The radical right control of the Supreme Court turned the nation sharply right again today with its two final decisions of the term. Both 5-4 votes they eviscerated more of our rights. In the Hobby Lobby case they determined that closely held companies have the right to impose their extreme religious beliefs on their employees health care coverage. The small, family owned stores decided they didn’t want to comply with the ACA mandate that their health care cover their employees birth control. 99% of all American women use birth control at some point in their lives. Many use it because they could die if they get pregnant. Women have been dying during birth since the dawn of man. It isn’t a matter of choice for these women, it means life or death.
The Supreme Court decided today that their right to life is trumped by their employer’s radical religious agenda. This opens all sorts of slippery slope consequences as Justice Ginsburg pointed out in her dissent. If your employer in such a company doesn’t believe in immunizations, blood transfusions or other common medical practices they now have the right to impose those beliefs on you, their employee. Be very careful if your employer is a Christian Scientist: they don’t believe in medical care for anything. These folks actually allow their children to die of common viruses rather than seek treatment.
Now, when you interview for a job you’d better ask hard questions about your potential employer’s religious beliefs before accepting employment offers. I imagine this decision will make it very hard for such companies to attract and keep good employees. I certainly hope so. The rest of us need to be sure never to transact business with them.
In the second case home health care workers represented by SEIU in Illinois sued because they want to freeload on the system by accepting the negotiated benefits the union gets for them without paying union dues in return. SCOTUS said they don’t. This decision is a significant loss for unions. These workers, who are earning higher wages because SEIU negotiated them now don’t have to pay dues to SEIU in return for this largesse. This makes them freeloaders.
Elections have consequences and who we elect President has a direct effect on our everyday lives due to such radical right wing decisions by five Supreme Court Justices. Chief Justice John Roberts (GW Bush appointee), Samuel Alito (likewise GW Bush), Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and Anthony Thomas have shoved the nation far rights with sweeping decisions the past few years. Worse, the two GW Bush Justices are quite young and could serve for decades. Scalia and Thomas are getting long in the tooth and we have to hope they either die soon or decide to retire. That isn’t likely until, if ever, a Republican gains the Oval Office again. It is imperative to restore balance to the Court before these five drive America into third world status. Or before a populist revolution takes their heads. I’d be very fearful of that latter possibility if I were them or the Koch brothers.