Hillary Clinton demonstrated why the Hobby Lobby ruling might turn out to be the GOP’s worst nightmare, by ripping and mocking the High Court’s decision.
Clinton was asked about the ruling at the Aspen Ideas Festival. She said, “I disagree with the reasoning as well as the conclusion. I find it deeply disturbing we are going in that direction. You know part of the reason I was so adamant about including women and girls in our foreign policy, not as a luxury, but as a central issue is because they’re often the canaries in the mine. You watch women and girls being deprived of their rights. Some of them never have them. Some of them lose them, and among those rights is control over their bodies, control over their own healthcare, control over the size of their families, and it is a disturbing trend that you see in a lot of societies that are unstable, anti-democratic and, frankly, prone to extremism, where women’s bodies are used as the defining and unifying issue to bring together people — men — to get them to behave in ways that are disadvantageous to women but prop up rulers.”
Former Sec. Clinton added, “It’s troubling a sales clerk at Hobby Lobby who needs contraception — which is pretty expensive — is not going to get that service through her employer’s health care plan because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception…This kind of decision raises serious questions.”
Clinton mocked the claim by Justice Anthony Kennedy that the government could step in and provide free contraception to women whose employers won’t cover it, “That raises all kinds of issues. Does mean that whoever wrote that concurrence is in favor of a single payer system for contraception? I think there are a lot of interesting questions, but before we get to the interesting questions, I think there should be a real outcry against this kind of decision.”
She called the decision a really slippery slope and defended her husband for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act while he was president, “Bill signed in the ’90s, because at that point there were legitimate cases of discrimination against religions. The people who wanted to build a church or a synagogue or a mosque in a community, and they fit into the zoning but the community was saying ‘we don’t want one of those in our community.’ You know, that was blatant discrimination on the basis of religion.”
Former Sec. Clinton was correct. The Supreme Court ruling was what political scientists call an unintended consequence. President Clinton had no idea when he signed the bill into the law that the intent of the bill would be warped decades later and used to deny women access to contraception. Bill Clinton can’t be blamed for the outcome of the Hobby Lobby case.
It will be interesting to see how the man that the Republicans nominate for president in 2016 will be able to argue that women don’t deserve to control their own bodies, and have a say in their own healthcare decisions, with Hillary Clinton standing across from him on stage.
Out of all of the responses to the decision, Mrs. Clinton’s put what the conservative majority on the Supreme Court did perfectly into context. This is not the behavior of a forward moving society. This was an anti-democratic ruling that represented the extremism of the conservative movement in this country.
It is too soon to tell, but someday historians may point to the Hobby Lobby decision as one of the key moments that got Hillary Clinton elected president. Women may be motivated and ready to deliver the final blow to the conservative misogynists by electing Hillary Clinton president in 2016.