Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been atop the trending charts today, after a disappointing loss for progressives due to a 5-4 vote in favor of retailer Hobby Lobby and gutting the contraceptive portion of the law known as Obamacare.
Five Supreme Court justices ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby’s suit, with Ginsburg heading up the dissenting opinion. In a 35-page dissent, Ginsberg ripped the court’s vote as one with a potential bevy of unintended consequences.
On social sites like Facebook and Twitter, “The Notorious RBG” is getting a lot of praise from progressives for her blistering rebuttal.
In the opinion, Ginsburg objected to the majority opinion on several cromulent levels, even inspiring a song:
Among arguments Ginsburg put forth were ones referencing potentially dangerous precedent set by the decision, and she described the possible outcomes as well as the precipitous closeness the ruling has to violating the Constitution’s Establishment Clause:
“Suppose an employer’s sincerely held religious belief is offended by health coverage of vaccines, or paying the minimum wage, or according women equal pay for substantially similar work?… 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.”
Writing that the Court had “ventured into a minefield,” she continued:
“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.”
Ginsburg also predicted that the decision could open the door to allow further claims of religious persecution combined with the deleterious effects of Citizens United in order to avoid obeying federal law:
“Little doubt that [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] claims will proliferate, for the Court’s expansive notion of corporate personhood – combined with its other errors in construing RFRA – invites for-profit entities to seek religion-based exemptions from regulations they deem offensive to their faith.”
— Cody Uhing (@CodyUhing) June 30, 2014
The Notorious RBG also dismissed arguments that the contraceptive aspects of Obamacare were burdensome to employers, adding:
“Even if one were to conclude that Hobby Lobby and Conestoga meet the substantial burden requirement, the Government has shown that the contraceptive coverage for which the ACA provides furthers compelling interests in public health and women’s well being… Those interests are concrete, specific, and demonstrated by a wealth of empirical evidence.”
Backlash against the Hobby Lobby decision was prolific across social sites today, but Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s opinion — in which she pointed out that “the cost of an IUD is nearly equivalent to a month’s full-time pay for workers earning the minimum wage” — also was heavily buzzed about.