In case you missed the brouhaha online yesterday, the Supreme Court sided with the arts and crafts store Hobby Lobby (you know, the place your mom might have dragged you to so she could "just look at fabrics") regarding the company's challenge to the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate.
In short: Because certain birth control methods go against the religious beliefs of Hobby Lobby's head honchos, they don't have to cover said methods for employees. Sorry, female employees, as the methods that they don't approve of only apply to females (IUDs, birth control pills, etc.). That's the quick and dirty summary, but for a more thorough breakdown of the ruling, you can read about it on a website that doesn't also feature stories about Zac Efron lip-syncing to "Let It Go." We calls it like we sees it.
Obviously, this is a controversial decision that has been hotly debated since the news broke, with both sides arguing about religious freedom or how this ruling could be a dangerous and slippery slope for the future. But if you want to read the most passionate, scathing opinion about the Hobby Lobby case, look no further than Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's 35-page dissent to the 5-4 ruling.
Basically, she hates what happened yesterday. You can read her full dissent here, or you can just scroll through the very best parts below:
1. "Startling Breadth"
"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."
2. Her Choice
"The exemption sought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga would…deny legions of women who do not hold their employers' beliefs access to contraceptive coverage…Any decision to use contraceptives made by a woman covered under Hobby Lobby's or Conestoga's plan will not be propelled by the Government, it will be the woman's autonomous choice, informed by the physician she consults. It bears note in this regard that the cost of an IUD is nearly equivalent to a month's full-time pay for workers earning the minimum wage."
3. Corporations vs. Religious Organizations
"Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. Workers who sustain the operations of those corporations commonly are not drawn from one religious community. Indeed, by law, no religion-based criterion can restrict the work force of for-profit corporations...The distinction between a community made up of believers in the same religion and one embracing persons of diverse beliefs, clear as it is, constantly escapes the Court's attention. One can only wonder why the Court shuts this key difference from sight."
4. What's Next?
"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[?] Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today's decision."
5. True Religious Freedom
"Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be 'perceived as favoring one religion over another,' the very 'risk the [Constitution's] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude."
6. The Original Intent of the RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act)
"In the Court's view, RFRA demands accommodation of a for-profit corporation's religious beliefs no matter the impact that accommodation may have on third parties who do not share the corporation owners' religious faith—in these cases, thousands of women employed by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga or dependents of persons those corporations employ. Persuaded that Congress enacted RFRA to serve a far less radical purpose, and mindful of the havoc the Court's judgment can introduce, I dissent."
7. An Explosive Decision
"The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield."
And if you don't want to read all that and your attention span is short, Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dissent has already been turned into a song by singer-songwriter Jonathan Mann:
All right, guys. Let's talk about her remarks and the case in the comments, respectfully and cordially, or no more heartwarming animal stories for anyone!