Bob Barr

Judging from the seething reaction by liberals to the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the “Hobby Lobby” case, one might easily forget that just two years ago they were singing the Court’s praises after it refused to declare ObamaCare unconstitutional. Then again, such extreme emotional swings should not be unexpected when one’s perception of justice is based not on law, but on politics and emotion. Therefore, in spite of a ruling that was far more limited in scope than could easily have been the case, the Left’s over-the-top reaction to Hobby Lobby is based on myth and delusion. Below are the top five liberal myths about the Hobby Lobby case, and how one might explain why they are wrong.

Case Overview

In a 5-4 decision on June 30th, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that the “contraceptive mandate” in ObamaCare violated the religious freedom of certain for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby, which are morally opposed to such forms of contraceptives. While the Court recognized that contraceptive coverage was a “compelling government interest” (as a matter of law), it did not consider that forcing business owners to pay for such coverage was the “least restrictive” way of fulfilling this interest because of the impact on the free exercise religious freedom. In short, the Court extended to “closely held corporations” the same protections under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) afforded currently to non-profit corporations.

Myth 1: “The Supreme Court just declared a war on women.”

For many liberals, the notion of a “war on women” underlies most conservative legislative or legal victories. It is therefore not surprising the Hobby Lobby decision precipitated indignant howls from feminists and liberals. Even though the Court ruled that business owners did not have to pay for coverage, the majority stated the government could pay for such coverage directly, or utilize the same accommodations afforded to RFRA-exempted non-profit organizations currently applicable. The party who pays for the cost of covering contraceptives, not access to contraceptives, is the only aspect changed by the Court’s ruling. Thus, if the Left’s true concern was access to contraceptive coverage, then its outrage over the decision would be entirely unwarranted; but, of course, it is not.

Myth 2: “What is next, blood transfusions and vaccines?”


Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.