Matt Vespa

Of course, the liberal, and - Washington Post affiliated, site Slate had to continue lamenting the series of judicial losses they endured at the end of the Supreme Court’s term. The big three: Harris V. Quinn, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, and McCullen v. Coakley gave conservative victories within the realm of First Amendment rights, albeit Quinn and Hobby Lobby being limited rulings. Nevertheless, Dahlia Lithwick said this current term was disastrous if you’re a woman, or something.

The last time anyone checked, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), or any law enforcement agency, wasn’t drafting plans to raid CVS, Rite Aid, and other drug stores to confiscate contraceptives. It’s not happening, nor will it ever happen.

First, it’s an insane theory. Second, that’s not what the Hobby Lobby case was about; it was about religious liberty and whether Hobby Lobby merited a religious exemption via the very bipartisan Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Lithwick wrote:

In the majority opinions in all three, there is scant attention paid to real women, their daily lives, or their interests, and great mountainous wads of attention paid elsewhere. It’s almost as if the court chose not to see women this term, or at least not real women, with real challenges, and opted instead to offer extra protections to the delicate women of their imaginary worlds.

This fact has been proven empirically already, in a quick and dirty word count conducted by the Washington Post’s Emily Badger in the aftermath of Hobby Lobby. It seems that in the 49-page majority opinion penned by Justice Samuel Alito, the word women or woman appears a mere 13 times (excluding footnotes and URLs), whereas in the 35-page dissent by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the word shows up 43 times.

Really? We’ve all known liberals love the cookie-cutter stratagems in their electoral strategy, but it’s now seeped into their legal analysis as well. Guy Benson and Christine Rousselle wrote that this ruling’s impact isn’t far-reaching in the slightest. It only is applicable to for-profit, “closely-held corporations.” In other words, companies where five people or fewer own 50% of the assets.

The injunction granted to Wheaton College, which said they’re against the contraception mandate, merely states that they might have a case. In other words, the Court said they’re waiting to see how this plays out.

The invisible women thesis continued in Lithwick’s Quinn review:

The same is true in Harris v. Quinn, where, as multiple court-watchers have already indicated, the majority opinion by Alito starts from the legal presumption that the (mostly poor and minority women) who care for the sick and elderly at home are simply different creatures from the firemen and teachers who are usually represented by public-sector unions. They are doing, as Robin Marty explains, “women’s work,” and they are doing it in the home. As a result, the court crafts a whole different category—“partial public employees”—to describe their jobs.

Well, if you read the opinion, Alito explains why they’re different:

PAs [personal assistant] are much different from public employees. Unlike full- fledged public employees, PAs are almost entirely answerable to the customers and not to the State, do not enjoy most of the rights and benefits that inure to state employees, and are not indemnified by the State for claims against them arising from actions taken during the course of their employment. Even the scope of collective bargaining on their behalf is sharply limited. Pp. 20–25.

He also mentioned that extending the Abood decision “would invite problems,” hence making Quinn a limited decisions and saving public sector unions from a complete gutting.

And, alas, we reach McCullen:

And the same is true in McCullen, as I suggested last week, when the case came down. In the court’s view there is something different about these abortion-seeking women, fundamentally fragile and uncertain, that makes the majority of the court especially inclined to accept the argument that they just need more information—helpfully provided by gentle “sidewalk counselors”—before they can fully appreciate the enormity of their decisions to terminate pregnancies. Reading the concurrences in McCullen, one can only imagine what Alito and Justice Antonin Scalia would think of an argument that holds that men entering a gun store to purchase an assault-style weapon would also benefit morally and psychologically from gentle sidewalk counselors warning them that they may be contributing to the end of a life or that they may come to regret their decisions. The implication that women need counseling and men need to be left alone to make bold, manly decisions is hard to escape after McCullen.

The right to bear arms is a constitutional right; the right to an abortion is not. Second, this had nothing to do with viewing women as delicate creatures. It had to do with buffer zones that prevented pro-life Americans the right to protest on public sidewalks and streets where abortion clinics are located. That’s unconstitutional.

And, it’s funny how Litchwick doesn’t mention how this ruling was a unanimous 9-0 decision.

Charles Cooke at National Review penned a good piece about liberal illiteracy when it comes to the courts earlier this month:

The justices are jurists not doctors — they are nine appointed attorneys whose role in the American settlement is to provide legal answers to legal questions. Man or woman; straight or gay; handsome or ugly; Jew, Catholic, or protestant — the law must remain the law, regardless of in whose name its intricacies are decided. The alternative would be disastrous.

The Supreme Court is not a legislature; it is a court. The majority in the Hobby Lobby case didn’t rule “against contraception coverage” or women or atheists or employees; it ruled against the administration.

If you want to go further into the twisted arena of “war on women” politics, Katie Pavlich has a whole book on it.


Matt Vespa

Matt Vespa is the Web Editor and Community Manager at Townhall.com. He previously worked for CNS News and was the recipient of Americans for Prosperity Foundation's 2013 Andrew Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Activism and Investigative Reporting.