Katie Couric interviewed Ruth Bader Ginsburg for Yahoo News this week, and naturally, much of the interview covered Ginsburg’s strongly dissenting opinion on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. Couric noted that the justices who supported the decision—which allowed corporations to bar employees from using their health insurance plans to pay for contraception on the grounds of the corporations’ religious beliefs—were all men. She asked Ginsburg whether “the five male justices truly understood the ramifications of their decision” and whether they might have “a bit of a blind spot” when it comes to women’s health needs. Ginsburg agreed, noting the universal nature of contraception use among women.
Ginsburg’s comments inspired comical levels of umbrage-taking on The Five on Fox News, where Andrea Tantaros worked herself into full-blown “misandry!” mode. “Isn’t she sort of saying, ‘Keep men away from this court?’ ” she complained. “I get it. She’s a fan of birth control, but she is an enemy to the Bill of Rights.”
“Can you imagine if Justice Scalia would say the same thing about the women on the court, that they have a blind spot? In other words, they’re not reasonable?” Tantaros said. That is an interesting hypothetical, given that, in his majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito specifically shut down the possibility that any other kind of health care would be affected by this ruling. He’s the one who singled out contraception as a lesser form of health care, not Ginsburg. But hey, maybe the court will soon rule on whether male-only health care counts as health care enough to be protected as health care, and Tantaros will see her theory put to the test. I’m sure that will happen any day now.
After the panel raced to determined that men are the real victims here, Eric Bolling sprinted for the gold in Olympic mansplaining. “This is a Supreme Court justice lumping all contraceptives together,” he exclaimed in horror, even though all contraceptives do work on the principle of preventing conception, as the name indicates. “Hobby Lobby was about four out of 20 potential contraceptives that they disagreed with. It’s unbelievable. If she’s making the decision on something so important, wouldn’t you think she would have a working knowledge of what it’s really about?”
That “four out of 20” talking point is popular on the right, and it’s also false. Hobby Lobby sued over four kinds of birth control, but the Supreme Court issued a clarification the day after their ruling to make it clear that their decision covered all forms of contraception to which an employer might object. Later, the court granted an emergency injunction to an employer arguing that “religious liberty” grants the employer the right to block an employee’s ability to get all contraception coverage directly from her insurance company by refusing to sign the paperwork that sets her free. So yes, Ginsburg should have working knowledge of the case. Luckily, hers is in much better shape than Eric Bolling’s.