Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hobby Lobby

The Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case is yet one more case that the Supreme Court has decided that remains controversial.  Whose rights are we to protect anyhow?  Are we going to protect the "religious rights" of owners of a corporation, their rights to refuse to allow some health-care coverage to their own employees, even if they do not have to pay for it?  Or ought we to fight for the protection of the rights of the many more American citizens who work for them, who do not share the religious biases of their employers?  Whose freedom is it anyway?  The Roberts court affirms that the freedom they will protect is the freedom of the employers.  The Roberts Court has a long and consistent history of imagining that corporations have Constitutional Rights.  <Sigh>

But here is something that I believe is incontrovertible, uncontroversial.  The Supreme Court – the Roberts Court, the Kennedy Court, the Scalia Court, whoEVER owns this court – is suffering from a loss of respect from the American people.  Yes, I know all about all those 9-0 decisions (and their oftentimes angry "concurrent opinions"), but most of the “important” decisions seem to be decided by one justice named Anthony Kennedy, everyone else voting “predictably.”  The people are right when they think that the Supreme Court is putting political ideology above justice.

And when that so-called political "ideology" maintains that corporations have protected Constitutional Rights, on a par with you and me having protected Constitutional Rights, that ideology is stupid, it is wrong and it is evil.

Addendum: Thursday, 08/13/2015
You can tell that I didn't like that SCOTUS decision, can't you?  It was a decision that was based on an understanding that corporations are persons under the Constitution and thereby entitled to Constitutional Rights, a proposition that I abhor with all my might and that underlies all my work, my book and my blog.  If you are unfamiliar with my argument, or need convincing, read my book, To My Countrymen.  Or look at my Corporate ... What? blog post.  Here are two other more technical responses to check out, Property v. Liberty: The Supreme Court’s Radical Break with Its Historical Treatment of Corporations and Getting the History Right: Tracking the real history of corporate rights in American constitutional thought.