Monday, June 30, 2014

Two Shitty Decisions

My immediate thoughts on today's decisions:

(1) Thank spaghetti monster that the term ended today so we won't have to have any more shitty Supreme Court rulings for at least a few months.

(2) The so-called strict constructionists on the Court have invented (pdf) an entirely new category of employees, "partial public employees," a term that doesn't appear anywhere in the constitution, but somehow the First Amendment works differently for them than it does regular "public" or "private" employees.

(3) For years conservatives have argued that there should be no special right to contraception and that the state should be able to regular those products just like it regulates all others. Liberals have claimed instead that because contraception gives people the ability to control their own procreation, contraceptives are different from other product because regulating contraceptives is effectively a regulation of the right to procreation, which is a matter of personal liberty. Today, whether they realize it or not, the conservative Justices ruled that contraceptives really are different. So in that sense they have undermined their own objection to Griswold et. al.

(4) Religious objections to contraceptives are different from religious objections to blood transfusions, or vaccinations (or, for that matter, war) because strict construction.

(5) The fact that the Hobby Lobby case is based on RFRA and not the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment is a nice silver lining because if we ever get a non-insane Congress, it could just amend the Act and remove the contraception exemption.

(6) It would be nice if this really will help the Democrats keep the Senate, but I have my doubts that it will. (On the other hand, I don't think it's clear that the dems will lose the Senate regardless of how Hobby Lobby came out. All I'm saying is that if they do keep the Senate majority, I don't think today's decision will make much of a difference).