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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke for many liberals and women’s health advocates with her searing dissent to the majority decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. Now, songwriter Jonathan Mann is singing for them.

As Think Progress explains, Mann — who has been writing a song a day for years — took less than four hours to turn Ginsburg’s legal argument into an acoustic ballad.

Mann’s song isn’t completely faithful to Ginsburg’s dissent — the liberal justice never used the term “slut-shaming geezers,” for example — but it does capture the general spirit of the thing.

Ginsburg’s entire dissent can be read here.

H/t: Think Progress

Photo: Nicholas Eckhart via Flickr

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  • Daniel Jones


  • Allan Richardson

    A brilliant dissent, based upon well known facts and Constitutional law. The point that corporations exist at least partially to serve the purpose of separating the behavior of the corporate entity from that of its individual owners and shareholders is reinforced by one of the traditions of her own heritage. Specifically, Jewish owners of bakeries are required to have no leavened bread products in their homes or on their persons during the feast of Pesach, or Passover. Householders (not just the usual homemaker of the family, but all family members capable of doing so) carry out an exhaustive “search and destroy” mission on leavened bread crumbs the day before Pesach begins. But what about the owner of a bakery? Even if he closes the bakery during the feast (and he may decide to keep it open using his Gentile employees, for the benefit of Gentile customers), he does not have to destroy all of his inventory before closing, at possibly tremendous cost (e.g. pre-mixed dough and batter in a freezer), and remain closed the first day after the feast while replacing that inventory. Rather, he incorporates the bakery business, so that the corporation’s ownership of leavened bread is not his OWN PERSONAL ownership. As long as he stays out of the store during Pesach, he is following the Kashrut law for Pesach.

    The point is that, IF IT WERE TO THEIR ADVANTAGE, the owners of Hobby Lobby could point to that distinction between the behavior of their business and their personal behavior: they own a corporate entity which does many things, buys and sells many things, and hires employees who do not necessarily share their faith and their interpretation of its moral requirements. They share the cost of purchasing health insurance for their employees, but only through their corporation. And that health insurance coverage purchases, but again only indirectly, health services needed or demanded by the employee (who pays part of its cost via payroll deduction, and part by forgoing a possibly higher CASH salary.

    To me, it is the same principle as tax money going to multiple uses, some of which I may find objectionable (such as a stupidly entered and stupidly fought war with no good outcome). But I am not entitled to withhold a portion of my tax bill in order not to be funding the war!

    • DurdyDawg

      What I keep telling eveybody about religion and corporate operation.. It is and has always been ‘selective’.. Catered to but a few individuals and their followers.