Video: MSNBC host asks whether we can trust Catholic justices in Hobby Lobby case
posted at 9:21 am on March 25, 2014 by Ed Morrissey
If one wants sober and careful analysis of legal issues, the last media outlet one would choose would be MSNBC — and Joy Reid demonstrates why. Taking a page from Jamie Stiehm and using a construct that would be called bigotry in any other context, Reid warns viewers that a Supreme Court full of Catholics are a threat to the progress toward a more secular nation, especially in the Hobby Lobby/Conestoga case being heard at the Supreme Court today. Can you really trust Catholics to interpret the law, Reid asks (via Truth Revolt and Jeff Dunetz):
Now, the most famous use of corporate personhood was Citizens United, which opened the door to corporate people spending lots of money to sway elections. The new cases ask whether corporations are not just people, but people who can have religious beliefs. Can the Hobby Lobby Craft Store chain, and Conestoga Wood Specialties of Pennsylvania claim that covering contraception in their employees’ health plans violates their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration act, which says government can’t substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion? And can a New Mexico photographer refuse to shoot a gay wedding through her corporate expression of herself? The Obama administration is arguing that corporations are, in fact, not people, and that they can’t shield themselves behind religious beliefs. The court that will decide includes six Catholic justices, some of whom have not been shy about asserting their religion. And all of this is taking place as the country becomes more secular. Even as the fervently religious fight even harder than ever to push creationism in taxpayer funded schools, and on science TV shows. And where the question of corporate personhood has gone from whether the railroad has to pay its taxes to whether corporations can be religious people. The question is do you trust this court to make those decisions?
The decision will almost certainly avoid the discussion of corporate personhood, as Lyle Denniston predicted last week at SCOTUSBlog, because the Supreme Court doesn’t need to go that far to reach a decision in either direction:
But the Court need not go that far, even if it should lean toward ruling in favor of an exemption within the business world from the ACA’s contraceptive mandate. It could decide that the Green family and the Hahn family have a right to exercise their religious beliefs in the way they run their business firms, and that this mandate intrudes on those rights.
Along the way, of course, the Justices would have to find a way around the conventional business law notion that corporations stand apart from their owners. But they could do that with a very narrow definition of the rights of the owners of a company that is so closely held that it is essentially not a public corporation, except in name. Again, though, that would grow out of the rights of the owners, not of the corporate entity itself.
It wouldn’t necessarily need to even go that far. The court could find that government cannot establish a crisis in contraception access that makes it a compelling state interest in the first place, which puts it at odds with the RFRA. We’ll have more on that later, though.
Jeff points out the hypocrisy at MSNBC evident in this clip:
If there was three African-Americans on the court and someone protested that those three black Justices could not fairly judge civil rights cases, there would be screams of racism coming from the media, and those screams would be justified.
However because Joy Reid was questioning Catholic judges, it’s no big deal. In the world of the mainstream media it’s only bigotry when directed toward certain groups, blacks, women, Muslims, Hispanics, etc. But Joy Reid’s comments were just as bigoted as anything coming from David Duke. Ms Reid should be chastised for her bigotry–but that will never happen because Catholics are not one of MSNBC’s “protected groups.”
It’s worth noting that the six Catholic justices on the Supreme Court rarely reach any kind of consensus, unless it is a consensus shared by the whole court. Reid bases her argument of religious bias on literally nothing at all but her own prejudice. One suspects it’s because of the desperation the Left has over the Hobby Lobby case and the HHS mandate in general, but it may just be that Reid has a bias against Catholics in public life apart from this, too.