Monday morning in the west, we awoke to the good news that the Supreme Court actually sided with Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood!! These companies and other companies that can show “closely held” religious beliefs can opt out of the HHS contraceptive mandate. A win for religious freedom—yes! A sweeping win for religious freedom—no.
The justices limited their ruling to laws made by the federal government. If a state makes a law that limits the religious freedom of business owners, this ruling will not apply. The Supreme Court could have ruled that every American citizen could run their own companies according their consciences. As Matt Walsh put it:
“This ruling is a limited victory for freedom and sanity, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. The justices could have issued a sweeping decision fortifying every person’s right to run their lives and their companies according to the dictates of their conscience, rather than the dictates of an authoritarian government bureaucracy. Instead, they focused the issue down to the specifics of Hobby Lobby’s particular situation, meaning that other companies, businesses, and corporations will still be subject to Orwellian speech infringements.”
And of course, if anyone is still under the belief that Judges aren’t partisan, here is another 5 to 4 ruling along party lines. As is often the norm, more conservative Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and chief Justice John Roberts joined by the most independent Justice Anthony Kennedy ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby and the more liberal justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Ruth Ginsburg ruled against Hobby Lobby.
As a conservative, I am quite happy about this ruling and hope and pray that none of the conservative justices retire until after 2016. There is always hope for the future right?
Some in the media will accuse the men who ruled in favor of religious freedom as furthering the war on women and taking away women’s reproductive rights. That is just silliness.
Unlike Justice Ginsburg, who in her dissent lamented: “The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.” Women need not be concerned with how well they can participate in the economic and social life of this nation. This ruling in no way limits women’s ability to get birth control. Women are still free to purchase any birth control they want. They are still free to apply for work with whatever employer provides the sort of health insurance they want. Women are still free, and now business owners are free from burdensome federal laws that keep them from acting according to their consciences.