WAM!mers on the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that some companies have the right to deny coverage of contraceptives to employees on the company’s health insurance plan. This decision doesn’t just affect the blue-vested employees of the case’s plaintiff, Hobby Lobby — it affects workers across the country. WAM!mers have a lot to say about this decision; this roundup will be updated periodically since many will need time to pick their jaws up off the floor before they can get to writing.

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How the Hobby Lobby Decision Impacts Black Women
Elizabeth Dawes Gay, MPH at EBONY for Echoing Ida

“Too many of our grandmothers, aunts, and sisters didn’t have a choice in their reproduction….For Black women, contraception is as much about reproductive autonomy as it is about health.”

The Hobby Lobby decision isn’t narrow
Irin Carmon at MSNBCM

“In any case, saying the decision is narrow because “only” women’s health care is affected reflects a value judgment too, where the practical realities of accessing health care is subsumed to the corporate owner’s will. According to the Guttmacher institute, “some 62% of all women of reproductive age are currently using a contraceptive method,” and 99% have ever used one. And as the panel of medical experts that decided that contraception would be part of the ACA’s minimum coverage requirements saw, cost is a barrier. All this is not exactly a marginal concern.”

The Supreme Court Ruled in Favor of Patriarchy, Not Democracy
Soraya Chemaly at TIME

“Most analyses of this case will parse the law and, in doing so, make no challenges to two fundamental assumptions: 1) that the law and the Court are both “neutral” to begin with and 2) that we should not question the closely held religious beliefs of judges and politicians, even when those beliefs discriminate openly against women. This is a judgment. And judgments come from norms. And norms are based on people’s preferences. The Court is made up of people who have beliefs, implicitly or explicitly expressed.”

The Supreme Court Just Took a Radical Step Toward Limiting Contraception Access
Jill Filipovic at Cosmopolitan

“The Hobby Lobby decision only applies to closely held companies with more than 50 employees, so larger public companies are not able to make the claim that the contraception mandate violates their religious beliefs, but closely held corporations employ more than half of all American workers. That doesn’t mean those companies will suddenly refuse to cover birth control — birth control is, after all, both extremely common and fiscally responsible, and many will continue to offer it — but regardless of how many companies actually claim a religious exemption, the court still took a radical step in favor of allowing an individual’s religious beliefs to bulldoze over others.”

SCOTUS gets Hobby Lobby horribly wrong: Why this isn’t a “limited” ruling
Katie McDonough at Salon

“This is certainly bad news for the women who work at both of these places, but it’s bad news for the rest of us, too. The ruling sends a strong message that women’s health and women’s rights — as individuals and employees — do not matter as much as so-called religious liberty.”

The Hobby Lobby ruling proves men of the law still can’t get over ‘immoral’ women having sex
Jessica Valenti at The Guardian

“More than 30 years after women thought the right to birth control was fought and won, we are still having to justify why we’d like to have sex – and why that doesn’t make us bad, immoral or disgusting people.”

Five Reasons That Hobby Lobby Decision Is Bananas (Not including the five dudes who voted for it!)
Rachel Sklar at Medium

“Wasn’t it the GOP decrying activism from the bench? Yet here are Justices Alito, Roberts, Scalia, Thomas & Kennedy going and inventing new corporate rights, ignoring the Court’s own precedents, using the First Amendment like a sword and pretty much making stuff up as they go along. As Michelle Dean at Gawker points out, Congress already specifically considered this issue with the Blunt Amendment in 2012, which called for granting employers with moral objections the right to opt out of the contraception coverage requirement — and which was defeated.”

A Right to Contraception Without Access Is a Disaster for the Black Community
Renee Bracey Sherman at RH Reality Check for Echoing Ida

“As with all women, Black women use birth control for both medical conditions and to prevent pregnancy—but Black women have a maternal mortality rate three times that of white women. When employers deny access to birth control, they are actually putting Black women’s lives in danger.”

A Treasury of Justice Ginsburg’s Real Talk In Her Hobby Lobby Dissent
Michelle Dean at Gawker

“But they should have had a closer look at the rest of her judgment too, in which Ginsburg delicately, smoothly, and cordially hands them their asses. People are using the usual words—scathing, blistering—in describing this dissent, but it isn’t that at all. It is cool and measured and totally correct. This might be the Canadian in me talking, but there is something I love about the relative subtlety with which Ginsburg gives the shiv here. It cuts deeper that way.”

SCOTUS gives women the middle finger: Why this month was so frustrating
Katie McDonough at Salon

“A friend asked me this morning if I thought that things were less misogynistic than they were 40 or 50 years ago. My response at the time was that misogyny looked different now. But in the wake of these rulings and the mounting political assault on women in this country, I’m reminded that much of the misogyny we see today looks exactly, dangerously the same.”

Hobby Lobby Puts Women in Second Class Status
Sarah Seltzer at The Sisterhood (The Jewish Daily Forward)

“Essentially because of misogyny, the decision by Justice Alito has made a point of segregating contraception as “other” than distinct religiously-frowned upon services such blood transfusions (opposed by Jehovah’s witnesses) to antidepressants (opposed by scientologists) to HIV treatment and STI screenings (possibly opposed by extreme practitioners of several religions). But Ginsburg believes that this is a “minefield” writing that “approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy” could be seen as playing religious favorites. Given that all the judges who ruled for Hobby Lobby are male and Catholic, and Ginsburg is a member of the Tribe, her point is particularly salient.”

Hobby Lobby: Sex, Lies, and Craft Supplies
Sally Kohn at The Daily Beast

“In other words, it’s unimaginably problematic that a group of people — whether as individuals or as a corporation — could go to the highest court in our land and assert complete and utter untruths as fact under the cloak of “religious beliefs.” What’s next? Asserting a “religious belief” that carbon emissions don’t cause climate change? Or a “religious belief” that equal pay hurts women? You can laugh and say something about facts, but the Supreme Court literally just ruled that facts don’t matter.”

Hobby Lobby Decision Likely to Open a Legal Floodgate
Zoë Schlanger at Newsweek

“The language of conservative Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion may have sounded narrow–it confined the decision to “closely held” businesses–but the precedent it set is likely not.”

13 Reactions to the Hobby Lobby Case That Are Completely Misinformed
Jill Filipovic at Cosmopolitan

“In the wake of the decision, misinformation about the case has proliferated. While there’s still a lot we don’t know — how broadly the ruling will be applied to religious beliefs about medical care other than contraception, how Congress and the administration will tweak the law to make sure it falls within these new, still-nebulous boundaries — if social media commentary and even some of the news coverage of the case is any indication, many of the facts we do know are being misunderstood or intentionally manipulated. Here, we clear up a few of them.”

The Hobby Lobby Decision Just Screwed Over a Whole Bunch of Women
Avital Norman Nathman at Kveller

“I wonder what the female employees of Hobby Lobby–the ones who don’t want to keep popping out kids like it’s their (other) job–will do. If they can’t afford a month’s pay for an IUD, or the cost of monthly birth control, where does that leave them? Praying that they can find another job? Putting their work skills to use and macramé-ing themselves an IUD out of tinseled pipe cleaners?”

Hobby Lobby Supporters Insist Decision Isn’t Sexist, Tell Women to Close Their Legs
Jill Filipovic at Cosmopolitan

“Many of the loudest conservative supporters of the Hobby Lobby decision responded by saying sexism wasn’t the issue, religious liberty was, and there’s no War on Women or misogyny or antagonism to women having sex coming from the political right — an argument that inevitably concluded with some variation of, “If you sluts don’t want to get pregnant, then keep your legs closed.”

Where Will the Slippery Slope of ‘Hobby Lobby’ End?
Katha Pollitt at The Nation

“Justice Alito’s opinion is canny. Slippery slope? No problem: “our decision in these cases is concerned solely with the contraceptive mandate. Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs.” He specifically mentions vaccines, blood transfusions and protection from racial discrimination as being in no danger, but he gives no argument about why Hobby Lobby’s logic would never apply. In other words, birth control is just different. Of course, it’s about women. Anyone could need a blood transfusion, after all, even Alito himself. And it’s about powerful Christian denominations, too, to which this Court slavishly defers—for example, in the recent decision finding no discrimination in the Christian prayers that routinely open town council meetings in Greece, New York.”

BONUS: Panel discussion on SiriusXM Progress led by Andrea Cambron

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