Hobby Lobby and Stupidity, as the Supreme Court Session Nears its End

As the 2014 session of the United States Supreme Court is about to come to a close, three things seem abundantly clear:

  1. The decision in the most important, far reaching case of the year, Burwell v Hobby Lobby, will not be released until the final day of the session, as will the decision in another extremely important case, Harris v Quinn;
  2. The Court has let its decisions be dominated by politics and religion as never before, to the detriment of the US Constitution and the good of the country and of its’ people; and
  3. The intelligence level of the current makeup of the court is likely at an all-time low.


Taking these issues in the reverse order:

Time was, that the US Supreme Court included the likes of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louis Brandeis and William Brennan, great intellects who stepped up to write some of the most important and oft-cited decisions in the history of the Court. TIme was, that the US Supreme Court included the likes of John Marshall, Earl Warren, Thurgood Marshall, and William O. Douglas, who were unafraid

of rattling the status quo and the very fibers of society, with monumental decisions that would change the course of history in order to do what is right, to uphold and interpret the Constitution for a changing society, rather than adhering to principles that ceased to be relevant, or sometimes even exist, for generations. There has not been a true intellect on the Court since the retirement of John Paul Stevens, and those on the Court called intellects today are so considered for purely political reasons.

On the left, Stephen Breyer is often considered the most

intelligent, but that is a great stretch, and he is no Stevens, no Brennan, and certainly no Brandeis. On the right, the whole issue of intellect is a joke. The court now includes possibly the two most intellectually hobbled justices ever to sit on the court in Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, and two justices who are given far more credit than is warranted. Chief Justice John Roberts is at best an average intellect, who first burst upon the public scene with a less than stellar performance in his confirmation hearings. And then there is Antonin Scalia.

Scalia has the totally undeserved reputation of being an intellect, a reputation based purely on his ultra conservative and religious based beliefs and the desire for the people he plays to, to have a certifiable hero who is not a dimwit. The best description ever written about Scalia comes from msopine, writing in DailyKos.com two and a half years ago:

“When I look at Justice Scalia, I see a man who appears to be intellectually incurious, congenitally close-minded and far more driven by his religious beliefs and conservative precepts than faithful adherence to the tenets of the Constitution he is supposed to be interpreting…

“I’ve seen articles about Justice Scalia where the authors describe him as complex and defying simple characterizations. He wishes! He may be bombastic, colorful, and cranky but there is nothing complex or hard to define about a man whose every vote you can predict with the precise accuracy of a Swiss timepiece. The only complicated thoughts that I see in Justice Scalia’s decisions can be found in the way he manages to twist logic and the law to fit his preconceived opinions and ideas.”

Of the several other important decisions left to the last few days of the session, anticipated decisions have come forth, powered not by intellectual thought, reasoning, or insight, but rather purely by political and religious fervor. Thus, in the case of McCullen v. Coakley the Court ruled a 35-foot buffer zone between sometimes violent
anti-pro-choice protesters and entrances to medical clinics was a violation of free speech, and in the case of NLRB v Canning, the Court nullified a Constitutionally-mandated procedure used by Presidents since George Washington, and used most extensively in the past by presidents named reagan and bush, for the sole reason that the procedure has on occasion been used by the black, muslim socialist African who is currently illegally occupying the office of President.

Of course, the Supreme Court has no problem maintaining its own “buffer zone”, considerably larger than a mere 35 feet, in which no protestors may interrupt the solemnity or peace of a passing justice.

The case of Harris v Quinn presents another issue where the intellectually-challenged and politically-controlled Court will most likely issue a life-changing ruling that will say that unions cannot require non-members to pay a stipend to the union for the benefits they receive by virtue of union actions, such as collective bargaining negotiations and agreements that result in higher wages and increased benefits for all employees.

In the Burwell v Hobby Lobby the result is, however, not that clear. As the Court readies its opinion, and as workers hurry to complete construction of the new monstrosity that will soon be the West Covina, CA hobby lobby store, a political and religion-based decision will have far-reaching ramifications, forever changing the nature of corporations, businesses, and religion in the United States, along with the rights of patients to receive counseling and care from their private physicians.

Hobby Lobby West Covina

Hobby Lobby West Covina

The ruling in the Burwell v Hobby Lobby case will extend far beyond the issue of hobby lobby employees having access to contraception paid for by an Affordable Care Act mandated employee health insurance policy. Should the Court decide in hobby lobby’s favor, it will establish the absolute right of a legal fiction such as a corporation or other business entity to have its own religion and the further right of it to require its employees to follow the tenants of that religion when it comes to their personal medical care. But it also extends to employers the right to monitor private, personal, privileged conversations between patients and doctors, as no such conversation can include a discussion of contraception under the rules hobby lobby is seeking. And, the control that employers will have to tell employees what medical care they can and cannot have would be unlimited – businesses that subscribe to the beliefs of Christian Scientists, Seventh Day Adventists, and other such ultra-orthodox beliefs can say no health coverage for blood transfusions, insulin, surgery of any type or kind, and other modern medical procedures that do not fall into their accepted belief systems.

Will the most conservative Supreme Court in the history of our nation be so brazen to make such a ruling? We should know on Monday.

About theHoundDawg

For many years as a lawyer, I saw much of the good and bad of society, and did what I could to right many wrongs. The lack of understanding of what is good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust, as evidenced by such events as the election of King W as president, (who as such far surpassed the evil of richard nixon but not quite that of ronald reagan) lead me in a new direction, to spend my time trying to understand what is happening to our society, to try as best I can to spread my insights to others, and along the way to maybe even eke out a living through the internet.
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