Jihadist militants are declaring Islamic law in Iraq and President Obama is nominating a new Veterans Affairs secretary, but the biggest news of the day has to do with birth control pills. The U.S. Supreme Court Monday handed down its much-anticipated ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc, the case concerning Obamacare's contraception mandate.
The court ruled 5-4 that the Affordable Care Act violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993 by requiring "closely held" private corporations such as Hobby Lobby to cover certain forms of birth control in employee health plans despite alleged religious objections. Reason's Damon Root summarizes the decision here, and analyzes what's at stake in the case here. The Court's full opinion is available here.
When news of the ruling broke, Twitter immediately lit up with cheers, jeers, and witticisms (or attempted witticisms anyway). While we're awaiting more substantial analysis and commentary to be published, let's take a look at how the Twitterverse is reacting. Here's a sampling from some libertarian types:
Over the counter, people. Just make birth control available over the counter. This shouldn't be difficult.
— Lucy Steigerwald (@LucyStag) June 30, 2014 Ech. This sounds like the worst of all worlds. They can invoke an exception, but only for contraception? Dying to see that logic.
— Julian Sanchez (@normative) June 30, 2014 Going to go stand in the corner for people who agree with this ruling but think gov't should just directly provide free contraception.
— Julian Sanchez (@normative) June 30, 2014 Why is "equality for women" considered synonymous with "forcing other people to pay for your birth control?"
— Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti) June 30, 2014 So now Hobby Lobby gets to strap their women down to tables and force them to breed, right?
— Scott Shackford (@SShackford) June 30, 2014 Hey. It's wrong for government to mandate employers pay for birth control. It's wrong for government to mandate employers pay for Viagra.
— Cathy Reisenwitz (@CathyReisenwitz) June 30, 2014 One angry release in my inbox says the decision "enshrines religious privilege." Much like the Bill of Rights.
— Jim Antle (@jimantle) June 30, 2014 U.S. progressives not doing a lot today to dispel the notion they believe everything not forbidden must be mandatory & vice versa.
— Franklin Harris (@FranklinH3000) June 30, 2014 This won't get me a speaking spot at the next libertarian event, but I'm not convinced Hobby Lobby's religious freedom was ever at issue.
— Peter Suderman (@petersuderman) June 30, 2014 And from non-libertarian circles:
"Govt could assume the cost of providing contraceptives to women unable to obtain coverage due to their employers' religious beliefs."
— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) June 30, 2014 So… employers will just pay for contraception via taxes, and that's ok. Got it.
— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) June 30, 2014 So far, this is a narrow ruling only that it didn't give Hobby Lobby MORE than it asked for. — Irin Carmon (@irin) June 30, 2014 The Constitution is a dumb old deal between a bunch of dead dudes and we should get rid of it
— Peter Hurley (@huadpe) June 30, 2014 If Dems hadn't passed RFRA in 1993, Hobby Lobby would've had no case.
— Elizabeth Plank (@feministabulous) June 30, 2014 I'm waiting for some brogressive to start saying the Hobby Lobby decision is a secret win for progressives despite what women say.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) June 30, 2014 I'm kind of hungry for lunch, but my employer doesn't buy my lunch for me. It gives me cash to buy food. Which means I'm going to starve.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) June 30, 2014