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Blame Democrats for the Court that
Birthed the Hobby Lobby Decision

| July 9, 2014

More Catholic than the pope. (Stephen Masker)

More Catholic than the pope. (Stephen Masker)

By Stephen Goldstein

Forget James Carville’s bloviation that “it’s the economy, stupid.” At best, his advice may apply short-term to winning elections.

But if you think, as every American should, about what affects the long-term direction of the country, it’s really the U.S. Senate and the judges, stupid — especially those on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Stephen Goldstein

Stephen Goldstein

Republicans have plotted accordingly, for years. They know that elected officials come and go, even long-time incumbents. The “Supremes” have lifetime appointments –and generally good health. So, the GOP has packed the court with relatively young ultra-conservatives, whose impact will likely be felt for decades.

On the other hand, Democrats appear to have been clueless — and (some even) complicit. Year after year, they approved the radical majority of justices who now make up the “Roberts Court,” even when they knew their extreme agenda.

In 1986, they went along with confirming Antonin Scalia, one of the most conservative ideologues ever to sit on the court (for now 27 years). He received 98 votes, which would have been unanimous but two senators had to be absent.

In 1988, Democrats also jumped on the bandwagon to confirm Anthony Kennedy. An alleged “swing” vote, but too often siding with conservatives, he was approved by 97 senators. Two of the three not present would have voted for him.

In 1991, they could have defeated the nomination of Clarence Thomas, one of the least qualified candidates ever to be proposed. But, by a vote of 52 yeas (including 11 Democrats) to 48 nays, the Senate approved him. Then-Sen. Joe Biden was chair of the Judiciary Committee but chose not to kill the nomination, guaranteeing the Right Wing a reliable vote on the court for nearly 23 years — and counting.

In 2005, Democrats could have killed the nomination of John Roberts as Chief Justice. Instead, he was confirmed by a vote of 78 yeas (including 22 Democrats) to 22 nays — and went on to orchestrate the Citizens United decision, one of the worst in Supreme Court history.

context floridaIn 2006, Democrats could have kept Samuel Alito off the court. Instead, he was confirmed by a vote of 58 to 42, with four Democrats voting for him — and went on to write for the majority in “Hobby Lobby.”

So, blame Democrats for the recent, absurd “Hobby Lobby” decision, which ruled that a for-profit chain of stores is a “person” and its exercise of religion is protected under the Constitution. Now, its female employees will lose insurance coverage for certain types of contraception that the company’s owners consider abortion.

In addition, hold Democrats accountable for a long line of recent radical Supreme Court decisions that activist right-wing justices have handed down — allowing the almost unlimited flood of political campaign contributions (Citizens United), undoing a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, undercutting Affirmative Action in college admissions, eviscerating unions, and generally favoring corporate rights over those of “the people.”

We have met the enemy and it is us — for electing “liberal” sell-outs. The odds are virtually nil that President Barack Obama will have a chance to replace one of the radical right-wing Supreme Court justices.

And, even if he did, it’s highly unlikely Democrats will increase their Senate majority in November so he would have the votes needed to put a progressive on the Court. And, even if he did, they wouldn’t necessarily vote reliably.

So, our misfortune will continue to be the judges and the Senate, stupid! If only it were just the economy.

Stephen L. Goldstein is the author of “The Dictionary of American Political Bullshit” and “Atlas Drugged: Ayn Rand Be Damned.” He lives in Fort Lauderdale.

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16 Responses for “Blame Democrats for the Court that
Birthed the Hobby Lobby Decision”

  1. Tom Jacks says:

    Ha ha ha ha, live with it twerps.

  2. Lin says:

    Mr Goldstein says employees are people but employers are people too
    If employees are to have freedom and choices so then should the employers (Hobby Lobby owners)
    Just trying to insult my intelligence using this argument
    What about the old saying something like my freedom ends where yours begins?
    I’m tired of the blame game
    Doesn’t matter which party
    We should all be upset with the assaults on our freedoms — NSA wire taps, IRS deleted emails, non representative Representatives, VA promises unkept etc etc — and forcing people to pay for devices and drugs their religion doesn’t accept which can be obtained elsewhere.

  3. barbie says:

    Well-stated. There are just as many sell-out Democrats as there are sell-out Republicans–nowhere is this more apparent than the amazingly-bi-partisan bunch sitting on our highest court. Between the two parties, they’re almost evenly represented up there. The Roberts Court has put the screws to just about everyone and everything in the last thirty years, in some form or another–there’s been something to screw us all over, from sea to shining sea.

    Too bad too many people still insist on clinging to their partisan bickering skills, rather than taking time to reach out to your neighbors to come to some sort of consensus on this “big picture” that is starting to emerge in this country. That really has to stop. We’re all in this together and we have to be able to communicate with each other like mature human beings.

  4. Outsider says:

    It’s too bad the American people aren’t taught the Constitution and Bill of Rights in our dumbed-down public schools anymore. If they did, everyone would realize this decision protected the First Amendment rights of the Hobby Lobby owners. They provide coverage for 16 forms of preventive birth control; they won’t cover four that they believe are abortion. The decision protected their right to the free exercise of their religion. The left is spinning it into another war on women argument, and the public educated masses are swallowing it wholesale. There is currently an assault on other rights, including the right to free speech and the right of a free press. The government has established free speech “zones” around certain newsworthy events. Well, the right to free speech, for the most part, isn’t restricted to certain areas. Some people seem to accept this, probably as a result of the free speech zone practices in effect at many universities, usually in an effort to keep some minority from being offended. The government has banned the press from carrying cameras, and from even speaking with workers at the illegal immigrant camps being set up at the borders. They will be provided with approved photos and they may e-mail questions which may be answered later. I would hope that even Flagler Live would find this very alarming, as I am certain Pierre would justifiably cry foul if he was banned from local commission meetings. Wake up people; your rights are being systematically taken away, and you don’t even seem to mind.

    • Lin says:

      I mind
      What do we do about it?

      • Outsider says:

        You vote for constitutional conservatives, who believe in strict adherence to the Constitution. Be prepared for them to be labeled as “extremists,” “racists,” “homophobes” and whatever else they can do to destroy them, and don’t fall victim to their distractions and manipulation of the facts, i.e. protecting guaranteed rights being portrayed as a war on women.

  5. karma says:

    People act as if the employees of Hobby Lobby can not use birth control. The starting salary for a full time employee in their store is $14.00 an hour. The price of a good condom is a little over a dollar each. Woman’s Health says some stores offer a 90 day supply of birth control pills for about 12 dollars.
    Should your employer pay your water bill? Is that not as important to live as birth control, yet no one is screaming about that.(Except Detroit)

  6. ⓖⓔⓔⓩⓔⓡ nepenthe for your mind says:

    I wish that Antonin Scalia and Rick Scott’s parents had
    used effective birth control back in the day.

    Because they were negligent, these two *(decorum prevents me from using the word)

    *common latex prophylactics commonly dispensed in square foil packs,
    sometimes procured from vending machines in roadhouse rest rooms.

  7. A.S.F. says:

    Ah, yes, Karma, that “Detroit” reference really gives you away. It’s really not about common sense or what form of birth control one chooses to use, is it now? To people like you, it is about Obama and Liberals and the weird way you think that dictating YOUR morals to other people makes YOU a somehow more moral person. To other people, it is about choice itself and the right for women to make their own life decisions without prejudice ,,,as opposed to her employer being able to control those decisions, TO ANY DEGREE, based on their subjective religious or personal preferences.

  8. Sandra Reynolds says:

    If I’m not mistaken Hobby Lobby is not providing birth control, just the insurance that pays for it. Their reasoning makes sense to me but what will stop them or any corporation from denying other benefits they deem against their religion or moral views?

  9. A.S.F. says:

    Karma–It is YOU who brought “Detroit” into this discussion–for absolutely no credible reason at all since it has nothing to do with this topic…except that it is a “buzzword” that Conservatives, especially of the Tea Party, FOX news watching ilk, like to throw out like political chum completely at random. There is no point to it, except to say: “I don’t like Obama and I blame all the ills of the world on him–just look at what’s happening in DETROIT.”

  10. A.S.F. says:

    I don’t see Hobby Lobby boycotting the majority suppliers of the products they sell–who happen to be the world’s largest manufacturers and purveyors of the drugs and devices they feel are so objectionable. Hypocrites! .I guess the almighty dollar can cause a convenient form of “conscience amnesia.”

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