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You might have heard there was this little ol’ case that made its way up to the Supreme Court, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, which is basically about how the government has no right to make Jesus-loving people have insurance that covers your whore pills, slut. Check out that excellent lawsplaining!

Oral arguments in the case were today, which is why your Twitter feed is all blowed up. If you haven’t been keeping up, the ever-reliable SCOTUSblog has a great summary of the case so far, absent swears, which we think is a shortcoming, but whatever.

[T]he Court will be examining whether the government may enforce against private businesses owned by religiously devout owners the requirement that employee health plans provide no-cost coverage for women’s pregnancy-related services, including birth control.

These services, required under the so-called “contraceptive mandate” in the Act and in government regulations, are not themselves in legal trouble: the only issue before the Court at this point is which businesses can be ordered to provide the services to their female workers at no cost to them.

That issue will be debated by two of the legal gladiators who met in the last test at the Court of the Affordable Care Act: Washington attorney Paul D. Clement, a former U.S. Solicitor General, and the current Solicitor General, Donald B. Verrilli, Jr.

There probably would be a significant loophole in the contraceptive mandate’s reach if the challengers win. Some women’s rights groups have estimated that millions of women would be affected.

So let’s get this oral argument review/recap party started! Right out the gate, we remember that Paul Clement, arguing for Hobby Lobby, is a slippery dick.

The lady justices, on account of how all they care about is lady parts, batted Clement about the head and pointed out that if you exempt the Jeebus-flavored god botherers from covering something THEY hate, what’s to stop any other religion making a similar claim about something not related to slutty ladies? Clement’s answer is a masterful example of dissembling.

SOTOMAYOR: Is your claim limited to sensitive materials like contraceptives or does it include items like blood transfusion, vaccines? For some religions, products made of pork? Is any claim under your theory that has a religious basis, could an employer preclude the use of those items as well?

CLEMENT: Well, Justice Sotomayor, the first step in the analysis would be to ask whether or not there’s a substantial burden on religious exercise. I do think this case is, in a sense, easier than most of the examples that you’ve brought up because here’s one where it’s so religiously sensitive, so fraught with religious controversy, that the agency itself provides a certain number of exemptions and accommodations.

Shall we translate that for you? Clement just said “listen, lady judge. Stuff about lady parts is extra concerning, while those things that concern other lesser religions, like pork-eating or vaccinations, are stupid and we aren’t here to talk about those and not gonna answer your hypothetical oh no I am not.”

It doesn’t really get much better from there. Justices Kagan and Sotomayor keep trying to get Clement to explain his “religious exemptions for me but not for thee” stance, and he keeps refusing.

Then we get some cool magical pony unicorn thinking from Justice Roberts, in which he talks at the lawyer for the government, Donald Verrilli and explains that the Court really has no interest whatsoever in figuring out the legal complexities of this particular decision because maybe down the line they’ll figure it out in another case. Whatevs.

VERRILLI: Mr. Clement says, well, you don’t have to worry about anything other than small, tightly­knit corporations like the one at issue here.  I take the point of the appeal of a situation like this one.  But the way in which he suggests that you will be able to distinguish this case from a case in which a large corporation comes in or a public company comes in, is that you will have more grounds to question the sincerity of the claim.  But that raises exactly the kinds of entanglement concerns that this Court has always said you should try to avoid.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS:  Well, that’s his argument for distinguishing it.  But there are others, including the fact that it is more you avoid all of the problems with what to do if it’s a , you know, there’s a 51 percent ownership of the shareholders, if you simply say that it’s in this type of Chapter S Corporation that is closely held.  Whether it applies in the other situations is ­­a question that we’ll have to await another case when a large publicly-­traded corporation comes in and says, we have religious principles, the sort of situation, I don’t think, is going to happen.

Let’s break this down, shall we? So, per conservatives, there’s a very important religious freedom principle that should allow corporations — who are people, my friend — to refuse to cover things their employees are otherwise entitled to under law (haha by that we mean only slut pills, duh). But as per the Chief Justice, the holding will magically somehow be limited only to privately-held corporations like Hobby Lobby instead of enormous businesses like Koch Industries, because somehow you can interpret a religious protection law to cover some companies, but not others. Oh, and also too Koch and its fellow travelers would never come to court claiming the same religious exemption because Chief Justice Roberts can see the future.

Enough of that. We don’t want to pitch our computer out the window.

So, for eight of the justices, we already know how this plays out.

The Supreme Court, in a one-hour, twenty-eight-minute session Tuesday, staged something like a two-act play on a revolving stage: first the liberals had their chance and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy gave them some help, and then the scene shifted entirely, and the conservatives had their chance — and, again, Kennedy provided them with some support. […]

But the ultimate outcome, it seemed, will depend upon how Justice Kennedy makes up his mind. There was very little doubt where the other eight Justices would wind up: split four to four.

Once again, your entire sexual freedom and rights rest in the hands of one 77-year-old man who has had the same job for the last 25 years and for the last several of those has been the swing vote on almost every important case. Kennedy loves that shit. Kennedy lives for that shit. The fact that fortunes and privileges rise and fall on his word is catnip to Kennedy.

Say a little prayer (or do its whorish secular equivalent, whatever that may be) that Kennedy feels like he will get more attention and love by telling Hobby Lobby and their ilk to go hang.

[SCOTUSBlog/Hobby Lobby Transcript]

A reminder from your Friendly Neighborhood Comment Moderator: Don’t take that “Say A Little Prayer” mention as an invitation to engage in any wishes that might run afoul of the Rules for Commenting Radicals. But do take it as an invitation to celebrate Aretha’s Birthday.

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