Sunday, August 3, 2014
On Socialist Supreme Court Justices and Your Boss' Business
Alternatively titled “Interpreting the non-interpretation”.
In a Yahoo-exclusive interview with former Today Show propagandist Katie Couric, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lamented the absurdity of her fellows’ recent primeval ruling that Hobby Lobby and other corporations of principles don’t have to pay for their employees to have sexual intercourse. When prodded by Couric to expound the full injustice of the majority’s discriminatory and punitive sentence against “women”, the part-time authority on the forbidden substance lists of various religious cults remarked that the five “males” on the Court have a “blind spot” and punctuated her belief with a hard-hitting kindergarten analogy. “One has freedom to move one’s arm until it hits the other’s nose, and it’s the same way with speech, with religion,” she said in the video released Thursday. According to Ginsburg, the contention that Hobby Lobby’s owners have a right to freely exercise their religion and abide by the tenets of their God is invalid because, “When you’re part of a society, you can’t separate yourself from the obligations that citizens have… you can exercise your right until it’s affecting other people who don’t share your views.”
This statement is perturbing on a number of levels, the first being simply that they were uttered by a sitting Supreme Court Justice on an entertainment show to be broadcast over the internet and consumed by thousands of voting citizens. As anyone with an iota of constitutional understanding should know, the Supreme Court was originally and wisely intended to be an independent body, incorruptible and unmalleable by the demands of their present-day citizenry, who have no direct electoral power over their continued jurisdiction. The Supreme Court was never supposed to be the end-prize of some banal popularity contest, as the House of Representatives and the White House have often devolved into; accordingly, the very idea of having a “celebrity” on the Court surpasses even the idea of a celebrity president in its revoltingness. But Couric even-handedly banishes the notion that Ginsburg is just a run-of-the-mill celebrity. “The Hobby Lobby case has made you a bit of a rock star online. Are you aware of this?” she asks the justice with a smile only barely suppressing a gush of fangirl giddiness.
Ginsburg is aware, enough so that she had already developed a close acquaintance with her most devoted fan group – a tumblr page fashioning itself “The Notorious R.B.G.” – well before coming to the interview and could point to the more inventive Youtube videos created by her fans and dedicated to her spirit. That doesn’t even encompass the legions of leftist websites which immediately dove to trumpet the “scathing” “35-page” “rebuttal” she penned, prostrating themselves before her as if before the author of holy writ. Still, let us pause and reflect for a moment just on what Ginsburg has revealed about the fates of our financial security, of privacy within our homes, of uninhibited speech and assembly, of our right to simultaneously labor and serve our God in the same country, and ultimately of our right to live by the precepts we deem true and honorable and godly. All these things, she demonstrates, are entrusted to the safekeeping of one legally oblivious elitist so enamored of her own textual gymnastics that she delightedly gorges herself upon the sycophantic ravings of any fool stupid enough to accept such stunts as legitimate argumentation. In short, her self-indulgent tirade proves we are now but subjects to the whims of a narcissistic demagogue, an opportunistic tyrant more concerned with impressing and expanding her core fan network than with upholding a static document she herself has admitted she wouldn’t recommend as a model to nations lacking constitutions of their own.
Unfortunately, she’s not the only one in the judiciary to defend the ridiculous assumptions advanced in this case, namely that “contraception coverage is something every woman must have… to control her own destiny” or that “corporations” somehow abrogate their spiritual allegiance when they decide to trade goods and services on the public market. Despite the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby ruling being almost universally pegged as a major “victory for conservatives” (as opposed to the altogether agreeable ruling of two years past, which was then heralded as a triumph for neither conservatives nor liberals but only for the beleaguered middleclass), at best it’s only a narrow evasion of absolute defeat, a half-hearted compromise ceded by defenders of constitutional liberty to its most ardent opponents; at worst, it’s another sign that our court has become infested with unelected, unaccountable, and utterly corrupt de-facto legislators who routinely supplement or even supplant constitutionality with political feasibility.
Note that even the “conservative” majority carefully limits its language so as to (un-)cover only the kinds of drugs objected to by Hobby Lobby, and then only by “closely held” companies like Hobby Lobby in which “at any time during the last half of the tax year, more than 50% of the value of its outstanding stock is, directly or indirectly, owned by or for five or fewer individuals” (IRS definition). “Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs,” wrote Alito in the decidedly defensive and un-scathing 49-page majority opinion, somewhat longer and less emotionally charged than Ginsburg’s outstandingly scathing but only 35-page rebuttal.
But why ever shouldn’t the decision be understood to hold that way? Strictly from a constitutional standpoint, upon what basis can a man plead a God-given “right” to be conferred any luxury or convenience by any other man? No such right exists in the law of the land that can be extrapolated through its text or through the original intent of the Founders, which the pragmatic backers of the contraceptives mandate would discount in every other instance anyway. On the other hand, the first amendment could hardly be more explicit in its protection of religious liberty, declaring that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The simple but emphatic “no” preceding “law” in this clause implies an absolute prohibition on the kind of draconic legislation that secularists or theocrats would attempt to levy against those outside their religious order. The right to freely exercise one’s faith, of course, must needs entail the right not to exercise sacraments that conflict with one’s faith, in the same way that the right to freely speak one’s beliefs entails the right not to speak beliefs that one deems unconscionable. The same statute which guarantees our right to publicly support those virtues demanded by our scripture also guarantees our right to refuse support for those vices our scripture condemns, one of which, for certain Christian sects, is the use of contraceptives or abortion-inducing drugs for meaningless, often extramarital sexual escapades. Such a refusal of endorsement in no conceivable way disadvantages the adherents of other religions and fits solidly within the doctrine of Live And Let Live – or “Don’t Swing Your Arm Into The Other Guy’s Nose” as the laconic saying now goes – that statists weakly try to claim as their guiding credo. In fact, any man who truly longs to live and let live and keep his nose clean has to respect the right of other believers not to respect his belief, or at the very least not to subsidize his belief at the expense of their own.
As it stands, there are many religious bodies which would censure either “birth control” or abortion under their teachings, viz. those regarding murder, adultery, or being fruitful, but there’s not a single religious body which would mandate birth control or abortion as a requisite of faith. Hence, Ginsburg’s scaremongering assertion, that Hobby Lobby is imposing some objectionable practice or affinity on employees against their spiritual convictions, falls flat upon its face, 1) because nobody needs access to these given commodities in order to loyally serve their god, 2) because the companies in question have made no effort to coercively convert their workers to any belief set, and 3) because there isn’t the slightest logical correlation between passively neglecting something and actively forbidding it. Even if there was some hypothetical “religion” which called for its followers to make use of IUDs, Plan B pills, or other random prescriptions opposed by major Scientologist, Jewish, Christian Scientist, or Jehovah’s Witness employers – supposing still further that such employers even exist on a scale worthy of anybody’s concern –, the mere act of declining to pay for these items hardly resembles a move by the boss to marginalize his employees’ hypothetically religious freedom, as these hypothetical duties could be and should be hypothetically pursued on the individual’s own initiative rather than on the part of an unwilling third party. For as often as we had to suffer the logically insipid trope about evil corporations imposing their owners’ archaic beliefs on others, the only groups in this scenario which have actively sought to impose their beliefs are unions of self-entitled employees and Obama’s largely unsupervised stooges in the DHHS, which illegally forced the contraceptive regulations into effect without a congressional vote. Only by a staggering perversion of basic English and common sense can one conclude that Hobby Lobby has ever violated the (a)moral integrity of secularists, when the reality of the matter is the exact opposite. The only side in this debate that’s deliberately assaulted the religious liberty of the other is the secularists, who would forcefully bind the hands that feed them in servitude to a hedonistic worldview they’ve disavowed out of piety.
But for the five conservative-leaning justices who struck down the Obamacare contraceptive provision, the merits of Hobby Lobby’s protest hinged not on the rather plain language of the Constitution’s first amendment or its manifold defenses of private property rights but on a confusing and constitutionally irrelevant law enacted twenty-one years ago called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which essentially established that the government could freely defy the document from which it derives any power so long as it’s serving a “compelling interest” and there’s no “less restrictive” method of upholding that interest. Justice Alito’s concession that universal contraceptive access is a “compelling” goal of the government would have been embarrassing enough even had he not rested his case on an extra- or possibly anti-constitutional statute. The Free Exercise Clause didn’t even play a factor in the majority’s opinion, and what little mention Ginsburg made of it in her opinion centered on a nonsensical distinction between non-profit and for-profit work and how engaging in the latter somehow precludes you from the rights bestowed on the rest of mankind by God.
There are so many other layers of inanity rolled up in this episode that I can only touch on in brief, such as the contradictory clichés “not my boss’ business” or “stay out of my bedroom”, coming from the very borderline prostitutes who want their boss to pay them for whatever they do in their bedrooms; the typifying of a woman’s employer-provided insurance policy as “her health care”, which makes no sense at all under the relatively straightforward definition of “employer-provided”; the misogynistic notion that birth control is an inextricable plank of every woman’s health, as if the female sex exists solely to provide cheap pleasure for men; the lie that half of women use contraceptives for strictly non-contraceptive purposes, when the most cited “fact sheet” from the Guttmacher Institute shows only 14% of those taking the medicine do so with that intent; the assumption thereby that employers are somehow obligated to pay for this medicine, which, using the same logic, would obligate an anti-gun pacifist to provide firearms for all their workers who can demonstrate alternative functions for guns besides killing people; or Ginsburg’s pathetically ignorant definition of a religious organization as something that “exists to serve a community of believers”, uniformly dismissing missionary work as irreligious activity while mindlessly equating one’s religiosity to the extent of one’s social circle.
All these things are beside the main point, though, which is that our Court is currently and has long been packed with phantom legislators who are either startlingly ambivalent or apathetic to the Constitution they’ve sworn to defend. Ginsburg isn’t the first imbecilic traitor to feign an investment in the preservation of a document she wants fundamentally upended or destroyed, as Justice John Paul Stevens served an appointment of 35 years before choosing to belatedly release a book detailing his support of several foreboding alterations to the first, second, and tenth amendments. Those who aren’t ideologically committed to completely fracturing the foundations of our republic are often so enamored of their own reflection that they’ll wreak any populist havoc necessary to maintain a gleaming public image. Justice Harry Blackmun, author of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision, reportedly exulted in fan mail he received from pro-abortion activists prior to writing his opinion, and Sonia Sotomayor is just as much a wannabe celebrity, pimping a memoir with the aid of an all-too-obliging media, shamelessly drawing attention to her race, and making a routine of public appearances. America’s representatives haven’t challenged the “good behavior” of a Supreme Court Justice since impeaching Samuel Chase in 1804, but how much farther than that man have certain of our present judges gone in their war against the Constitution?
Ginsburg frets that, “The Court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.” Agreed.