SCROTUS (Constitutional VD) is my term for the Fascist Five Supreme Court Injustices, who almost always favor their extreme Republican ideology over our Constitution. Worst among them (along with Clarence “TEAbag” Thomas) is Antonin “SS” Scalia. In two cases coming before the Court today, I expect Scalia to renege on an earlier opinion in a most hypocritical manner. Ironically, even with opposite opinions, he will be as wrong now as he was then.
When the Supreme Court hears two landmark cases about birth control on Tuesday, few observers doubt that Justice Antonin Scalia's sympathies will be the Catholic business owners who charge that the mandate violates their religious liberties.
The Reagan-appointed jurist is a devout Catholic who has extolled "traditional Christian virtues." He insists the devil is "a real person" and has a son who's a Catholic priest. He voted in 2012 to wipe out Obamacare in its entirety and has been President Barack Obama's most outspoken foe on the Supreme Court.
And yet, Scalia's past jurisprudence stands contradictory to the argument for striking down the Obamacare rule in question, which requires for-profit employers' insurance plans to cover contraceptives (like Plan B, Ella and intrauterine devices) for female employees without co-pays.
In 1990, Scalia wrote the majority opinion in Employment Division v. Smith, concluding that the First Amendment "does not require" the government to grant "religious exemptions" from generally applicable laws or civic obligations. The case was brought by two men in Oregon who sued the state for denying them unemployment benefits after they were fired from their jobs for ingesting peyote, which they said they did because of their Native American religious beliefs.
"[T]he right of free exercise does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a valid and neutral law of general applicability," Scalia wrote in the 6-3 majority decision, going on to aggressively argue that such exemptions could be a slippery slope to lawlessness.
"The rule respondents favor would open the prospect of constitutionally required religious exemptions from civic obligations of almost every conceivable kind," he wrote, "ranging from compulsory military service, to the payment of taxes, to health and safety regulation such as manslaughter and child neglect laws, compulsory vaccination laws, drug laws, and traffic laws; to social welfare legislation such as minimum wage laws, child labor laws, animal cruelty laws, environmental protection laws, and laws providing for equality of opportunity for the races."… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <TPM>
Scalia was wrong in opining not to give a religious exemption to followers of Native American beliefs, because he was denying their right to freely practice their religion. I expect him to opine that business should get a religious exemption to refuse to cover birth control under ObamaCare. He will be wrong, because such an exemption allows businesses to force their religions practices on others.
Scalia and his Republican Party would ignore the First Amendment by establishing a pseudo-Christian state religion and denying the free exercise of other religions.
On tonight’s show, Chris Hayes covered the same issue. Because this just aired, I cannot get it in an internationally viewable format, but his and his guest’s analysis echoed mine so closely, I had to include it.
It was always intended as a shield, and not a sword, Well said.