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On women's rights, five men decided

Supporters of employer-paid birth control rally in front of the Supreme Court on Monday. They were on the losing side of the 5-4 decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby Stores.

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Supporters of employer-paid birth control rally in front of the Supreme Court on Monday. They were on the losing side of the 5-4 decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby Stores.

In the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in the Hobby Lobby case, it's notable that all three of the court's current female justices dissented from the court's opinion, in which it ruled that for-profit corporations owned by people religiously opposed to some forms of contraception may refuse to provide insurance covering it.

In the long line of decisions about women's reproductive rights that have not been made by women, this is yet another.

The difference between the majority opinion of five of the court's men and the dissent of its three women (plus Justice Stephen Breyer) is instructive. The majority opinion is largely about the rights of corporations, employers and those with religious beliefs; the dissent is very much about women — about their health, the sums they spend to access care and the costs they pay when none is available.

The 49-page majority opinion mentions "women" or "woman" a mere 13 times (I've excluded footnotes and URLs). It does not mention women's well-being once.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dissent, at 35 pages, mentions women (singular or plural) 43 times, their well-being four times.

Emily Badger, Washington Post

On women's rights, five men decided 07/01/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 3:23pm]

    

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