Today the Supreme Court made two major moves. The first was to remand without decision the case regarding mandatory union dues for public sector employees. This non-decision leaves in place the lower court ruling that allows unions to collect partial dues from non-members.
The second ruling, perhaps more important, proposes a new solution for religious groups who do not want to be involved in any way in providing birth control to women. Behind this case is a ridiculous assertion that, if upheld, puts a woman’s employer between her and her own health care, just as so many have tried to get between a woman and control of her own body. This proposed solution would allow the employers to tell an insurance company that it will not provide contraception to any of its employees and then the insurance company will work with employees and/or the government to provide blanket coverage.
As we move further into this election season the makeup of the supreme court must not be ignored. It is also why I have such a hard time going beyond supporting the President in that he must be allowed to make this selection and rigorously supporting the candidate himself. Diversity on the court is not about controlling the direction of the court it is about having people who understand to their bones the importance of, the impact of, their decisions. So called “birth control” pills can do so much more for a woman, it’s about being able to control when and where you have a family but it’s also about helping a woman deal with numerous health conditions. In controlling the use most commonly recognized women are being denied basic health care.
Conservatives rail against government control. They don’t want the government to get between a person and their doctor by providing insurance but they do want it to get between a woman and the control of her body. A diverse court is one that understands in their bones why a woman should have the same rights to care as a man.
Now for the first time the court is seeing a court that is more balanced in diversity. While I doubt that we will ever have a court that is 9 women I think that this country would benefit greatly if we ever had the courage to get there.