Rachel Maddow began her show Monday night by deftly laying out the frustration felt by President Obama and many Americans at the lack of action in Congress on any of the biggest issues facing the country today, but nowhere in the segment was her frustration and incredulity more evident than when she turned to the issue of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case.
Maddow pointed out that the “weird ruling” was narrowly focused, intended to solely affect the issue of closely held companies providing coverage for certain types of birth control. The IRS defines a closely held company as one in which the majority of control of its outstanding stock is held by five or fewer people at any time during the last half of a tax year, and is not a personal service corporation. After noting that the court’s majority opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, does not give legal license to companies use religion as a basis to discriminate in other ways in violation of current local, state, and federal antidiscrimination laws, Maddow laid out the real, ground-level impact of the ruling.
“The justices in the majority, they went out of their way to say that your religious objections can only get you out of this one part of this one law,” she said. “They said specifically that only contraception laws are subject to religious beliefs. Other laws aren’t. So if you are lucky enough to be employed at a company where five or fewer people hold at least 50 percent of stock in the company, and those people have religious beliefs about what kind of contraception you should be using, well, your boss is the one who gets to decide what kind of contraception you can have regardless of what you think or your doctor thinks is best for you.”
Maddow was all but dripping with sarcasm as she expressed her disbelief in the possibility that Congress would be able to pass a law that would allow the government to directly pay for contraception coverage for female employees at companies covered by this ruling, which was suggested as a viable alternative in the court’s opinion.
“Now that shouldn’t be controversial at all, right? I mean certain forms of contraception which the religious right has decided are the equivalent of abortion, the government should just pay for that stuff directly, right? Congress will have no problem enacting that.”
Watch the entire segment below.