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Donald Trump and Sam Alito, So Happy Together


In a highly unsurprising development, the Trump administration has taken advantage of the opportunity for grossly discriminatory practices created by Hobby Lobby v. Burwell:

In 2014, the Supreme Court dramatically expanded the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to let for-profit corporations deny contraceptive coverage to employees on the basis of their owners’ Christian beliefs. The 5–4 ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby prompted a now-famous dissent by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who condemned the court’s decision to use RFRA, a law originally intended to protect religious minorities, to legalize discrimination. “No tradition,” Ginsburg noted, “and no prior decision under RFRA, allows a religion-based exemption when the accommodation would be harmful to others.” Through Hobby Lobby, the court had transformed RFRA from a shield into a sword, creating a license to discriminate with no clear limitations.

On Wednesday, the Trump administration proved Ginsburg right. In a decision of startling breadth, the Department of Health and Human Services declared that, under RFRA, a federally funded foster care agency in South Carolina has a right to discriminate against non-Christians, closing its doors to would-be parents of different faiths. As Ginsburg predicted, the administration’s interpretation of the law has no limiting principle: It all but announced that taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies may now engage in flagrant discrimination without consequence, so long as they state a religious rationale for their actions. The grim future that Ginsburg foresaw in Hobby Lobby has arrived.

Don't worry, now that the fake-minimalism of Alito's opinion and Kennedy's pathetic "really this isn't so bad I swear I'm a Nice Guy" concurrence have been exposed I'm sure the Court will immediately step in and clarify that Ginsburg's observation about the implications of their handiwork is wrong.

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