Yes, the Hobby Lobby decision

by David

There are many distinct issues which come together in one ugly mess in this decision:

(a) employer-provided health insurance – always a bad idea in the first place, made worse by the mandates in ObamaCare.  ObamaCare should have *separated* employment and health insurance rather than mandating it (regardless of single payer vs. private insurers on exchanges);

(b) the Hobby Lobby decision is the fruit of two previous intersections of religion and law – a 1990 supreme court decision which said that religious beliefs should *not* get an exemption from laws (which decision was written by Scalia, and was opposed by all the liberals — because the exemption in that case was to a law regarding peyote use and native american religion) — which 1990 case led to the federal “religious freedom restoration act” in 1993 – unanimously passed by the house, almost unanimously (3 against) in the senate, and signed into law by Clinton — which made explicit that, at least at the federal level, religious folks *can* get exemptions from specific laws;

(c) as a result of the decision, absolutely *nobody* has lost their right or access to contraception – nor even will they be forced to pay – both the majority opinion and a concurring one proposed remedies which the government can easily push while still being compliant with the law (regarding who pays for it) – and regardless of who pays for it, this decision absolutely, positively, 100% does *not* stop anyone who wants from buying contraception.  At most, it’s about who is being forced to pay for it when someone chooses to buy it (and even that’s not entirely true, as the decision, again, proposed remedies regarding having third parties pay for it anyway)

(d) the Hobby Lobby decision rested not just on the ’93 RFRA, but that in combination with the fact that the administration was *already* granting religious exemptions to the law — had that not already been happening, it’s entirely possible, even likely, that the court would not have gone this way, since those existing exemptions demonstrated that the coverage was not considered essential.   Anyway, as far as I can tell, there’s no “trampling on women’s right” – there was, really, little more than a reaffirmation of religious loopholes – which may well be worse.