This Hobby Lobby ruling is a very disappointing step back. Thankfully, we’ve got Ruth Bader GInsburg on the court and she wrote this: “commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.”
And the rest of the court was forced to narrow the decision, although there’s a bunch of debate on how narrow that is.
One more note, taken from Slate:
Early in her dissent, Ginsburg, quoting an earlier case, says, “The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.” So she sets up Hobby Lobby as a clash between women’s rights and religious rights. It’s not an entirely fair characterization of this case, since regulators tried to balance these rights by granting an exemption to nonprofits, and in that light the court’s holding—extending the exemption to religious for-profits—seems incremental rather than radical.* But if the lower courts take the strict scrutiny test at face value, then Hobby Lobby will indeed be a victory for conservative interests.
Let’s just go back for a moment: “The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.” Meaning that, without access to a base level of birth control, a woman may be unable to work because, unsurprisingly, children take a lot of time and effort to raise.