Patterico's Pontifications

6/30/2014

When You Have Run Out of Winning Arguments [Updated]

Filed under: Fiskings,General — JVW @ 6:10 pm

[guest post by JVW]

So if you are on Facebook and have liberal friends, you no doubt have seen the multitude of posts that would have us believe that the Supreme Court’s decision today in the Hobby Lobby case means an end to birth control usage throughout America. Perhaps you have seen a repost from Mother Jones’s blog purporting to be the eight best lines from the dissent written by the always laughably clueless Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. These assertions are so completely risible, so utterly insipid, that one cannot help but Fisk them. For your consideration, then, here are her eight tidbits, followed by my responses:

1. “[The court majority] in a decision of startling breadth, [would allow corporations to opt out of almost any law that they find] incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

This is of course the standard left-wing narrative regarding this decision, yet commentators on the right seem to believe that Alito’s ruling was purposely drawn very narrowly. Ann Althouse, who I think could be generally categorized as a centrist, highlighted this passage in Justice Alito’s majority decision which seems designed to counter Justice Ginsburg’s claim:

We do not hold, as the principal dissent alleges, that for-profit corporations and other commercial enterprises can “opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.” Post, at 1 (opinion of GINSBURG, J.). Nor do we hold, as the dissent implies, that such corporations have free rein to take steps that impose “disadvantages . . . on others” or that require “the general public [to] pick up the tab.” Post, at 1–2. And we certainly do not hold or suggest that “RFRA demands accommodation of a for-profit corporation’s religious beliefs no matter the impact that accommodation may have on . . . thousands of women employed by Hobby Lobby.” Post, at 2.1

2. “The exemption sought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga would…deny legions of women who do not hold their employers’ beliefs access to contraceptive coverage.”

This is such blatant balderdash that it can be dispensed with rather quickly. Neither the ruling nor Hobby Lobby’s policy prevents women from obtaining contraception or abortifacients (indeed, Hobby Lobby’s health plan apparently covers standard birth control pills, just not Plan B and other methods that prevent fertilized eggs from being implanted in the uterus), it just means that Hobby Lobby is no longer forced by law to pay for them. Any Hobby Lobby employee can walk into Planned Parenthood and obtain these anti-implantation methods without Hobby Lobby having any say in the matter. Justice Ginsburg is thoughtlessly repeating left-wing feminist talking points here.

3. “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.”

But of course, Hobby Lobby is a closely-held company run by a family of committed Christians, not some huge corporation with two dozen board members and a majority of stock held outside the family. Justice Ginsburg is aware of this, but nevertheless seems happy to use the force of government to compel them to behave in a manner consistent with how her side believes health care should be organized.

4. “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.”

Great. But why in the world does that mean that Hobby Lobby should be forced to pick up the tab?

5. “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.”

According to the abortion cheerleaders at Planned Parenthood, an IUD and its implementation costs between $500 and $1000, but then the device lasts up to 12 years. So even if we amortize over 10 years, we’re looking at $50-100 per year, or $4-$9 per month. Why doesn’t Planned Parenthood use all the money it raises to set up a lease program for IUDs, where users can pay them back over the duration of the device’s implementation?

6. “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.”

And these are the people who derided Justice Anton Scalia when he asked if the principles behind ObamaCare could compel government to mandate broccoli consumption?

7. “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.”

I wonder what Justice Ginsburg thinks about the Obama Administration’s well-known policy for exempting some favored groups from the law’s provisions. Isn’t the whole point of Big Government – which Justice Ginsburg seems to personally favor – that some groups get designated winners and others are designated losers?

8. “The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.”

Gosh, this has never happened before in our Constitutional history, has it? Either Justice Ginsburg is truly ignorant of Supreme Court history, or this was just filler in her opinion in order to reach some arbitrary word count that her law professors used to enforce.

Jonathan Keim at NRO’s Bench Memos has more on the vacuity of Ginsburg’s dissent. Feel free to read it and add your favorite Ginsburgisms below.

- JVW

Update: In a comment below, JD links to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s reaction, delivered from the rarified air of Aspen:

So to introduce this element into our society — look, we’re always going to argue about abortion. It’s a hard choice and it’s controversial and that’s why I’m pro-choice because I want people to make their own choices. And it is very troubling that a salesclerk at Hobby Lobby, who needs contraception, which is pretty expensive, is not going to get that service through her employer’s health care plan because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception.

She probably knows that Hobby Lobby provides 16 of the 20 different forms of contraception mandated by the ACA, but she is going to propagate the lie that Hobby Lobby is forcing the young cashier to have unprotected sex and get knocked up because some mean Christians won’t let her have The Pill. Hillary Rodham Clinton is a vile and contemptible woman.

- JVW

56 Responses to “When You Have Run Out of Winning Arguments [Updated]”

  1. As soon as one more conservative dies or is impeached all will be overturned. We will bide our time as no more republicans will be elected president as 5,000,000 million minority kids turn 18 (voting age) every election cycle for president demographics is our best revenge! A pregnant hispanic pushing a stroller with twins in it your worst nightmare!

    vota (f73058)

  2. IUD’s are unpopular across the board, and not used as much as other forms of birth control. Talk about narrow scope.

    BradnSA (035972)

  3. A pregnant hispanic pushing a stroller with twins in it your worst nightmare!

    I can’t really agree with this, vota. For one thing, demographic trends suggest that in this country we need immigrants to have large families to maintain our population because so many established American families aren’t reproducing. My concern isn’t that immigrant families are having babies, and it certainly has nothing to do with their country of origin, it is just that so many of these immigrants arrive here functionally illiterate (both in English and in their native language) and without any of the necessary skills for securing gainful employment. And not only are there fewer jobs as dishwashers, hotel maids, car washers, etc. available these days, but Democrats are eliminating a huge number of them by demanding that wages for these jobs grossly outstrip the job’s value to the employer. What’s going to happen when we have 12 million new immigrants here, but 8 million of them can’t find work? What Democrat politician is going to suggest that they go back home, now that they have young children enrolled in our public schools who are eligible for citizenship?

    JVW (feb406)

  4. They will be taking care of all you angry old white people in your nursing home.

    vota (f73058)

  5. Perry’s orderly at his nursing home is apparently on a break.

    JD (95650e)

  6. He’s probably right, though, JD. If ObamaCare survives it is pretty self-evident that we’ll all be taken care of by minimum wage (and minimally-trained) folks in our Golden Years. Even that will probably be too much for the health care system to bear, so we’ll get virtual online “end of life counseling” from some artificial intelligence program that will push us to take the cyanide pills.

    JVW (feb406)

  7. I think the old biddy’s gone senile. She looks like she hasn’t had a decent meal in a while so maybe she’s just dizzy from lack of nutrients.

    EAT A CRACKER OR TWO RUTH!

    jakee308 (f1b953)

  8. Once upon a time IUD’s were not used because of serious side effects. I’m guessing a significant amount of the cost goes to pay for insurance for the companies that make them.
    FWIW.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  9. it does seem that the line between troll, uruk hai journolist, and nazgul policy maker is exceedingly high, (ie ‘Elle Wood’ and the ‘Dude’

    narciso (3fec35)

  10. when they move away from ‘you shall make no law’ was the beginning of the problem;

    http://therightscoop.com/mark-levin-explains-scotus-hobby-lobby-decision-puts-it-in-context-the-first-amendment-was-damaged/

    narciso (3fec35)

  11. It’s not a favorite Ginsburgism, but I scrolled down a bit at Bench Memos and came arcoss this.

    In Parts I and II, Justice Alito gives a brief history of the case. The Affordable Care Act, sometimes called “Obamacare,” told HHS to develop a “preventive services” mandate for certain employer plans, but the ACA never made reference to contraceptives. HHS then mandated “preventive services” coverage that included 20 different forms of contraception. The plaintiffs, who object on religious grounds to 4 of the 20 contraceptives, brought suit to obtain an exemption from requiring those four.

    This is one of the more amusing things about the Stalinists coming out of the woodwork to condemn the Hobby Lobby decision. The law doesn’t even mandate any of this garbage. Yet the Stalinists think Sebelius can write a HHS regulation that overrules a statute, the RFRA, and the 1st Amendment.

    Steve57 (874187)

  12. Hey vota, wait a second, all these illegal immigrants are going to be taking care of old white people? That’s the best America can do for them? What will they do when all the old white people are dead? You know, like Harry, Nancy, Hillary and Bill?

    What a friggin’ racist thinking that brown people are only capable of caring for white people.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  13. You know what else vota, you friggin’ racist, they are not brown people. They are Americans fleeing socialist governments that offer no hope for a decent life. And where do they go. This stinking shit hole of a racist nation. I wonder why.

    You stinking racist.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  14. Forgive my poor punctuation, but racist scum such as vota make me irritable.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  15. You know, Ag80, the rest of the world must be a really bad place if everyone wants to crash the gates of this racist, hating, oppressive country of ours.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  16. Oops, you beat me by 2 minutes.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  17. I disagree that this is clueless or thoughtless on Ginsberg’s part. She trotted out all these horrors at oral argument as well, were they were similarly refuted. No, this is mendaciousness and political grandstanding, knowing that words she puts in the majority’s mouth will hold up for people who only read her dissent (e.g. the mainstream media).

    It’s a baseless rant, but she’s not stupid. She’s a good lawyer and she knows exactly what she is doing.

    Probably not what you’d want in a judge, though.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  18. “The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.”

    This on the same day the Court refused cert on a cross-placement case.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  19. As for the vaccinations, blood transfusions, etc, the only objections in these cases are personal — a Muslim might not choose to accept a heart valve from a pig himself or allow his wife to have one, but probably would not object to an infidel accepting such, nor would he have any particular religious objection to his company paying for it, assuming he hired infidel workers.

    Abortion, otoh, is murder to some people and to require that they be complicit in something they view as murder is probably the type of thing the RFRA was written to avoid.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  20. I completely agree that this was a very narrowly focused opinion.

    That said, I see no *argument* for why it wouldn’t apply to the blood transfusion case. I see an assertion by the court majority that it doesn’t, which isn’t backed up by any reasoning – and the rationale for the decision applies on its face.

    So, I’m skeptical that it can be cabined as easily as the majority says it can be. And yet at the end of the day I also think it’s Congress’ problem – if they don’t like this interpretation of the RFRA, they can amend it.

    aphrael (e777bc)

  21. That said, I see no *argument* for why it wouldn’t apply to the blood transfusion case.

    I think it was over on the NRO blog that I linked to, but it has been pointed out that blood transfusions have been covered by most health insurance plans for 30 years, yet there has not been any cases where an employer who purchased plans has objected to paying for it.

    That said, you raise a legitimate point about the principles of the case. This is another one of those situations that makes one realize how stupid employer-provided health care really is. Maybe if we can repeal ObamaCare we can start talking about more sensible reforms to how health care is delivered and paid for in this country.

    JVW (feb406)

  22. The unhinged reaction to the SCOTUS decisions today pretty much indicates that the left today is not really interested in the Constitution, law or America as a nation. Go to the SCOTUSblog.com twitter feed to understand why I say this. It negates that the GOP is the party of stupid.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  23. JD, here is the amazing quote from Hillary:

    So to introduce this element into our society — look, we’re always going to argue about abortion. It’s a hard choice and it’s controversial and that’s why I’m pro-choice because I want people to make their own choices. And it is very troubling that a salesclerk at Hobby Lobby, who needs contraception, which is pretty expensive, is not going to get that service through her employer’s health care plan because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception.

    My God, she is simply flat-out lying. I don’t think she is ignorant of the fact that Hobby Lobby’s plan covers 16 different forms of contraception, I think she is purposefully lying about it in order to appeal to the low-information voter, especially the young voter who gets all of his or her news from Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. This is an absolutely vile and contemptible woman, and I will vote for the RINOest of the RINOs if that’s what it takes to keep her from the Oval Office.

    I’m adding this to an Update. Thanks as always, JD.

    JVW (feb406)

  24. aphrael–

    See my #20, but are you arguing that a Jehovah’s Witness employer would have a moral dilemma if someone of another faith wanted a blood transfusion and expected his insurance to pay for it? Is there a prohibition against transfusions per se, or simply a prohibition against the JW having one himself? If it’s the later, there is no moral compulsion and no case.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  25. I think she is purposefully lying about it in order to appeal to the low-information voter

    The only other argument is that she IS a low-information voter.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  26. Transfusions have been covered voluntarily by insurance plans for decades.

    JD (95650e)

  27. The only other argument is that she IS a low-information voter.

    She’s way too much of an Alinskyite to be that ignorant. This is a coordinated campaign by Planned Parenthood and their allies, run through the Democrat establishment.

    JVW (feb406)

  28. Isn’t Ginsburg a PP lackey?

    JD (95650e)

  29. Hobby Lobby could sue Hillary for slander.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  30. . . . look, we’re always going to argue about abortion. It’s a hard choice and it’s controversial and that’s why I’m pro-choice because I want people to make their own choices.

    But not so pro-choice that she wants to let them make their own choices regarding health care coverage.

    JVW (feb406)

  31. There might be a case for blood transfusions if the state was forcing a Jehovah’s Witness service structure to buy this coverage for its ministry. But that goes along with the nunnery not wanting to pay for birth control pills. Pretty focused religious objection not involving outsiders.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  32. And it is very troubling that a salesclerk at Hobby Lobby, who needs contraception, which is pretty expensive, is not going to get that service through her employer’s health care plan because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception.

    …which will lead directly to the dire consequences that Amanda Marcotte warned us about this morning on her tweet: “…so sad at how many people hate women and want to force unwanted pregnancy on them.”

    Misogynists!

    Dana (4dbf62)

  33. But not so pro-choice that she wants to let them make their own choices regarding health care coverage.

    Pro HER choice, not theirs, silly.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  34. Of course my leftists friends have gone bat-crap crazy over a decision that does not include contraception at all.

    They do it for votes, reality be damned. They know it, you know it and I know it. However, my 20-year-old daughter said: “If you want contraception, just go to the damn drug store.” Of course she was wrong about the ruling because she’s 20. Although I like the way she thinks, I also warned her about her language.

    The decision wasn’t about contraception, it was about abortifacients.

    What is the point of arguing when one side is willfully lying?

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  35. Oh, dear. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz’s unfortunate choice to describe today’s decision:

    “This is going to turn the dial back,” Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz warned on MSNBC. The Democratic party’s national chairwoman added: “Republicans want to do everything they can to have the long hand of government, and now the long hand of business, reach into a woman’s body and make health care decisions for her.”

    Dana (4dbf62)

  36. I swear, the left is constitutionally incapable to be honest.

    JD (95650e)

  37. They want choice, dictated by government, and paid for by business.

    JD (95650e)

  38. God love the clueless and utterly non-eloquent DWS, Dana. At least we can always count on her for a memorable quote and a laugh when she tries to construct a sentence.

    elissa (1f8a0a)

  39. If brains were dynamite she wouldn’t even be able to blow her nose.

    Gazzer (ee7136)

  40. I don’t think [Hillary] is ignorant of the fact that Hobby Lobby’s plan covers 16 different forms of contraception…

    You give her too much credit. I doubt if she knows anything about the case other than headlines.

    Just as I don’t believe Obama was consciously lying when he said ““the temperature around the globe is increasing faster than was predicted, even ten years ago” and “we also know that the climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated five or ten years ago.” He’s another pseudo-informed reciter of talking points.

    Rich Rostrom (8f0bb0)

  41. Just as I don’t believe Obama was consciously lying when he said ““the temperature around the globe is increasing faster than was predicted, even ten years ago” and “we also know that the climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated five or ten years ago.” He’s another pseudo-informed reciter of talking points.

    It’s just that to me, Rich, that’s letting the Obamas and the Hillarys of the world off the hook. It’s akin to saying: oh, they aren’t really left wing activists who are willing to lie and distort reality in order to get their way, they are just misguided idealists who aren’t fully informed of how things actually are in the real world. Maybe in some of my nicer more tolerant days I am willing to give that concept some thought, but my mood today is that these people know damn well what they are doing and they are closely following a playbook which encourages lies and deception in order to make sure that left-wing goals are reached.

    JVW (feb406)

  42. So to introduce this element into our society — look, we’re always going to argue about abortion. It’s a hard choice and it’s controversial and that’s why I’m pro-choice because I want people to make their own choices. And it is very troubling that a salesclerk at Hobby Lobby, who needs contraception, which is pretty expensive, is not going to get that service through her employer’s health care plan because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception.

    I love that Hillary! quote. Leftists just can’t fathom the concept of a sincerely held religious belief. Not that you could expect any Clinton to understand the principle of not being complicit in someone else’s sin. I would be just as grave a sin for a Catholic woman o buy abortifacients for her employees as for her to use them herself.

    Note the projection.

    …because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception.

    Since she can’t grasp he notion of a sincerely held religious belief, she thinks employers go into business for the same reason she went into politics.

    To control the lives of the little people and make them a living hell.

    Steve57 (874187)

  43. This is too good!

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/06/the-funniest-left-wing-reactions-to-hobby-lobby-so-far.php

    …The funniest reactions so far have come from lefties responding to the SCOTUSblog’s Twitter feed. These individuals suffer from the misapprehension that in addressing SCOTUSblog, they are talking to the U.S. Supreme Court…

    Steve57 (874187)

  44. You misspelled “rarefied.”

    Dave (e74f70)

  45. I think Hillary Clinton knows when she is lying, and EXACTLY what the lie is I think Obama only often knows that he does not have a reliable source. That is, when talking about facts. When asserting things about motives etc – things that could not be demonstrated to be lies, anything is possible.

    Sammy Finkelman (b7774f)

  46. Don’t worry, Hillary. Your husband can afford to buy the morning after pill for his girlfriends. To quote Barbara Bush: Poormouth bitch!

    nk (dbc370)

  47. The whole contraceptive mandate issue is eerily similar to the issue of pharmacist’s refusing to hand out morning after pills despite their employer’s wishes, and despite the fact that their employer never agreed to exempt them from handing out morning after pills. Many of these pharmacists wanted to get the law involved, to either prevent their employers from firing them, or to forbid other pharmacies from refusing to hire pharmacists who will not hand out morning after pill.

    Here is the solution:

    If you are a pharmacist and you do not like that your employer requires you to hand out morning after pills, work somewhere else.

    If you are a pharmacist and you do not like the fact that your employer does not provide health coverage that includes contraception, work somewhere else.

    Such an elegant solution; no need to get government involved.

    Michael Ejercito (becea5)

  48. They will be taking care of all you angry old white people in your nursing home.

    You hate white people?

    You are a racist.

    Michael Ejercito (becea5)

  49. Headline” “Millions of women die because their employers do not pay for food.”

    Jim (dc5067)

  50. Headline: “Millions of women go childless because their employers refuse to impregnate them.”

    I mean, if employers have to do EVERYTHING for them….

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  51. Sammy, reading that will just made one dumber and a couple of minutes older.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  52. “Hillary Rodham Clinton is a vile and contemptible woman.”

    Truer words have never been written.

    Steve (3bde88)

  53. Just remember there was a poll recently that showed “Liberals” were more likely to be angered by a family member marrying a born-again Christian than they were if a family member married an avowed atheist. (And the dismay at the atheist was at 24 percent.) Also, they booed Providence in the most recent National Convention. That’s where they stand.

    John Hitchcock (8bea9d)


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