RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Warren writes: "Hobby Lobby doesn't want to cover its employees' birth control on company insurance plans. In fact, they're so outraged about women having access to birth control that they've taken the issue all the way to the Supreme Court."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Boston Herald)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Boston Herald)

We Don't Run This Country for Corporations

By Elizabeth Warren, Reader Supported News

27 March 14


obby Lobby doesn't want to cover its employees' birth control on company insurance plans. In fact, they're so outraged about women having access to birth control that they've taken the issue all the way to the Supreme Court.

I cannot believe that we live in a world where we would even consider letting some big corporation deny the women who work for it access to the basic medical tests, treatments or prescriptions that they need based on vague moral objections.

But here's the scary thing: With the judges we've got on the Supreme Court, Hobby Lobby might actually win.

The current Supreme Court has headed in a very scary direction.

Recently, three well-respected legal scholars examined almost 20,000 Supreme Court cases from the last 65 years. They found that the five conservative justices currently sitting on the Supreme Court are in the top 10 most pro-corporate justices in more than half a century.

And Justices Samuel Alito and John Roberts? They were number one and number two.

Take a look at the win rate of the national Chamber of Commerce cases before the Supreme Court. According to the Constitutional Accountability Center, the Chamber was winning 43% of the cases in participated in during the later years of the Burger Court, but that shifted to a 56% win-rate under the Rehnquist Court, and then a 70% win-rate with the Roberts Court.

Follow these pro-corporate trends to their logical conclusion, and pretty soon you'll have a Supreme Court that is a wholly owned subsidiary of big business.

Birth control is at risk in today's case, but we also need to worry about a lot more.

In Citizens United, the Supreme Court unleashed a wave of corporate spending to game the political system and drown the voices of middle class families.

And right now, the Supreme Court is considering McCutcheon v. FEC, a case that could mean the end of campaign contribution limits – allowing the big guys to buy even more influence in Washington.

Republicans may prefer a rigged court that gives their corporate friends and their armies of lawyers and lobbyists every advantage. But that's not the job of judges. Judges don't sit on the bench to hand out favors to their political friends.

On days like today, it matters who is sitting on the Supreme Court. It matters that we have a President who appoints fair and impartial judges to our courts, and it matters that we have a Senate who approves them.

We're in this fight because we believe that we don't run this country for corporations – we run it for people. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+82 # AUCHMANNOCH 2014-03-27 08:57
Why is it that this lady sounds like one of the few voices of reason crying out in an American wilderness of unreason?
+15 # nice2bgreat 2014-03-27 10:47
Why is it that this lady sounds like one of the few voices of reason crying out in an American wilderness of unreason?

Because of the deafening silence in Congress.

And the reason is, that Democratic partisan voters accept Dinocratic Party talking points and the hack candidates they promote; Democratic partisans and Dinocratic operatives and surrogates prefer self-serving finger-pointing at Tea Party whackos and every-day hard-right Republicans, as opposed to forwarding progressives and/or a leftist agenda.

Elizabeth Warren is an example to everyone, and the Dinocratic establishment supports her because of her popularity and because she fires up the leftist base -- not only Democrats, but the entire leftist base.

At some point the Dinocratic Party hierarchy will try to rein her in, assert that she doesn't speak on behalf of all Democrats -- when they mean, Dinocrats -- talk of the electoral map, raising money, and that she lacks "organization" -- meaning the Dinocraitc Party apparatus won't be used on her behalf, nationally (aka in a Presidential Election), and of "political realities."

Those political realities being that the corporatist D Party is only humoring her, and progressives, and liberals, and partisan D voters, because right now she is not a threat.

While a big mouth -- for the good -- she seems to know her place.

They are keeping an eye on her, but right now the plusses outweigh taking her on, head-on.
+49 # bingers 2014-03-27 09:41
No big surprise there, Thomas, Alito, Roberts and Scalia have been rated 4 of the 5 worst justices in history. Kennedy is the only one who ever votes constitution over ideology, but he doesn't do so nearly often enough. It's so laughable that for decades Republicans said liberal judges legislated from the bench when they upheld settled law, but now that most sitting judges are conservatives and they frequently actually are doing that, they have no problem with it.
-84 # Gere 2014-03-27 10:16
Here is a rare case where Elizabeth Warren made a really big mistake (or her comments are intentionally mendacious). She must know that this Supreme Court case is not about birth control in general. It is about the use of abortion inducing contraceptives and devices under a mandatory health care plan. The Federal Government, through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) seeks to compel employers to do so or face extreme penalties. This is about forcing a private corporation to support what is against their religion - the killing of a human being. This is not a case about condoms. It is ONLY about allowing abortion.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act presumes the primacy of the Free Exercise of Religion as a fundamental Constitutional Right. The First amendment begins with these words, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." There are appropriate ways to prevent pregnancy but killing a child is murder and obviously an employer should not be forced to participate. Again, this is not about woman's rights to prevent pregnancy, it is about woman's rights to kill human beings and forcing an employer to be in compliance. We need to be clear unlike Warren that this is a case of religious liberty focused only about throwing the baby out with the bathwater (oops - I meant sperm)! This case is not about religion it is about freedom as we Americans intended it from the start.
+38 # jJLLA 2014-03-27 13:56
Sorry Gere; this IS about a woman's right to choice and health care. The birth control devices and prescriptions which Hobby Lobby objects to ARE NOT abortive!!! If you take a rudimentary physiology or biochemistry class, you would understand that. So would the owners of Hobby Lobby, but since these right-wing religious nuts think science is satanic, they can invent their own "facts" to suit their worldview. Never mind that what they believe is UNTRUE and FALSE.

That is what is most disturbing about this case: Not once has HL's "science" about the matter been questioned.

And this is only the tip of the iceberg. If HL wins, then religion will trump anything - even FACTS. People will be able to ignore laws they dislike by saying that they have religious objections based on imaginative "facts" that can be dispelled by science.

We will become a nation of creative morons, in a world that is solely fabricated of myth and imagination. We will be in a Fundamentalist Twilight Zone.
+22 # Juanbaltimore 2014-03-27 14:32
Sorry Gere. Every sperm does't deserve a name.
+19 # Regina 2014-03-27 21:31
How does a corporation -- creature of a pile of signatures -- pray, eat, walk, drink, excrete, laugh, cry, or demonstrate any other function of a PERSON? To accord religious " freedom" to a pile of certified and notarized signatures is an illogical, oxymoronic edict. Citizens United was enough of a disaster -- we don't need any more such stretches of logic from our corporate Supreme Court. Yes, newspapers and other print (and e-print) media are entitled to freedom of speech, because they publish words. But that's a separate issue. As for religion, an employee's religion must be as free as an employer's -- and it's the employers raising Cain here, against their employees, not the corporations they head.
+13 # RLF 2014-03-28 06:45
My religion is pacifist naturalist. I object to any of my tax money going to arms production and I want all of my employees to go naked at is my religious right!
-50 # Gere 2014-03-27 10:22
I (ONLY) did not intend to write "It is ONLY about ALLOWING ABORTION." I meant to write It is ONLY about COMPELLING ABORTION."
+22 # Malcolm 2014-03-27 11:11
Gere, I don't understand. What do you mean "compelling abortion"? Whose being compelled to abort?
-51 # Suncat 2014-03-27 10:23
So sad, Elizabeth really missed the boat on this one. Apparently she hasn't checked the facts. Here's the real story
+30 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-03-27 12:55
Suncat! I think it's great that the Green family pays a living wage rather than a minimum wage. There should be more employers like them in that respect. It does not bother me that their religious beliefs influence their business life and thinking.....un til they impose them on their employees. I believe that's what they do when they prevent their employees the opportunity to make their own health choices including abortion. I could understand if they don't want to pay for that portion of a health care package and wanted their employees to pay for it to ease their conscience but where does it end? Will they decide an employee is being overpaid and cut wages of an employee who could afford to pay that? In the end, this may be the best example of what freedom of religion was all about; preventing the imposing of a religious belief on someone else. Isn't that what they're doing?
+28 # Farafalla 2014-03-27 14:20
The real point is that a secular for profit company which is not a church is invoking a right never granted to corporate capital in the past, the right to invoke religious beliefs of its owners.

What if the owners are Scientologists or Christian Scientists? What if their "religion" means they can oppose life saving surgery? or antipsychotic drugs?

First we got the decision that makes corporations into people and now they have more rights than the people. The trolls who attack Warren are just that, right wing trolls with a corporate view of what's left of democracy.
+14 # CAMUS1111 2014-03-27 11:00
No, the current wishful thinking and the way it was supposed to be is that we don't run this country for corporations. But, unfortunately, that ship has sailed, Liz, thanks not only to extremists in the Gop'er party but perhaps primarily due to the enablers in the democratic party.
+29 # Marxian 2014-03-27 11:02
Can someone explain to me what religion a corporation has and how that might take precedence over an individual woman's right to access medical care? I personally cannot remember ever seeing any corporation attending Sunday (or any other day) religious services even though the Supreme Idiots have declared a corporation to be a "person". They must all be acolytes in the Most Holy Church of Mammon, a service most (real) persons have thankfully never attended and therefore can never view them…
+23 # fraleigh44 2014-03-27 11:03
The real issue is not about Warren. It is about the unfair advantage the corporations
have gained over the last 20 years. As a populace we should quit warring over small crumbs falling off the table of the elite and begin to worry about the real reason our middle class is going bye-bye. And as an aside those "elite" also euphemistically called the "job creators" are the same ones sending jobs overseas. Is it time to smell the coffee and wonder why Warren brought up this issue in the first place? Are we a supposed democracy or a plutocracy?
+20 # Malcolm 2014-03-27 11:10
Suncat, I read those "false perceptions". I just want to say that, irrespective that there are few examples of "evangelical christians" having IQs above around 80, I do agree that a person should not have to help pay for someone else's abortion. Here's why: there has never yet been any kind of consensus as to when a single cell becomes a person deserving protection.

Some people (evangelicals, for example) believe a damn blastoshere deserves the same rights as a fifteen year old child! Believe it or not, others believe male masturbation is a CRIME, since none of those little wigglies have been allowed their dog-given rights to glom onto a little cutie ovum (I could not possibly make up something like this!)

Until we can at least have a definition of where "humanity" begins, why not just make all forms of both contraception and abortion available for free, courtesy of our Rich Uncle (Sam)?

Yes, that would cause a nationwide freak out by evangelicals. So be it. A least these wackaligious employers won't have to pay for contraceptives DIRECTLY.

If these pro life folks had even nearly normal levels of intellect, they'd realize that Earth is under severe stress from too damn many pregnancies. HELLOOOO?

If this offends anybody, so sorry, but Earth really is in a crisis, and we need to gradually reduce the number of humans competing for its resources (especially water!) to 4 billion, or preferably much less.
+15 # Malcolm 2014-03-27 11:15
Btw, when I had my only child in 1969, I availed myself of free sterilization, courtesy of Uncle Sam. So did my sister, right before I did. Man, was I popular with the ladies after that!

Why, I have to wonder, doesn't Unk still offer free vasectomies and tubal legations, much less free contraceptives? ??
+9 # jsluka 2014-03-27 13:16
Monty Python "Every Sperm is Sacred" skit:
+21 # mainescorpio 2014-03-27 11:50
Yes...thanks to Corporate America, we now live in USCA (United States of Corporate America) not the good old USA. Now, since Corporate America is by necessity an economic Capitalist System superimposed over a political Democratic system (guaranteed by our Constitution), Elizabeth Warren seems to be saying we need to reverse the order of our two systems. We need to re-affirm the rights of the 99% over the 1%, not to say we need it also to protect the planet from destruction.
To do so we need an informed, intelligent, pro-active voter base to exercise the democratic rights of "we the people". For that, we need a leader who is outspoken on the issues that effect the 1%.

Elizabeth Warren is one of the few leaders who is capable of leading the way. You go Elizabeth....we 'll follow you....
+25 # hwmcadoo 2014-03-27 12:08
Well, actually, we do. People like Warren are the only chance we have to stop it. She and about 30 others out of 545 in the top level in government have an uphill battle.
+17 # oprichniki 2014-03-27 13:46
Run Elizabeth run.
+13 # memary10 2014-03-27 16:58
Elizabeth Warren is one of the very few speaking up for those of us who are going down in flames in this mean country. I'm old and have had a stroke and my country tells me I don't deserve to have decent food or live with a small amount of comfort and security. I hope the many angry people like me rise up and elect her. Elizabeth Warren for president!!
+15 # politicfix 2014-03-27 17:45
That's the level of integrity that we need in the House and well as the Presidency. Who in Congress will blatantly come out and say, "We Don't Run This Country For Corporations?" Not many, because they are bought and paid for by the lobbyist for corporations.
+15 # RoseM 2014-03-28 06:46
Religious freedom is about your freedom and my freedom, not about you imposing your ideas on me!
+11 # dsepeczi 2014-03-28 07:26

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

The very sentence you've plucked a part of from the Bill of Rights doesn't defend your position. It defends mine. You just conveniently downplay or ignore altogether the first part of this amendment. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" means what it says. It rightly states that any "law of the land" applies to ALL citizens equally, without religious exceptions. It means Congress can't pass a law that grants any exceptions or allowances for religious beliefs. They can't say this is the law of the land ... unless your Christian. Without considering that first part, you open the door to basically everything. If murder, rape, drugs or killing animals are part of someone's religious beliefs, and the first part of this sentence is ignored, then you're saying the government has no right to put a stop to any of these activities so long as the person(s) accused of committing them claims the government is violating his/her right to religious freedom. That'd be one sick world we live in with your one-sided interpretation. Bottom line = government is supposed to work entirely free of ALL religion and the laws it passes, without exception, are to be applied equally.
+16 # Adoregon 2014-03-28 12:46
"We Don't Run This Country for Corporations"

No, corporations run this country for themselves.
+11 # politicfix 2014-03-28 14:47
You're correct from the corrupt politicians point of view, and who take lobbyist money to enable corporations to do just that. They'll even write the laws for them. We have to keep reminding ourselves that it's not the way it's supposed to be, and there are always people out there who will fight to deter their efforts from succeeding.

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.