Judging by the hysterical reaction on the left, you would think that the Supreme Court had just taken away women’s right to vote. Instead, all the justices said in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby was that owners of closely held corporations couldn’t be forced to pay for abortion-inducing drugs as part of the healthcare coverage required by the Affordable Care Act.
Let’s get one thing straight right from the start: This ruling has absolutely nothing to do with a woman’s right to contraception or even a company’s requirement to pay for it. As attorneys for Hobby Lobby made clear, the company was already paying for 16 forms on contraception in the healthcare plan the company provided. The Green family, the evangelical Christians who own the company, objected to paying for the “morning after” pills that were included in the requirements, since they believed the pills were a form of abortion.
The penalties for not obeying the Obamacare mandate are pretty severe. Hobby Lobby faced fines of $100 a day per employee for not complying. Or if it dropped healthcare coverage for its employees, something it did not want to do, the government could impose a fine on the company of $2,000 a year for every employee.
Violate your conscience or face bankruptcy because of your beliefs. Not much of a choice, was it?
The court agreed. In the majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “We doubt that the Congress that enacted [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] — or, for that matter, [ObamaCare] — would have believed it a tolerable result to put family-run businesses to the choice of violating their sincerely held religious beliefs or making all of their employees lose their existing healthcare plans.”
But liberals have gone absolutely ballistic over the court’s ruling. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco Democrat who can always be found on the far left of any issue, said the decision was “an outrageous step against the rights of America’s women.” Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) labeled it “a dangerous precedent and takes us closer to a time in history when women had no choice and no voice.” (Think I exaggerated in my opening sentence? Not a bit.)
Within a few hours of the decision being announced, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest made it clear that Barack Obama was on the side of the dissenters. Moreover, he tried to drape the U.S. Constitution around his boss, when he said, “the Constitutional lawyer in the Oval Office disagrees with that conclusion from the Supreme Court.”
Sure thing, Josh. Now we’re supposed to believe that the President pays any attention whatsoever to the tenets of the Constitution? Tell us another one.
The most embarrassing response may have come from Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat whom many on the left are touting as a progressive alternative to Hillary Clinton. Warren managed to make three errors in just one sentence when she tweeted: “Can’t believe we live in a world where we’d even consider letting big corps deny women access to basic care based on vague moral objections.”
Ain’t that a lulu? First of all, Senator, this decision has absolutely nothing to do with big corporations. In fact, they are specifically excluded from its effects. This ruling only applies to small, closely held corporations, as the justices made clear in their decision.
Second, no one is talking about denying women “access to basic care.” No one was trying to prevent them from buying anything, including the four drugs the plaintiffs considered abortifacients. As I’ve already noted, Hobby Lobby was already paying for 16 forms of contraception for its employees. All the company was saying was that it shouldn’t be forced to pay for drugs that violated the owners’ religious beliefs.
And that brings me to Warren’s third error. What we’re talking about here is not some “vague moral objection,” as the leftist lawmaker said, but a profound religious conviction. Hurray for the Greens for being willing to fight for their views — and to spend a lot of money (and risking a lot more) doing so.
How important is this decision? Politico rightly described it as “a huge black eye for ObamaCare, the Administration and its backers.” In fact, the politics-focused website said the ruling reinforces critics’ contentions that “[ObamaCare] and President Barack Obama are encroaching on Americans’ freedoms.” And it’s just now finding that out?
But please note that four members of the Supreme Court, including both Obama appointees, voted against “the religious liberty of the humans who own and control those companies,” as the decision said. It’s sobering to realize that if just one of the five justices who made up the majority dies or resigns from the Court, Obama’s selection will help form a new majority. And all of those 5-4 decisions that have gone our way in recent years could be reversed. A pretty scary thought, isn’t it?
But at least that hasn’t happened yet. And the Hobby Lobby case isn’t the only one where the Supreme Court has ruled against Presidential overreach. It’s been SCOTUS vs. POTUS (the Supreme Court of the United States versus the President of the United States) for a couple of weeks. And guess what? The President has lost every single time. In fact, in two important cases, the justices ruled 9-0 against him.
That’s right. In a couple of cases, Obama’s unConstitutional power grabs were so extreme that he couldn’t get a single justice — not even the two he appointed — to agree with him.
A week ago, the Supreme Court issued its decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning. The Court ruled unanimously that Obama had overstepped his authority and violated the Constitution when he tried to make so-called “recess” appointments to the National Relations Labor Board back in 2012. The problem was the Senate specifically said it wasn’t in recess when he did so. It was holding pro forma sessions every day, specifically to keep any recess appointments from being made.
It’s no surprise that the Supreme Court voted 9-0 that the Senate was right and Obama was wrong.
By the way, this was the 13th time that the Court had ruled unanimously against the Obama Administration. Guess the guy who supposedly taught Constitutional law doesn’t have a very good grasp of what the Constitution actually says. But we already knew that, didn’t we?
The second 9-0 decision against the Obama Administration concerned legislation in Massachusetts that prohibited pro-life demonstrators from getting within 35 feet of an abortion facility. The Administration argued that such “buffer zones” were necessary to protect the safety of women. The Supreme Court disagreed and ruled unanimously that the law created unConstitutional “censorship zones” on public sidewalks.
As I said, in those two rulings Obama was 0 for 18. But our Supreme Leader won’t let Supreme Court rulings, Congressional opposition or falling polls deter him from his goal of transforming America. On Monday, he vowed to launch “a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress.”
So he wants to replace a system of laws with a system of edicts? What else is new?
As we celebrate the birth of our Nation this weekend, it’s a good time to renew our commitment to the battle for liberty. The signers of the Declaration of Independence pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to secure it for us. Can we do less to keep it?
Happy Fourth of July.
Until next time, keep some powder dry.