I imagine the horrified shrieks that rose from the streets outside the Supreme Court on Monday as the decision in the Hobby Lobby case began to filter out into the crowd of liberal observers was reminiscent of those poor souls who watched helplessly as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire claimed the lives of 146 young, female garment workers.
In fact, the similarities are eerie. It seems that liberal commentators have convinced themselves that, just as was the case in 1911, the courts and the country have deemed women to be of lesser value than their male counterparts. The distinction between these two eras, of course, is that while that argument could be supported in 1911, it exists only in the heads of progressives in 2014.
NBC News journalist Pete Williams, an accomplished reporter who is not prone to indulge in speculation, went out of his way to insist repeatedly that the Court’s decision in this case was a narrow one. He noted that the decision extends only to the specific religious objections a handful of employers raised about providing abortifacients (as opposed to contraceptives). Williams added that Justice Anthony Kennedy allowed in his concurring opinion that the federal government can pay for and provide that coverage if employers would not.
The Federalist published a variety of other observations about this ruling which indicate that it was narrowly tailored to this specific case. The Court ruled that Hobby Lobby and other employers could not simply drop health coverage in order to avoid mandates. This decision does not apply to other government mandates like those requiring employers cover vaccinations. Finally, if the will of the public in the form of an electoral mandate creates a groundswell of support for a government-funded program which provides access to abortifacients, then that would be perfectly constitutional.
Williams’ MSNBC colleagues nodded along and, when asked for their contribution, proceeded to display none of this NBC reporter’s caution.
“I think we’ve seen a real goal post-moving here,” MSNBC.com’s Irin Carmon said. “We may say it is a narrow ruling because Taco Bell and Wal-Mart can’t opt out, but it is still an enormous expansion of corporate rights and of the refusal from the laws that are passed to create benefits for everybody.”
“The larger doctrinal implication here is potentially significant,” MSNBC host Ari Melber agreed. “For the first time, the Court is going and taking the First Amendment rights that we’ve seen long established for certain corporate entities and extending them to the religious idea.”
“Just because it was only restricted to women’s health access doesn’t mean that it doesn’t create a devastating precedent which says that women’s health care should be treated differently,” Carmon added. She added that the Republican Party is the biggest beneficiary of today’s ruling. “So, the context of this is an all-out assault on access to contraception and access to other reproductive health care services.”
HotAir’s Karl has accumulated some of the best examples of liberal “schadenfreude,” as he’s dubbed it, in which the left utterly and intentionally misconstrues the scope of this ruling. Incidentally, their reaction also helps to service what appears to be a widely shared victimhood fantasy.
We’ve seen indications that the left believes this decision is a prelude to theocracy:
The Supreme Court #HobbyLobby ruling proves once again that Scalia Law is a lot like Sharia Law.
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) June 30, 2014
"So as not to insult Allah, this accounting firm requires that all female employees wear the hijab."
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) June 30, 2014
We’ve seen liberal journalists and commentators rending garments over the implications of this ruling which exist only in their own minds:
This isn't a win for religious liberty it's an affirmation of privilege for advocates of conservative sexual morality http://t.co/ctb1FwXIWk
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) June 30, 2014
What Hobby Lobby means is there are now two separate classes of women in America: those who work for privately-owned corps and everyone else
— Jimmy williams (@Jimmyspolitics) June 30, 2014
Even poor SCOTUS Blog, an organization which merely reports the news out of the Supreme Court, has endured an torrent of misdirected liberal outrage:
Finally, and expectedly, we’ve seen liberal politicians stoking ire, generating enthusiasm, and soliciting donations:
It's time that five men on the Supreme Court stop deciding what happens to women.
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) June 30, 2014
Pelosi on Hobby Lobby: "Supreme Court took an outrageous step against the rights of America’s women"
— Jim Acosta (@JimAcostaCNN) June 30, 2014
Can't believe we live in a world where we'd even consider letting big corps deny women access to basic care based on vague moral objections.
— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) June 30, 2014
And this, via John Podhoretz’s inbox:
It is interesting that there seems to be more outrage over this decision from the left than there was when the Court struck down dated portions of the Voting Rights Act. Though that decision had much farther reaching legal and political implications, this is the issue that has captured the passions of the left.