Shorter Supreme Court: Catholicism and Fundamentalism Are OK, But Christian Scientists and Jehovah’s Witnesses Iz Weird

Like Echnide, I can’t really understand the Supreme Court majority’s logic in the Hobby Lobby case:

Here’s the part of the majority (the five Conservatives of the Court) opinion which made my teeth hurt:

In any event, our decision in these cases is concerned solely with the contraceptive mandate. Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs. Other coverage requirements, such as immunizations, may be supported by different interests (for example, the need to combat the spread of infectious diseases) and may involve different arguments about the least restrictive means of providing them.

A narrowly tailored SCOTUS decision? So narrowly tailored that only women fit into it? I’m not a lawyer, but this looks odd to me. Is Alito saying that this case cannot ever be used as a precedent for anything else? That lack of access to contraception has no societal effects of the kind refusal to vaccinate might have? That contraceptives are never used for the treatment of medical illnesses?

Well, Justice Ginsburg is a lawyer, and here’s some of what she wrote:

Would the exemption…extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations (Christian Scientists, among others)? According to counsel for Hobby Lobby, each of these cases …would have to be evaluated on its own…apply[ing] the compelling interest-least restrictive alternative test. Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today’s decision.

Ultimately, the majority of the Supreme Court thinks anti-abortionism is ‘normal’, whereas other religions are for weirdos. Oddly enough, some other people think the Justices’ religions are weird. Back to Justice Ginsburg again:

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.

It’s almost as if the majority on the Supreme Court wants to exacerbate tensions in the U.S. around this issue. Awesome.

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2 Responses to Shorter Supreme Court: Catholicism and Fundamentalism Are OK, But Christian Scientists and Jehovah’s Witnesses Iz Weird

  1. cettel22 says:

    An excellent analysis of the decision. If you want to see a draft-book that argues that the Republican “Justices” are actually carrying out a counter-Revolution against the American Revolution, and that a theocratic-Christian agenda by them is largely driving it, send an email request for the pdf, to and I shall send it to your for your thoughts on it.

  2. That, in turn, reminds me a bit of Town of Greece vs. Galloway, and how SCOTUS seemingly thinks that it can sideline sectarian Christianity, let alone non-Christian religion. That said, I see the whole reproductive choice issue from the occasionally muddled American middle, rather than either pole.

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