Nothing says the good ol' days quite like the Hobby Lobby corporation. What with its strong Christian values, distaste for Jews and staunch refusal to provide certain types of contraceptive care to its employees, stepping into a Hobby Lobby store is almost like stepping back into simpler, more ignorant times.
Perhaps one of the most openly religious retail chains in the U.S., Hobby Lobby — which is always closed on Sundays (nice), offers free spiritual counseling for their employees (a little weird, but okay) and plays Christian music in stores all year round (CRIMINAL) — is currently headed to the Supreme Court over the Obamacare mandate that requires them to provide insurance coverage for many contraceptives.
In their brief, the Green family (who owns Hobby Lobby) told the Justices that they do not mind covering contraceptives such as condoms, diaphragms, sponges, most kinds of birth control pills and sterilization surgery, but are strictly opposed to covering drugs and devices that prevent embryos from implanting in the womb because, for the Greens, those types of contraceptives are considered as type of abortion.
A federal appeals court has already sided with Hobby Lobby over the issue, saying that forcing the corporation to provide contraceptives would be a violation of Hobby Lobby's religious beliefs. Today, the Obama administration will appeal the decision with the Supreme Court.
If the Supreme Court ends up taking the case, it could be a major (and fucked up) game changer when it comes to the rights of corporations.
From the New York Times:
"The stakes here, symbolically and politically, are very high," said Douglas Laycock, a law professor at the University of Virginia, citing the clash between religious teachings and the administration's embattled health care law.
In weighing those interests, the Supreme Court would have to assess the limits of a principle recognized in its 2010 decision in Citizens United, which said corporations have free speech rights under the First Amendment. The question now is whether corporations also have the right to religious liberty.
It's a slippery slope from there. As Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. pointed out, the "unprecedented ruling" in this case would provide the opportunity for "for-profit corporations to deny employees the health coverage to which they are otherwise entitled by federal law, based on the religious objections of the individuals who own a controlling stake in the corporations."
Many religious organizations have already become exceptions to the rules set by the ACA, but the administration is determined to deny similar rights to secular, for-profit corporations.
From the NYT:
"Congress has granted religious organizations alone the latitude to discriminate on the basis of religion in setting the terms and conditions of employment, including compensation," the Justice Department told the 10th Circuit appeals court, in Denver.
"No court has ever found a for-profit company to be a religious organization for purposes of federal law," the brief went on. "To the contrary, courts have emphasized that an entity's for-profit status is an objective criterion that allows courts to distinguish a secular company from a potentially religious organization, without conducting an intrusive inquiry into the entity's religious beliefs."
Hopefully, the Supreme Court will end up siding with the Obama administration, not just for the sake of the employees of Hobby Lobby who deserve comprehensive healthcare, but for the dangerous precedent the court case could set.
Worst case scenario, though? You can find all of the supplies to make your own IUD at your local Hobby Lobby.
Image via Africa Studio/Shutterstock.