1. First, read the decision, here. When you do, you will be disgusted at the blatant exaggerations and outright misrepresentations by various pundits, advocates, activists and reporters. In the case of the latter, this is incompetence and a breach of duty to the public. In the case of the rest, it is either dishonesty and willful deception, or stupidity. For example, as an exercise, count the number of misrepresentations and misstatements inherent in this tweet, from MSNBC ‘s Cenk Uygur:
“I love that conservatives are now on the record as against contraception. Brilliant move to be against 99% of women!”
I count five, but I could be off by one or two. Is this genuine misunderstanding, or just intentional rabble-rousing? Who can tell, with shameless partisans like Cenk?
2. The opinion did not raise corporations to the status of individuals for religious purposes. The Left refrain ridiculing the legal status of corporations is really and truly pandering to the ignorant, and is a self-indictment of absence of candor and honesty, but in this case, it is just absurd. The kind of corporation that the Hobby Lobby decision refers to is the kind where the corporation is indistinguishable from its owners, and is in fact just a legal mechanism to allow the owners to engage in activities they want to engage in. How do I know? I know because my own company, ProEthics, is such a company. It is owned and run by my wife and I—it is us, and we are it. Its values, aspirations, political opinions and conduct are all ours. This cannot be said of larger companies, which is why the decision doesn’t relate to them at all. I am not agreeing or disagreeing with the opinion itself when I point out that the position of the majority that a family’s values expressed through its closely held company are personal, not corporate values is reasonable and fair. Those who are representing it as extending religious rights to companies generally are lying. Or dim. My guess: when E. J. Dionne wrote this nonsense…
“More than that, the justices continued to press their campaign to create an entirely new legal regime under which corporations enjoy rights never envisioned by our Founders or the generations who followed them.”
…he was intentionally misleading his loyal, addled readers. I might be wrong. He really could be that confused.
3. Sen. Harry Reid, or whoever tweets for him, Washington Post pundit Ruth Marcus and others decided to blame sexism for the decision, which is both slander and ethically incoherent. This is yet another example of people advocating conflicts of interest as preferable to objectivity. Are these critics suggesting that female jurists are incapable of deciding a case without being driven by the bias of their own gender, and “team” loyalty? And that this is a good thing? We want justices making decisions affecting all citizens based on the groups they personally identify with? Do such people understand anything about ethics? “It’s time that five men on the Supreme Court stop deciding what happens to women,” tweeted Reid. Well, we know Harry doesn’t know anything about ethics, but is this really how he thinks justice should operate—only whites deciding issues affecting whites, blacks deciding issues affecting blacks, Catholics deciding issues affecting Catholics, and so on?
4. Dionne again, making an invalid point that I have now seen repeated and used to mock the decision: “The decision, written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., is strange…it barely nodded at settling the factual question of whether birth control methods such as an IUD are abortion-inducing.” Yes. E.J., it ignored that issue because it is not the Supreme Court’s job to decide whether religious beliefs are factual or reasonable. They are religious beliefs. In my opinion, none of them are “factual,” and so what? The issue is whether the state and the law have the power to make those who sincerely believe them act contrary to those beliefs as they understand them.
5. The other fake argument—oh, sure, Dionne likes this one too— that only makes sense if you are biased or not thinking clearly: “Hobby Lobby isn’t just the reflection of its owners’ beliefs and desires, because it is a big company, with many millions in sales.” What difference does it make how much business the family does, if only two people are doing it? Again, if my wife and I by some miracle managed to turn our ethics and consulting business into a multi-billion dollar enterprise, how would that change the fact that we were the business in every way, and that it reflected our desires, interests, beliefs and conduct, and ours alone?
To help you recognize the various hysterical over-reactions to and misrepresentations of the opinions—so you can tell your friends who repeat them back to you why they need to start reading more trustworthy and less partisan sources, go here, here, and here.