On election night, 2004 I said that a woman’s right to choose, that the balance of the Supreme Court hung on the results of the election. This rabidly conservative Supreme court has voted to give corporations the first amendment right of free speech and opening the door to unlimited “dark” campaign money in the Citizen’s United ruling. Now the court has ruled that small, “closely held” corporations have the right to freedom of religion, again under the first amendment. Except the ruling ignores that fact that – despite what Mitt says – corporations are not people. They are an artifice created to shelter the owners from direct liability. It also ignores the carefully crafted “closely held corporation” has been estimated to apply to 90% of all businesses in the US and affects some 51% of all US citizens – well, 25.5% if you discount the (old white) men. And it ignores the fact that Koch industries, run by two extremely wealthy old white guys might be considered a “small, closely held corporation”. Do we really believe that billion dollar businesses are “small”?
Will we next be hearing that women can be discriminated in these same businesses if women are to be considered chattel according to the religions of these same corporations? After all freedom of religion is the first amendment, well before that pesky one that gives women the right to vote, and the one that requires all peoples to be treated equally.
I wrote in 2004,
The makeup of the Supreme Court hangs in the balance tonight.
The pendulum has swung. We are reaping what Bush has sown. While there are some tides that will likely never again turn, the legalization of same sex marriage and medicinal and even recreational use of marijuana, the relentless onslaught of old white men on reproductive rights marches on.
For a more eloquent take, please read Why The Hobby Lobby Decision Actually Hurts People Of Faith