Web Extra: Is the Supreme Court Out of Order?

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This week Bill spoke with Linda Greenhouse, a New York Times columnist and Dahlia Lithwick, a senior editor at Slate, about the latest rulings from the Supreme Court, a beat they’ve both covered for years. They were having such a great discussion — and there was so much ground to cover — that we kept the cameras rolling after the broadcast was finished. We’ve cued up the video so it starts where the broadcast left off, or you can watch the entire interview from the beginning.


BILL MOYERS: My conversation with Linda Greenhouse and Dahlia LIthwick continues.

DAHLIA LITHWICK: I think it's fair to say that when we talk about the Roberts court what we often miss is that the single most consequential change at the Roberts court was not the substitution of John Roberts for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. It was the substitution of Sam Alito for Sandra Day O'Connor.


DAHLIA LITHWICK: That in almost every area of doctrine where she really staked out a moderate middle position, a middle position by the way that drove people on both sides of the aisle insane because it was often pragmatic and it was often kind of a balancing test. And she was very, very careful to decide cases for this one issue only and to try to not let it bleed out into the rest of doctrine.

But in every issue that we looked at this year, abortion, church-state, campaign finance, every one of these blockbuster issues, what held sway was O'Connor's test. And when O'Connor left the court and Sam Alito came onto the court, in every one of those issues that test is gone. And the test, the new test, that Sam Alito has been a proponent of, has been dramatically to the right of that center place.

So I think we often make the mistake of thinking that John Roberts was really the decisive change at the court. The decisive change was that O'Connor, love her or hate her, was truly a centrist pragmatist. And when she was replaced by Samuel Alito, that center fell out.

LINDA GREENHOUSE: So I think Town of Greece and Sandra O'Connor is a very good example of this. So what Sandra O'Connor stood for in the establishment clause area was what came to be known as the endorsement test. That is to say that the government should not put people in the position of feeling like outsiders in the general community by elevating some specific religious practice and assuming that everybody goes along with that.

So what Town of Greece tells us, or reminds us, this probably happened already, but it makes it very clear that the endorsement test is gone. And has been replaced by something that the conservatives on the court have been advocating for a long time which is the coercion test which says, and Justice Kennedy in his majority opinion in Town of Greece says this quite explicitly, look, nobody's coercing anybody. If they don't like the prayer, they don't have to come. They don't have to listen. They certainly don't have to pray along.

So as long as there's no coercion, it's okay. And that's a major change. The court has never actually disavowed any of its precedents in the establishment clause area. It's just kind of quietly morphed the one into the other. And we now see what we have.

BILL MOYERS: Can you anticipate where that takes us?

LINDA GREENHOUSE: Well, of course, you know, we were talking about abortion. So one question is what's left of Roe against Wade as interpreted by the Supreme Court in 1992 in Planned Parenthood against Casey where the court went right up to the edge of the precipice of overturning Roe and held back, you know. Will there ever be a time when five members of the court say, "We hereby declare that Roe v. Wade is overruled"? I don't know.

You know, will it matter if they enable all kinds of regulation that forces abortion providers to close their clinics and puts all kinds of obstacles, you know. The judges on the fifth circuit issued an opinion this year rejecting a challenge to the admitting privileges law in Texas saying, yeah, it's true that women in the Rio Grande Valley where there will now be no abortion providers have to drive 150 miles to Corpus Christi, but you know, I mean, that's okay for women that probably don't have cars or, you know, may have immigration problems that make them very fearful of getting on the road or whatever--

DAHLIA LITHWICK: Or a day off work--

LINDA GREENHOUSE: A day off work--

DAHLIA LITHWICK: --to do it.

LINDA GREENHOUSE: Or you know, that's okay. So you know, you have to wonder what's left of a hollowed out precedent once the court is finished hollowing.

DAHLIA LITHWICK: And I think it's so important to understand in these religious liberty cases, these cases don't arise in a vacuum. So I think it's always really telling that the day after Hobby Lobby there's a rash of companies coming forward saying, "We object to all 20 forms of birth control, they're all abortifacients."

After the Town of Greece decision that Linda's describing, immediately there are towns in Virginia that say, "From here on in no Muslim will solemnize a prayer before our town council, no Wiccan, no scientologist." So these cases don't simply happen and then because the court says it stops here, that it's stops there.

This is part of an enormous litigation strategy that is a long game that is going to take years. But it seems to me that the idea that this stops here is belied by the fact that the very next day there is a legal movement of people who say, "This is a Christian country and we want to have Christian prayer before our town council meetings." And the fact that they implement policies that are now in their view blessed by the Supreme-- blessed so to speak by the Supreme Court, suggests to me that you cannot look at these cases and say they stop here.

I mean, your question to Linda, what's the next case? I think the next case really is a series of cases. And Justice Scalia was very angry by the way that the court didn't take another prayer case that came after Town of Greece. Because in his view Town of Greece changed doctrine even when it said it didn't. And in his view that opens the door for a whole host of other cases.

So it seems to me, I think you can't look the these cases as ending the day they came down and ending the day the press coverage stops. They don't end if the next day there's a legislative action, or in the Supreme Court case an emergency stay granted suggesting that it's only the beginning.

BILL MOYERS: There's a bill in the Kansas legislature that makes it permissible to discriminate against gays. That's part of this long game?

DAHLIA LITHWICK: Well, I mean, if you look at already right after Hobby Lobby there was a huge movement to get President Obama to write an exemption into his executive order that was going to afford all sorts of new protections to any federal contractors in same sex relationships. And already you saw, emboldened by Hobby Lobby, a group, by the way a bipartisan group, saying we need an exemption because this offends our religious faith as much as the contraception mandate does.

So it's all of a piece. And I think it's just extremely dangerous to look at these as atomized siloed cases. They are really a part of a movement that says that this is a country that has been oppressing religious individuals, religious businesses for decades and that until we eradicate the wall between church and state and empower not just religious individuals but religious businesses to fully exercise and fully realize their religious convictions, I think that is the end game. And it's, I think, it's folly to not see it.

LINDA GREENHOUSE: And it's really interesting, I mean, these are, you know, basically majority groups that are cloaking themselves in the mantle of victimhood. You know, the oppressed, the religiously oppressed when, you know, it's the majority religion in the country.

BILL MOYERS: And it's been steady and consistent and this court, as you said earlier, has been siding with business in its resistance to regulations for-- consistently. You think that's part of the long game?

DAHLIA LITHWICK: I think it's part of the long game. I think in a deep way, you know, we like to carbon date this to the Powell memo of 1971. Where suddenly it was in the interest of big business in America to use the courts and to use think tanks and the machinery that we're now really seeing working at full tilt; the machinery of advocacy and really scholarly work behind an agenda that I think is very pro-business.

I think one of the great ironies of Hobby Lobby is the US Chamber of Commerce didn't sign on, wasn't sure how they felt about the notion of piercing the corporate veil, as we say, of saying that a corporation is one in the same as its owners. Because I think there's a real peril, if you think about the idea, that we create corporations in order to protect the owners, in order to completely sever the relationship for liability purposes.

I think that there are members of the pro-business lobby who are very anxious about the idea of conflating the two and saying a corporation and its owners are one in the same. I think that really raises questions. And so Hobby Lobby is not, I think, an all-out win for big business in America. I think it's a very complicated case. Because it does raise this question of where the corporation ends and the owners begin.

BILL MOYERS: You wrote recently that this is the most polarized court ever on these five-four decisions. But is that any different from the way Congress is polarized, or the country is polarized?

DAHLIA LITHWICK: I don't think so. I mean, I think, you know, Adam Liptak, at The Times," Linda's successor, has done really interesting work, showing how polarized this court is. And I would add the valiance of it's not simply politically polarized. It's experientially polarized. You--

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean?

DAHLIA LITHWICK: Some of the justices are very proud of the fact that they get all their news from AM radio. Some of the justices are very proud of the fact that they don't read any newspaper of record. They-- some of the justices are proud of the fact that they only speak to audiences who agree with them.

More and more the justices only hire clerks who agree with them. Gone is the era where justices would reach across the aisle and try to find clerks who would challenge them. So this court is as polarized in terms of who they interact with, who they see, who they confer with-- I think, that we have ever seen in history.

And I think that when Linda talks about empathy, and she wrote a really nice column about the cell phone case, and how the justices understood cell phones, and they could relate to the idea that it needs Fourth Amendment protections, I think if you really think of the justices as almost disappearing into bubbles of right and left, and you know, the philosophers call this epistemic closure, right, the idea that you need encounter an idea that doesn't affirm your own ideas.

I think the court is as polarized as Congress. And I think the accidental brushing up against experiences that are different from yours happens less and less at the court. And I think the best evidence I have of that is these dissents, where Sotomayor writes you have no idea what is to be Hispanic.

Or where Justice Kagan and the Town of Greece writes, you have no idea what it is to sit through a city council meeting where everybody is praying to a God that isn't your God. I think that these dissents are a pretty good indicator of how the court really doesn't even see each other and see the experience not only of one another, but of the rest of us.

LINDA GREENHOUSE: You know, it's interesting, when Thurgood Marshall retired, Sandra Day O'Conner wrote a little essay in his honor that was published in the Stanford Law Review,” Dahlia's alma mater, in which she said that Justice Marshall's experience as delivered to his fellow justices around the conference table, by his telling stories from his amazing life and career, had changed the way she saw the world.

And this was really interesting because she had come to the court as quite conservative, politician from Arizona, very skeptical of affirmative action, of any racial claims. And she ends up writing close to the end of her tenure, in 2003, the University of Michigan affirmative action case, the Grutter case that upheld the constitutionality of affirmative action in university admissions.

And so, you know, she obviously was on a journey through her tenure on the court that she says herself was informed by being exposed to Thurgood Marshall. And so just picking up on what Dahlia said, you wonder if there's that kind of fruitful exchange going on right now in the court.

BILL MOYERS: You've been heard to say it's not whether the court is polarized or not. But whether they are doing the right thing for the country. Don't you think they think they are?

LINDA GREENHOUSE: Oh, I do think they are.


LINDA GREENHOUSE: I mean, I do think that they think they are. You know, and sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. But what I meant by that column that I wrote a few weeks ago was I thought this sort of trope of, oh my gosh, look how polarized the court is, was sort of missing point.

Because if we were just saying a few minutes ago, of course the court is polarized. Our politics are polarized. And who gets on the court is a function of politics and so on. So, you know, like, we're shocked that there's polarization going on here in Washington. No. I thought that that emphasis on polarization had displaced what I think is the main chance, which is what is it that the court's doing and what do we think about what they're doing?

Whether it's by five to four or nine to nothing. I mean, that's interesting. But that's not the main event. The main event is where the rubber meets the road and how are they construing the Constitution and our statutory. The laws that we live by.

BILL MOYERS: Where are they taking us?

DAHLIA LITHWICK: I think that they are taking us to a sort of gradual dismantling of the Warren court era. Deep care and concern for minorities, as we construe minorities. You know, race, the elderly, the poor. And I think that one has to if one doesn't believe this, I don't know where to put it, but I think that if you believe that the court is the one counter-majoritarian check, and that it exists to say when majorities get out of control-- "Wait, stop, where is the little guy in this scenario?"

I think, where it was once understood that the little guy was the African American who was burdened at the polls, or the little guy was Lilly Ledbetter who was being paid significantly less than her colleagues and never do knew it. I think that simply the definition of who is the little guy has changed.

And strangely, as Linda says religious majorities that command huge resources and power are reconfigured as the little guy. And corporations, amazingly, you know, multibillionaires who want to give unlimited contributions are the little guy.

And so it seems to me that, you know, in a deep way, we'll-- I find it interesting that Linda and I keep circling back to the language of empathy. As you'll recall, that was the explosive term during the Sonia Sotomayor hearings. But I think that the court has really a curious empathy for little guys that probably none of us at this table think need an extra hand from the court.

BILL MOYERS: Corporations?

DAHLIA LITHWICK: I just don't think corporations are the little guy. And the notion that they can be reconfigured to look as though they are burdened beyond repair when they can't contribute without limits to elections, I think is really the end game here. And it's fascinating to me. And I think, you know, perhaps what's most fascinating is that we don't realize that that's happened.

BILL MOYERS: Linda Greenhouse and Dahlia Lithwick, thank you for being with me.

LINDA GREENHOUSE: Thank you for having us.

DAHLIA LITHWICK: Thank you, it was great.

Learn more about the production team behind Moyers & Company.

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  • Anonymous

    Some of the decisions made by this Supreme Court need to alert the citizens to dangers of another member being appointed by any Republican president. Can you imagine what more damage they could do to our democracy and to women’s rights?

  • Jebby

    At this point, they don’t need another reactionary (to call them conservative is utter nonsense), the five they have most of the time is just fine with 5 to 4 results. Of course this is making the idea of another Republican president with a Republican Senate absolutely the thing we must avoid at all costs. What’s left of the Bill of Rights and the rule of law would be shattered as soon as they could arrange it and we would truly become an plutocratic Empire. A reactionary on the court must be replaced by a liberal or a moderate and soon. The decisions concerning corporate power, religion, and reproductive issues over the last two years are the most blatant judicial moves imaginable that have brushed aside the powers of the Legislative and Executive branches in order to serve an reactionary agenda that would never get thru Congress or past a Presidential veto. They want to remake America the way it was before the Progressive era that began over 100 years ago vis-a-vis the relationship of capital to labor, while at the same time blasting holes in the religious Establishment wall by giving Judicial recognition for the first time that the US is a sort of un-official Christian nation. Women, racial, sexual and religious minorities–the principle beneficiaries of the gradual recognition of full citizenship over the last century or more will simply have to lump it. “Get back in the kitchen, back of the bus, back in the closet and keep your fake gods out of sight” is the unmistakable message. Ms. Lithwick mis-states the Court’s move as oddly treating the rich and powerful corporations and largest religious groups as the “little guy” that needs protection. By definition that is nonsense. The truth is they have turned the purpose of the Court on it’s head and now are the promoter of the will of the rich and powerful and what they have decided is the majority. Considering that (I have reason to believe) the majority of the public does not agree with these rulings, or the course they are clearly taking–many of us strenuously, the Court has knowingly set the stage for a possibly violent confrontation. We will not go back!

  • HopeWFaith

    Bill and Team,
    This is a very important conversation for you to have for our view. Thank you so much for the continuing acknowledgement of this enormous topic, one that impacts the whole of our nation, our futures, our rights. Very important and so well done, on this show.

  • Anonymous

    And you seriously think that a Dem majority in Congress and a Dem Pres will keep this from happening?

    I think folks tend to forget that all these Justices were approved with the “advice and consent” of Dems in the Senate ….

  • Anonymous

    All they need is 5 to 4 – that won’t change until one if the 5 leaves ….

  • Anonymous

    Very well said, I have noticed that many of the individuals that have been assigned to exclusively cover the day-to-day activities and rulings of the Supreme Court by various news outlets are women, usually with law degrees that have indoctrinated them to aggressively support an authoritarian system with a single central authority that has unquestionable final word. I have no doubt that these ladies have a heightened level of intelligence but I’ve never heard any of them refute a final decision though their editors may not permit that exercise in what passes for journalism today. Nothing but praise for all members of the court whose only real qualification for this lofty position was a political philosophy that was favored by a co-partisan president and Congress. Considering the fact that most of us live our lives unencumbered by the restraints of a law degree that establishes bodies such as these as the unchallenged final word, we take exception to any group of imperfect human beings being given a lifetime appointment and the ultimate word on every issue in a Democratic system of government. in large part, that’s why recent Congress’s have remained virtually inactive passing little to no meaningful legislation that could come back to bite them at election time. Better to let the Supreme Court, whose names never appear on a ballot, force unpopular partisan decisions down on all of us !

  • Anonymous

    Bill has 2 women discussing liberal issues but the Hobby Lobby case was very narrowly decided., yet these 2 women made it sound like women have lost all their female rights. After reading the following posts you seem to have a majority following of liberals or might it be that is all you seem to have on your program lately..Fair & Balance is hard to find in the media but one should be able to look to PBS to be an objective viewpoint. But you are appealing to the liberal base…but this should appeal to the overall public. Will I be censored for making this type of post??? We will see…

  • Anonymous

    The comedian Bill Maher remarked about the 5 justices that supported Hobby Lobby just happened to be Catholics. That most probably affected their votes interfering with birth control.
    P.S. Maybe more birth control ought to be practices in Central America were an overflow of their young people are trying to reach the U.S.

  • Anonymous

    We are so accustomed to seeing balanced presentations that appear to make each side somewhat worthy. News needs to be a bit more open to the weight of the arguments. Giving equal time and seriousness to the debate between one advocate for Santa Claus and the one that says he isn’t real may sway some of the listeners towards an untruth.

  • Anonymous

    Yes I would agree but it appears Santa is getting more equal time.. but I’ll still not be convinced.

  • wayne

    the BIG issues abortion overthrow attempts, anti gay rights are being used as levers to collect donations for the cause. it is a money making scam. its not the words of the PROPHETS.. its the words of the PROFITS that are being spoken. want proof. look at who put all the anti gay marriage issues on the ballots in many states. this way they can collect support from the flocks of followers.

  • Jebby

    Ahhh, not so much. Alito got only 4 (probably blue dog) Dems to vote for him, in a 52 to 48 vote, so they did provide the margin (this is why we need real Dems in office). Dems split evenly on Roberts (22 yea, 22 nay). Both of them clearly lied under oath in their testimony, which I believe is grounds to impeach.

  • Chris Jonsson

    The Supreme Court is our nut to crack. “Oliver Twist’s” world is with us going into the future with very little hope for change as far as the court is concerned. George W. Bush, you are dead to me. Roberts and Alito are lowering the humanitarian bar. Your dad’s appointee, Clarence Thomas is mentally and ethically challenged to put it nicely. Beware the future Bush.

  • Anonymous

    That was a great discussion. I’m so sick of talking heads pretending that these 5 SCOTUS injustices have not jumped the shark.

  • Anonymous

    If one of those 5 injustices doesn’t retire or expire soon, I don’t think we will have anything but Republicans running the country, hard right Republicans.

  • Anonymous

    I agree but i think you misinterpreted Ms. Lithwicks statement that corporations and christianity is the US have become the little guys. Obviously that’s the opposite of the truth. She was being politely sarcastic.

  • Anonymous

    Good point. No one ever says, “These five injustices are batshit crazy”. But I have not seen anyone on the toobz, the net or the paper media come as close to saying it as those two ladies.

  • Anonymous

    I think if we have a Dem majority in the house we can impeach a couple of the 5 injustices. But of course, there are small “d” Democrats and big “D” Democrats. We must elect the latter.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, and my senator, Dianne Feinstein, let Alito out of the senate judicial committee. She could have stopped Alito, a throwback to the Spanish Inquisiton, from ever becoming a SCOTUS justice.

  • Anonymous

    “Real Dems” – like O and Hill, e.g.?

  • Anonymous

    There was a Dem majority in both houses for 2 years after O was elected – and what, pray tell, did they do with that? And don’t bother to bring up the filibuster bit – Reid could have changed the Sen rules right from the get go to deal with that … They had a chance to do a lot of stuff and didn’t …..

    Time to elect 3rd parties ….

  • Anonymous

    So where is the move to impeach? Even if they decide it won’t pass, nobody even raises the issue …..

  • Charles Shaver

    One need only refer to the Preamble and Article VI (2, 3) of the U.S. Constitution to determine if a law, treaty or precedent is constitutional or not. Is (or was) it “…in Order to…” and does or did it “…form a more perfect Union…establish Justice…insure domestic Tranquility…provide for the common defence…promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty…” to “We the People of the United States…and our Posterity…” and was (or is) it “…in Pursuance thereof…and…under the authority of…We the People of the United States…” with “…no religious Test…required?”

    Effectively, it is so simple that a list of about a dozen specific items could be created that each SCOTUS Justice would only check them off (with some notation, perhaps) as arguments pro and con were presented, and upon later reflection. As for the Bill of Rights and other Amendments; additional clarification. However, based upon recent Supreme Court Decisions in the news it begs at least two questions: can all of the Justices read plain English and do they all perceive more than just corporations, heads of Church and State and millionaires and billionaires as being ‘people?’

  • Harold Doherty

    Birth Control that has the possibility to terminate a life is very very different than preventive birth control. Why is that? It’s simple really if you believe in a God and that when you procreate , unlike animals who act out of instinct, you are sharing in the gift of bringing fourth a part of God’s creation yu can understsnd why abuse of this “gift” is considered sin. It is not a definition of the medical establishment that counts as stated by Linda. It is a religious belief. This is something she doesn’t seem to really grasp or address. Sin is living apart from God and religious people will not accept that. The court understands that. These ladies do not. Moyers did not challenge any of this . No one in the interview stated that all forms of birth control are still legal and can be obtained by Hobby Lobby personnel. They just have to pay for four that terminate life in the eyes of their religion. With an interview like this with nobody from the right of their position, can religious persecution be far behind.

  • Chris Jonsson

    How fair and balanced is the Supreme Court today? The left deserves to be heard too and it’s not being heard by SCOTUS. This court is marching back rights that took 50+ years to gain. Do you blame us for being a little disappointed?

  • Jebby

    Well, O didn’t appoint an Alito or a Roberts and I don’t think Hill would either, though neither of them have consistently acted as I think real Dems should. I much prefer a Dean, Sanders, Warren, Grayson, Merkley, etc. variety:”real” Dems to me. Can’t think of a single Repub. I’d trust as dog catcher. Isn’t that the bigger point?

  • Jebby

    Most Dems always–at least up till now–give the benefit of the doubt when it comes to Republican motivations and purpose. How long has Obama implored the Repubs to work with him when it was clear to the casual observer they have no intention to cooperate, even as he under-cut his own policies to “compromise.” Feinstein, Obama, Hilary and other so-called “centrists” are fools to continue down this road. Perhaps it’s because Dems traditionally want the government to work and believe in the commonweal, whereas most Repubs view government as a hinderance to economic domination of the 1%, and a society where “people know their place” in a White patriarchy. We see now that they don’t really need to win elections for the immediate future (even with all their help to slant elections in favor of the right-wing) because they have for the foreseeable future a majority on the Court that is willing to grant those interests official government recognition and wipe out a century or more of progress. Who knows where they will stop? Who will stop them?

  • Jebby

    It would be made to appear too “partisan” and raises the question, “why didn’t you impeach them before if you knew they lied in their confirmation hearings?” Perhaps this is why the Repubs. have (lamely) floated the “Impeach Obama” idea as a move to neutralize a more justified impeachment of some of the Five? Besides, impeachment of presidents and Supreme Court justices must originate in the House. Maybe the better way forward is to use the Court’s outrageous rulings as a campaign to take back the House, increase the Dem majority in the Senate, while also getting serious about overturning CU and HL by Constitutional Amendment, which has already passed in several states, I believe.

  • Jebby

    With all due respect, what you don’t understand is that the government in a pluralist society should not consider what a “sin” is or is not to a particular religion and they certainly should not grant exemptions to laws based on objections. It would make civil government pointless. Recognizing religious beliefs and empowering them over other people is not the business of government and the Founders knew that. Remember they lived only a century or so away from the wars of religion which decimated Europe–and those were wars between factions of Christianity? You really want the US to look like the Middle East? Do you want another civil war? It’s actually quite simple to grasp: 1. Your beliefs stop at the point that they force me to abide by them in public life. 2. Corporations are not people.

  • Mike Nelson

    The problem I see with the court, like what was brought up in the show was the Right choose judges with a right leaning. What they did not bring up that the left does the same. So most cases outcome can be determined by the media before they are even heard. I think the judges should be reconfirmed every 10 years or better yet voted by the people of the United States for a 10 year term. Allowing the President and Congress appoint until an election.

  • Feminist Wear Stilletos

    SUBJECT: What is the history of American Obstructionism?


    Thank you for your coverage of “Is the Supreme Court Out of Order?” I see the Robert’s Court as essentially a “stamping” function of the Republican-Party-Syndicate.

    Being that Congress is constantly at a stalemate and unable to outmaneuver the Robert’s Court; how is it that Congress got at that stalemate in the first place?
    According to Wikipedia, Obstructionism is ‘the practice of deliberately delaying or preventing a process or change, especially in politics.’

    That being said, what is the history of Obstructionism in American politics?
    Currently, is Speaker Boehner blocking-the-vote on pending legislation? Immigration? Medicare-For-All? Full-Employment?

    Also, I heard that Speaker Boehner alone has the power to keep Congress from even holding a vote. Is this true? What are other obstructionism-tactics used to routinely stop Congress?

    Thank you,

  • Anonymous

    Some right to lifers may call it personhood I call the fertilized egg, zygote, human life and and as such sacred

  • Anonymous

    That is the reasoning and issue.

  • Anonymous

    Corporations are will never be people and money will never be speech. What a travesty of our inalienable rights!

  • Anonymous

    All those folks would get Kuciniched if they ever really threatened TPTB – they have tethered themselves to a corp controlled party….. O looked like a “real Dem”, too, didn’t he, not so long ago …. That party is moribund – time to cut the tether and look elsewhere …

    Stein would be a much better choice

  • Anonymous

    Again – the Dems had 2 years in control of Congress and the Pres – more than enough time to do all that stuff – and they didn’t – why? Because they didn’t want to – they are not the party of FDR and haven’t been for some time ….

    Why increase the Dem majority – they blew it when they had it – they could have been way down the road toward a Con. Amend by now – they are in no hurry – this set up suits the duopoly just fine – It assures their hegemony and helps keep 3rd parties out.

  • Anonymous

    Yes I understand as many of us were not pleased with ROE Vs Wade outcome but we live with it. This last case on Hobby Lobby was not a major issue.. Our ladies can still acquire the 4 of the 20 items banded from the corner drug store.. The right to go to the corner drug store was not taken away.. The court works its best from a contitutional basis even tho we may disagree. Many, many of us feel finding the ACA as a tax was a big disappointment & polls still show the majority do not favor the ACA bill. .. The swing vote.. a supposedly conservative judge… Roberts. Do you blame us also for being disappointed.. The left & right need to be heard… but the constitution needs to be upheld first & foremost. Our system is not perfect but its the best one I’ve seen in the world .

  • Chris Jonsson

    Republicans Who Signed Up For Obamacare This Year Are Pretty Happy
    As someone who has been uninsurable since 1998, I welcomed the ACA. It provides some security in case of catastrophic illness or accident, although it is extremely expensive. Insurance and drug companies did an end run on the public with this gig.
    As far as Roe v. Wade goes, put yourself in the place of a woman, if you can, and understand what a relief it was to have that law passed. Women are entitled to make their own health decisions with the advice of their doctors and will not have to go to questionable back alley butchers for relief. I’m sorry you were upset about that but do you think think it is appropriate for the government to control women’s health decisions? How would you feel if the government told you that certain commonly prescribed drugs were not covered under your health insurance? Why does HOBBY Lobby get to decide what kinds of birth control their employees are permitted to have without knowing anything about that individual’s health needs? It’s OK that you can’t have certain kinds of medicine because you’re the boss and object to them? Really? How is that your business? Is my personal life also under your control even when I am off the clock? This court decision is Pandora’s Box and will release so many demons you can’t imagine. Individual rights are what the GOP says they stand for, except for women. Keep it up a see what happens when the majority of our citizens, which happen to be women, get disgusted enough to get to the polls, come hell or high water and vote your butts out of office.

  • Chris Jonsson

    I think Linda Greenhouse still has a job at the New York Times and can’t make the statement you suggest, but I have no doubt that Linda agrees with you. ALEC is in the sack with the majority of the SCOTUS conservative majority and their personal network, FOX.

  • Anonymous

    When a owner takes a position of not wanting to include some types of birth control expenses he is making his religious position known to employees and they may feel some intimidation to play along with his pious viewpoints.

  • Anonymous

    Bill Maher on his Friday show pointed out that these 5 justices are all Catholics. They seem to have taken the religious position of their church. That implies that they are trying to put their religion into our law process.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RPManke.solar RevPhil Manke

    Yet people “with conciousness” are killed in multitudes every day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RPManke.solar RevPhil Manke

    A third, non corporate party is needed to cut the cheese! I favor the Green Party platform!

  • Jebby

    There is a meme going around from supporters of the Hobby Lobby ruling that says “women can still get birth control on their own,” and/or that birth control itself is still available. Let’s leave for the moment the issue of the fairness of giving veto power to “people” over the health care options of other (and real) people–the ones with the insurance; or the fairness that at least part (half?) of the premiums is paid by the worker, yet a full veto is given to the employer; or the issue of giving employers veto power over the use of any part of their compensation package (a real mine field on this one). The Five ruling Justices and the public that supports the decision very tellingly pin their “logic” to the idea that the access to, in this case birth control, is still available elsewhere, so no right is being taken away. It’s therefore logical to conclude that these justices (and their supporters) would have kept intact the segregation laws–after all Blacks could still get lunch at another counter, right? They could still vote, well if they past this test, right? So, what if they have to sit in the back of the bus, they’re still getting a ride, right? I’ve already read supporters of HL who say, the women don’t have to work for HL. “You don’t like it, get another job.” See, you still have “options.” How soon will they point out the option of emigration? It’s pretty clear that this Court doesn’t give a damn about people’s rights–well, people who aren’t “religious” and also a corporation.

  • Chris Jonsson

    I didn’t forget that Alito and Roberts promised to be nonpartisan and follow established law. They said they would be objective and not activists. The Democrats accepted the president’s choices and hoped the candidates, Alito and Roberts, were being sincere because if they weren’t approved, there would be more of the same kind of very conservative candidates to choose from, coming from president George W. Bush. We knew they were going to be bad, we hoped they wouldn’t be cold-hearted sociopaths. Unfortunately, that’s what we have now.

  • Anonymous

    “They said they would be objective and not activists.”

    LOL ….

  • Chris Jonsson

    LOL for the billionaire Libertarians. They are elated.

  • Chris Jonsson

    Jebby, I am going to vote for you for you for president.

  • Anonymous

    If the Dems were really naive enough to think Bush’s appointees would be “objective and not activists” – well, what can one say …

  • Chris Jonsson

    What choice did they have? If they objected they would have lost.

  • Chris Jonsson

    The Democrats did reject Bush’s appointee Harriett Miers, TG.

  • Jebby

    Be my VP?

  • Chris Jonsson

    Most definitely sir. Unless you are Jeb Bush. ( just kidding)

  • Anonymous

    Well, there ya go – they can just say no ….

  • Chris Jonsson

    Yes they can!

  • Chris Jonsson

    I like Jill Stein a lot too. I wish she can be elected to an important office. Losing Dennis Kucinich and Russ Feingold was tragic. Loosing several moderate Republicans like Richard Luger was sobering. The public must get engaged, but the current trend is to turn the public off to politics. Too bad.

  • Anonymous

    That is a big mistake – leaves the field to TPTB ….