religion over another,” the very “risk the Establishment Clause was designed to preclude.” Ibid. The Court, I fear, has wandered into a minefield.
The ruling states that this only applies to certain contraceptives (for now, because we know they’re coming for the Pill next, since Plan B is the flippin’ Pill. And if you “believe” Plan B is an abortifacient then you believe the Pill is as well. You’d be an idiot who doesn’t understand the science behind contraceptives, but the Hobby Lobby case showed that science and facts don’t matter. Only beliefs matter – even when they’re wrong.), but how is applying this ruling only to contraceptives possible unless the Court only recognizes Hobby Lobby’s religion? There are religions that don’t believe in blood transfusions, vaccinations, HIV treatments, etc.. Are their beliefs not sincerely held? Are they not considered “real” religions?
Talk about a slippery slope, and Ginsburg is correct, we have wandered into a minefield that extends far beyond contraceptives.