Washington Post’s Unnamed Catholic Five Strike Again Against Freedom For Women

By Donald A. Collins | 4 July 2014
Church and State

The Supreme Court in Washington DC. (Image by Mark Thomas from Pixabay)

Despite the continuing failure of the main stream media in its initial coverage of the Supreme Court’s recent decisions on women’s rights to abortion and contraception to name as Catholics the majority Justices in the this disputed 5 to 4 decision, it is now clear that with 6 of 9 Justices on the Court that the chances for their continued felonious assault remains probable. After all you get a lifetime ticket to play with your appointment to that august body.

And this omission in fingering this 5 old Catholic men for their perfidy continues even as the Court’s male/female split over contraceptives gets reported in yet another case on which these 5 ruled, an event which was featured on page one of the Washington Post on Friday, July 4th, America’s Independence Day holiday, but obviously NOT a freedom holiday for America’s women!

The story by Robert Barnes begins,

The three female justices of the Supreme Court sharply rebuked their colleagues Thursday for siding with a Christian college in the latest battle over providing women with contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act, saying the court was retreating from assurances offered only days ago.

In a short, unsigned opinion, the court said that Wheaton College in Illinois, at least temporarily, does not have to comply even with compromise provisions in the law that the college says still violate its religious beliefs.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the action cast doubt on the very accommodation the court’s majority seemed to endorse Monday in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which concerned businesses that objected to providing birth control that offends the owners’ beliefs.

“Those who are bound by our decisions usually believe they can take us at our word,” wrote Sotomayor, who was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. “Not so today.”

She said Thursday’s order “evinces disregard for even the newest of this court’s precedents and undermines confidence in this institution.”

I’ll say it does make confidence in this 3rd branch descend toward the level already attained by the other two branches for their pathetic non governing records by Congress for not enacting real immigration reform and for Obama’s blatant failure to enforce our immigration laws.

Again, WAPO’s article fails to make the point that 5 old Catholic men are dictating private behavioral matters for women. Of course even a first grade student could do the math.

Go ahead, read the rest of the article and except for identifying the college’s attorney as a Catholic, it does not mention the odious 5 sure votes against contraception.

The strong language showed that the court’s decision Monday in Hobby Lobby was only the start of what will be a continuing battle over the requirement in Obamacare that employers provide female employees no-cost access to all birth control approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Let’s again point out that getting FDA approval for contraceptives has been another road block for women as per the stunning, well researched book on that subject by Melissa Haussman which cited countless delays for many safe methods for women. See my recent article as reference.

WAPO article continues:

After the Hobby Lobby decision, the court sent back for reconsideration by lower courts cases that involved companies whose owners say their religious beliefs do not allow them to offer any contraceptives.

And the Wheaton College case is one of dozens that object to a compromise the Obama administration has offered to religious organizations, hospitals and ­colleges.

Under this arrangement, the groups are required to fill out a form, EBSA Form 700, to register their religious objections. This enables their insurers or third-party administrators to take on the responsibility of paying for the birth control. The organizations do not have to pay for the coverage, and the cost is borne by the government or in other ways.

But some of the colleges and organizations say that signing the form authorizes the third parties to provide the contraceptive coverage, making them complicit in actions that offend their religious beliefs.

The ruling Thursday says Wheaton need only file a letter with the federal government stating the college’s religious objections. Presumably, the government then would notify the third party to provide the contraceptives.

“Nothing in this interim order affects the ability of the applicant’s employees and students to obtain, without cost, the full range of FDA approved contraceptives,” the order said.

Sotomayor disagreed. She said the injunction “risks depriving hundreds of Wheaton’s employees and students of their legal entitlement to contraceptive coverage.” And since the other ­cases around the country are indistinguishable, she said, the order might as well be national in scope.

Well, we are relieved that the one Catholic not in the pocket of the odious 5, Sotomayor, who like the vast majority of Catholic women, knows male interference in their vaginas is not acceptable. As one sign outside the Court the day of the Hobby Lobby decision was announced said, “Keep your rosaries out of my ovaries!!”

WAPO gets another chance to point at one of the odious 5, but again fails to do so.

It is not unusual for orders responding to an emergency request to be unsigned. Justice Antonin Scalia added one sentence saying he agreed with the result in the four-paragraph order, a sign he did not agree with its reasoning.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who dissented along with Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan in the Hobby Lobby case, did not join their dissent to Thursday’s order.

Gee. I hope this is not a total male vs female thing, as Breyer did join the women justices in the Hobby Lobby decision.

WAPO continues:

Churches and other institutions whose mission is purely religious are exempt from the birth control requirement under the health-care law.

The college was turned down by a district court in asking for an injunction while it challenged the requirements. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit also turned down the college this week, basing its decision in part on the Hobby Lobby decision.

And, Folks, the ripples on this Hobby Lobby case will be soon proving, as Justice Ginsberg so perspicaciously observed in her 35 page dissent, that this was NOT going to be a narrowly made decision, but will soon produce wide reactions.

WAPO again fails to ID the odious 5 as Catholic:

In that decision, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the court’s five conservatives, saying that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protected two family-owned companies — the arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby and a Pennsylvania cabinet-making firm called Conestoga Wood Specialties — from having to offer certain contraceptives under their employee health plans.

The owners of the companies said those contraceptives violated their religious beliefs.

In ruling for the companies, Alito and the majority noted the compromise that the administration gave religious nonprofit organizations and said extending it to objecting businesses might be a way to give female employees access to all methods of birth control without burdening the religious rights of the owners.

Although the opinion did not rule on the legality of this compromise, Alito wrote that the alternative “achieves all of the government’s aims while providing greater respect for religious liberty.”

But NOW, another real biggie: As WAPO tells us,

On Thursday, Sotomayor essentially accused her colleagues of a bait-and-switch.

“After expressly relying on the availability of the religious-nonprofit accommodation to hold that the contraceptive coverage requirement violates RFRA as applied to closely held for-profit corporations, the court now . . . retreats from that position,” she wrote.

The court’s order noted that lower courts were divided on the question of whether the form still imposed a burden on the religious organizations. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit recently said it did.

The order also said it “should not be construed as an expression of the court’s views on the merits.”

The court had taken similar action in another case, involving a Colorado group called Little Sisters of the Poor. Sotomayor said the case was different, because the third-party administrator in that case was a church group not obligated to provide contraceptives.

Mark Rienzi, a Catholic University law professor representing Wheaton, said the court’s decision should not be surprising.

“The government is free to provide contraceptives to anyone it pleases — but it can’t force religious objectors to be part of the process,” he said. “The government should just give up its effort to use heavy IRS fines to force people to violate their faith.”

Sotomayor said she was not calling into question the college’s sincerity.

“I do not doubt that Wheaton genuinely believes that signing the self-certification form is contrary to its religious beliefs,” she wrote. “But thinking one’s religious beliefs are substantially burdened — no matter how sincere or genuine that belief may be — does not make it so.”

The case is Wheaton College v. Burwell.

Robert Barnes has been a Washington Post reporter and editor since 1987. He has covered the Supreme Court since November 2006. He gave up law school plans for a life in newspapers after taking a journalism class in college. It did not occur to him, as it apparently did to others, that he could do both.

Hey, Mr. Barnes is undoubtedly a gifted reporter, but he has his editors to deal with. Perhaps we should remind him and his editors of that classic, but disputed admonition from Edmund Burke January 1729 – July 9, 1797) the Irish political philosopher, Whig politician and statesman who is often regarded as the father of modern conservatism: As Wikipedia tells us:

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

This is probably the most quoted statement attributed to Burke, and an extraordinary number of variants of it exist, but all without any definite original source. They closely resemble remarks known to have been made by the Utilitarian philosopher John Stuart Mill, in an address at the University of St. Andrew (1 February 1867): “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” The very extensively used remarks attributed to Burke might be based on a paraphrase of some of his ideas, but he is not known to have ever declared them in so succinct a manner in any of his writings. It has been suggested that they may have been adapted from these lines of Burke’s in his Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents (1770): “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

How ironic that these 5 “conservative” men who harp on freedom as the main string on their lyres, would be leaders in the work of denying women the ultimate freedom, whether or not to bring a baby into this troubled world.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013.

Catholic News Service: Contraception and the Supreme Court

Religion vs Contraceptives? Supreme Court Says Religion Wins!

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