Antonin Scalia, today at oral argument, pressing Solicitor General Verrilli on whether the government could pay for contraceptives in cases where secular for-profit corporations act to deny the statutory rights of their employees:
You’re talking about, what, three or four birth controls, not all of them, just those that are abortifacient. That’s not terribly expensive stuff, is it?
Classic Scalia. Let’s see:
- As Verrilli pointed out, IUDs — one of the forms of birth control Hobby Lobby doesn’t believe that the insurance that they get tax benefits to provide their employees instead of wages should cover — are both very effective and quite expensive.
- As Justice Ginsburg observed, If one accepts the argument that any bare assertion of a religious conflict on the part of an employer justifies burdening the rights and interests of employees in this way, it will obviously have applications well beyond the specifics of what Hobby Lobby is asking for, and will result in any number of cases in which the government would be required to pay for any form of contraception.
- No form of contraception is an “abortifacient.” This is true even if one takes the utterly bizarre view that the failure of a fertilized egg to implant constitutes an “abortion.”
But, you know, I’m sure Scalia’s political views aren’t the reason he’s already revised his purported legal views in light of the Affordable Care Act once.