Supreme Court Controversy

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The lead article in today’s New York Times, “Court Limits Birth Control Rule,” is creating much ado about nothing. While Fox News is calling the decision everything from payback to Obamacare and a ringing declaration of religious freedom, and MSNBC is decrying the personhood of fetuses and corporations, the reality of the ruling is far more mundane.

While Fox News is calling the decision everything from payback to Obamacare and a ringing declaration of religious freedom, and MSNBC is decrying the personhood of fetuses and corporations, the reality of the ruling is far more mundane.

The Supreme Court merely ruled that four out of 20 means of contraception in the healthcare law could pose problems for family companies objecting to abortion. The decision stated that since women could use 16 other methods for contraception, it was okay for the company to provide those instead.

Meanwhile, we were subjected to the sky-is-falling analysis from activists on both sides of the decision. While sometimes decisions can be subsequently broadened, that does not seem likely given the Court’s meticulous effort to emphasize the narrowness of its ruling.

So what we have in reality is a ruling marginally in favor of religious freedom over the implementation of Obamacare in very specific circumstances. And if both sides could just lay off the hoopla for a while, I can enjoy the World Cup game this afternoon without encountering ideological objections or glee at the Court’s recent decision. The mid-term elections are still a long way away, and we can worry about mobilizing our base when they get closer.