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I've spent some time in comments bickering over finer points in the law when it relates to women, trying to maintain a position of logic to seek clarity.

And after today's SCOTUS decision, I realize how completely and utterly wrong I was, and how much pain I either caused or had the potential to cause by treating inequality issues with such an aloof, intellectual attitude.

See, if people like me care more about the purity of the argument than the effect on people that said arguments are actually affecting, we own this decision as much as any winger.

I, and people like me, let it be an argument about ideals rather than real human problems.

I, and people like me, encouraged the sort of discussion that makes it even semi-reasonable in a logical manner that freedom can be used as an argument to oppress humans.

I am terribly sorry for being so thick-headed that I did not getting it sooner.

I'm even sorrier that I've either caused people pain or made arguments that had the ability to cause people pain in regards to matters of equality.

I'm sorry.

#YesAllWomen, because if not, when the powers that be are done with them, it will be the men next.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not sure why you're apologizing (11+ / 0-)

    At the end of the day, you can't chart a course without knowing the terrain--all of it: principle, law, and the real world impact of policy and judgement. Sure, there needs to be space for people with the most at stake to express their grievances, if for no other reason than to inform collective action.  But if that's all a movement has to offer then it does everyone the terrible, patronizing injustice.

    SCOTUS ruling today is going to anger a lot of people; maybe even clear majorities in territory we own outright.  It would be a terrible waste if that anger wasn't thoughtfully channeled into obvious, concrete action that will obviate the decision's practical impact and advance justice in health.

    So please, be intellectual.  There's nothing aloof about it.

  •  Not sure what comments you're repenting of ... (6+ / 0-)

    but logic is important when discussing matters of law. A lot of important advances for human rights have been won in the courtroom, and a crucial component is always the quality of the legal reasoning.

    Unfortunately, applying logic to law is no easy matter since there are so many conflicting laws, rulings and precedents.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:13:10 PM PDT

    •  Likewise (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Technomancer, blueoasis

      a lot of importance advances have been won in the legislatures, and a crucial component has been reasoned consideration of policy with an eye towards legitimacy and successful implementation.

      Law governs the lives of hundreds of millions; there's no shame in putting a lot of thought into it.

    •  Law is the source code for society. (6+ / 0-)

      And we elect marketers of the law rather than engineers of the law to create it.

      Everyday Magic
      Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
      -- Clarke's Third Law

      by The Technomancer on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:19:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some truth to that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Technomancer

        Though I'd argue that with so many lawyers in elected office the analogy breaks down.  But then again, if it holds isn't that a good thing?  For profit or not, tech firms seeking support or renumeration for their wares and services need someone to do the evangelizing.  Likewise, policy success largely hinges on cultivating public legitimacy; you need people who can go out to folks who don't know and don't care about the nuts and bolts, get them to lend them an ear, and convince them that this thingamajig is worth getting behind (or front of).

        •  Right... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rduran

          ...but the evangelists and the sales team aren't writing the code they're selling or promoting.

          We've got the same people doing both, and while there are a few exceptional talents and towering legal minds in our Congress, they are few and far between, and this isn't a new situation.

          Everyday Magic
          Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
          -- Clarke's Third Law

          by The Technomancer on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:44:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you, a 1000 times thank you. (14+ / 0-)

    To be honest, I don't recall seeing your comments in the threads I've been engaging, but there've been a number of those dryly intellectual, purists comments (from just a handful of users, but repeated ad nauseum) that have made my blood boil. Yes, purity be damned - these decisions are hurting real people trying to just live their lives. And it's been one blow after another - maybe the individual decisions are not so much (though I doubt it), but cumulatively they add up to a massive impact, especially on women though certainly on all of us.

    Thank you for getting it. I hope some others do, too.

    "I don't love writing, but I love having written" ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

    by jan4insight on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:20:03 PM PDT

    •  Well, on the bright side (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Technomancer, duhban

      there are options.  Lots of options.

    •  I certainly don't consider the Hobby Lobby ruling (14+ / 0-)

      ... to be the result of over-meticulous legal reasoning. If this isn't respecting religion in clear contradiction of the First Amendment, there's no meaning in the term. Here's Charles Pierce:

      It has become a Trojan Horse, sliding the country toward a de facto kind of established religion, which today's ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby makes eminently clear. Religious freedom exists in the realm of medicine only to those religions that the Court finds acceptable—and, I would argue, only to those religions to which the members of the Court belong.

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:28:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rduran, Cassandra Waites, BachFan

        It also removes the right of Congress to make broad exceptions in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act 1993, which is the only clause that kept it legal at the federal level when it was overturned for the states...thus rendering the RFRA that they based their argument on...invalid.

        WAT.

        Everyday Magic
        Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
        -- Clarke's Third Law

        by The Technomancer on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:32:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Incorrect (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          Congress remains free to craft broad or narrow exceptions to RFRA or repeal it entirely.

          •  It's absolutely correct. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jan4insight

            I remain free to fly by flapping my arms, but that doesn't mean it's gonna happen.

            You're making the mistakes I used to make.  Yep, per the letter of the law, Congress can remedy this.   Congress is also supposed to be chosen by voters, rather that politicians choosing their voters.  The government isn't supposed to favor any religion over another, but it just did with the narrow carve out.

            Argue technicalities all you like.  That does not change the reality of what happened here today.  They went against their own argument.  By passing a law, Congress amended any previously existing law.  If we expect to have a working government where nearly 240 years and counting of cruft has to be addressed every time a law is written and have a working government in any way, shape, or form, then let me tell you about my investment scheme for oceanfront property in Denver.  It'll be huge, man!

            Everyday Magic
            Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
            -- Clarke's Third Law

            by The Technomancer on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 03:45:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  RFA by its terms applies to any subsequently (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AaronInSanDiego

              passed law unless that subsequent law explicitly says RFRA doesn't apply.  The ACA did not say so.

              Further, there are laws that have to be addressed every time a new law is passed and others that need to be addressed in many cases when a new law is passed.

        •  The T - not true (0+ / 0-)

          The Congress could remedy the Hobby Lobby decision with an amendment to the RFRA.

          "let's talk about that" uid 92953

          by VClib on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 03:29:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It absolutely is true. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sidnora

            Unless you expect Congress to pass anything.

            If you do, I'd like to hear why.  This is what I'm talking about in my post.  It's ignoring the fact that a change very likely won't be made to the RFRA, or that it is reasonable to operate a government that is disconnected from reality.

            You sound like me a week ago.

            Everyday Magic
            Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
            -- Clarke's Third Law

            by The Technomancer on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 03:41:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry - I didn't understand your post (0+ / 0-)

              While it won't happen before the midterms, it's possible in 2015 Congress could get together on a tweak of the RFRA.

              "let's talk about that" uid 92953

              by VClib on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 03:48:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  2022 for the House. At the soonest. (0+ / 0-)

                And that's only if we have the majority of the statehouses when it comes time for the politicians to choose their voters again.  Do you think the Republicans will dare to touch anything that could be painted as them not having religion's back 100% by weakening the RFRA?  What in their recent history (read: since '94) leads you to believe that this will happen?

                These aren't my daddy's Republicans anymore.  There aren't reasonable moderates in that party.  There's not many in either party, to be 100% frank.  Everything is a war for the future of our society and high ideals, and it seems that the vast majority in this country has decided to fight over that and what imaginary friends say rather than, you know, govern and provide for the general welfare of their people.

                You can't beat a rigged game, and the House districts as drawn after 2010 are rigged to keep Republicans in power with a vote total as low as 38% of all votes for Congress, give or take a few percent (napkin math here, feel free to correct it).

                We're not in a free society if the bureaucracy itself can be used to oppress based on inaction.

                And finally, I'm not even sure how this case was considered ripe and not mooted, as by staying open and conducting business under the law as it stood prior to today, Hobby Lobby proved that doing so did not, in fact, interfere with the free exercise of their religion...if it had and it was that important, they had all the freedom in the world to close up shop or sell the place off.

                This decision would have my wife choose between debilitating pain and the form of birth control (more specifically, the hormones that stopped the debilitating pain) that gave her liver cancer.

                If you can make an argument that that choice is freedom, or that some jackasses "right" to deny women's healthcare to them because Gawd and Jebuz, I am all ears.

                Legal theory arguments are great until they harm and kill.

                Everyday Magic
                Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
                -- Clarke's Third Law

                by The Technomancer on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 03:59:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  I think Pierce is being overly dour (0+ / 0-)

        Today's decision will have almost no impact on employees of 85 percent of large employers that offer the coverage at issue.  And more to the point this represents an opportunity to carve out a public option for yet another area of healthcare.

        •  It's not the impact of this decision ... (11+ / 0-)

          on individuals that is the biggest problem here. It's the glibness of the way the Court abandoned a bedrock principle of the American legal system, and what it portends for the future. More Pierce:

          Until such time as a Jehovah's Witness owns a multibillion-dollar scrapbooking empire, and thereupon declines to offer blood transfusions to the employees of said company, and until such time as someone pushes that case all the way up the ladder, it looks very much to me like the Court, in limiting today's finding in this way, has decided to define what are acceptable religious beliefs and what it considers to be merely weird ones. And, moreover, the Court's curious limit as described above lends an undue amount of credence to specific manifestations of Christianity—namely a segment of fundamentalist Protestantism, and the conservative elements of Roman Catholicism. There are Christians, both Protestant and Catholic, who have no moral problem with contraception at all. Garrett Epps argued, convincingly, that a ruling like the one handed down today would privilege some religions over others. In fact, I would argue, as a lifelong Papist, that this decision is nothing if it is not the clearest effect of having three conservative RC's on the Court at the same time and, as such, it has privileged conservative (and politically active) Christianity over all other forms of religion, including other forms of Christianity itself.

          "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

          by Demi Moaned on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 01:00:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not sure if that's what's happening here (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Demi Moaned, The Technomancer

            Sure, it's easy as hell to say that this decision privileges one religion over another.  No need to be generous to this particular majority.

            However, the actual opinion does not, as Pierce suggests, say that the Court will find objectives to covering blood transfusions as weird.  In fact, the only time the majority opinion even mentions transfusions is in a dismissive response to HHS and Ginsberg speculating about a flood of demands for accommodations on any and every medical procedure.  The underlying point Alito appears to be making is that Court cannot apply the RFRA strict scrutiny test except on a case by case basis.

            It's also easy as well--generosity revoked again--to assume this Court will find more than enough compelling government interests and lack of narrowly tailored, less intrusive alternatives for any number of procedures it finds acceptable.  But then it's also easy to see the Right actually sticking to principle and exempting everything under the sun so long as it even looks like it's poking holes in ACA or strengthening RFRA.

            On the practical impact of this decision, I think Justice Kennedy is right.  HHS made a rule that exempted religious institutions and non-profits through a complicated TPA procedure that nevertheless ensures women do not have to bear out-of-pocket costs for coverage.  HHS can extend that exemption, and that should be one of the first remedies Democrats demand.

    •  Can you make room for the possibility that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justanothernyer, Pi Li, lina, VClib

      constant spamming of emotion-laden falsehoods makes other people's blood boil? Reality matters -- whether we're talking about the reality of women's experiences or the reality of what the law is or what a court actually did (and this recurs on just about every legal issue here, not just this week).

      Because for every coffeetalk there are many more users (I could name names, but I won't) wailing about what an evil judge has done because the Koch brothers paid him or he's taking orders from the Pope or he just hates that women have sex, and women have no more rights, and now my boss can force me to pray, and and and OMG it's the end of the world!!! The assertions are often wrong and in their wrongness harmful to others. Just last night there was an action diary based on a completely inaccurate interpretation of the buffer zone case. But that misinterpretation was understandable because it's been repeated over and over and over and over.

      That kind of pisses me off, too, but I don't go spamming those people about how they disgust me. I try to understand where they're coming from. You might give it a try.

      •  And this applies to this situation... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jan4insight

        ...how?

        Everyday Magic
        Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
        -- Clarke's Third Law

        by The Technomancer on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 01:07:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm afraid I don't understand the question. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          I don't know what comments you made that triggered your remorse, but I do know what jan4insight and others have been complaining about, because I've read their criticisms of the dry purists who talk about law more than she would like, or in ways she does not like, or do not include in every comment the required ritual denunciation and bow to what is truly important.

          She thought you "got it" and so did I, and I think we both thought you "got" the same thing. Perhaps you could be clearer in your diary about what you're talking about if it isn't what I've surmised. I'm happy to expand on my point, but I'm truly stumped about what you're asking.

          •  Perhaps I misread your post... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Villanova Rhodes

            ...but it seemed to me like this was a statement that people should make sure they have facts right.  While always relevant to a discussion, I was wondering how it applied to my statements, and your post read like my statement was an endorsement of people getting things wrong.

            My apologies if that wasn't what was intended.

            Everyday Magic
            Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
            -- Clarke's Third Law

            by The Technomancer on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 01:39:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ah, I see now. (4+ / 0-)

              No, the comment was directed to jan4insight, not your diary.

              I'm suggesting that while she accepts your confession of error and welcomes you into the fold of acceptable humans here, she might try to empathize with the group she despises that she's happy to see you reject. I'm suggesting that those people might be worth considering as human beings as well, and that "purists" who try to analyze and explain complex decisions in a factually accurate way are not the enemy.

              Regarding the fact issues, I don't think either of you endorses getting things wrong, but I am saying that there is a privileging of emotion over reason that has overtaken these discussions, if not the majority of the site. Let me be clear that I think there's an important place for the story-telling and personal sharing diaries, and have tried to get some "purists" to back away from those diaries, such as in the runup to the Zimmerman verdict. It's a big site, and there's room for both, and people on all sides would do well to develop a little sensitivity.

              But I'm not just expressing an opinion about what I'd like to see here -- I'm saying that the comments of those doing the emoting on various issues are often incorrect, and that it has consequences that include misplaced action priorities. The purists can be incorrect, too, but it is easier to rectify those errors without the overlay of how awful they are because they obviously don't care about women (or black teenagers, or whatever). It's a slur, and it's seldom called out. Not sure why this finally prompted me to call it out -- perhaps because the worst offenders are beyond reason but I've never put jan4insight in that category and I thought she might actually reflect on the point.

              •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Villanova Rhodes

                I have been looking for a reasoned explanation of the decision and any nuances that might exist and have had not too much luck. Just to find out which contraceptions were on the list objected to  by Hobby Lobby was difficult.

                •  For Supreme Court cases, I highly recommend (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pi Li, lina, VClib

                  scotusblog, where you can always find the briefs filed by the various parties as well as the ultimate decision. And there's typically a "plain English" description of major cases as well that I've found helpful.

                  On this site, I recommend following Adam B if you don't already. His diaries pick out the important parts of the opinions and puts them in context. He's written on both of today's decisions, both on the front page, I think. He also writes on important lower court decisions, which you usually won't find on scotusblog unless they're being brought to the Supreme Court and you know where to look.

      •  Best observation of DK this year (so far) (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, lina, Villanova Rhodes
        Because for every coffeetalk there are many more users (I could name names, but I won't) wailing about what an evil judge has done because the Koch brothers paid him or he's taking orders from the Pope or he just hates that women have sex, and women have no more rights, and now my boss can force me to pray, and and and OMG it's the end of the world!!! The assertions are often wrong and in their wrongness harmful to others. Just last night there was an action diary based on a completely inaccurate interpretation of the buffer zone case. But that misinterpretation was understandable because it's been repeated over and over and over and over.
        We're supposed to be all about being "reality" based here, and spend quite a bit of time mocking Republicans for being intellectually challenged. But on certain hot-button issues, the pure emotionalism and unbridled, end of the world panic that dominates the discussion on these pages can be pretty damn embarassing.  Stuff gets written about in diaries, and repeated in comments, that's just flat out wrong. But it feeds on itself, and we end ups with a plethora of comments like "SCOTUS gives green light for forced birthed terrorists to assault and murder women" that are taken seriously.    

        It's not reasoned, it's not fact based, and it's not based on any reality or reason. It's just hysteria.

        Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

        by Pi Li on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 02:54:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  On every major SCOTUS ruling there is an (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pi Li, Villanova Rhodes

          an echo chamber of absurdity that resounds on the Internet, including here at DKOS. It certainly does challenge the notion that we are a fact based site.

          "let's talk about that" uid 92953

          by VClib on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 03:33:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I recommend against using "hysteria" in (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pi Li, VClib

          the context, but thanks for the comment. I know there are some people here who appreciate your and others' efforts, because they've said so.

          When it's not frustrating, it can be interesting to watch the contagion at work -- in the last few days the "7 Catholic justices" error has popped up in multiple places, almost certainly started by one wrong Patient Zero comment. But it sure does get embarrassing at times.

          •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib, Villanova Rhodes

            Yeah...the comments about the Catholic justices were particularly irksome. I'm not sure why that kind of bigotry is so often given a pass here. Then there were the posts calling the three female justices traitors in the McCullen decision on Friday, with particular vitriol saved for Ginsburg. Of course, today they are heroes again for voting "as women should".

            Though, speaking as a woman, I'm not going to get hysterical about the use of the word hysterical. Especially when appropriate. :)

            Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

            by Pi Li on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 04:35:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know you're a woman, and I've known (0+ / 0-)

              plenty of sexist or at least clueless women. But in this case, I'm just suggesting not looking for trouble on the kind of tangential issue that rouses the rabble. There's trouble enough to be had on real substance. But as the Irish nuns used to say, "Please yourself."

          •  There are only six Catholic Justices. (0+ / 0-)

            This is opposed to zero Protestant Justices.  Sotomayor comes from a liberal Catholic background (as did Kennedy) whereas the rest are from a conservative Catholic background.  Coincidentally, these five have been responsible for many 5-4 splits in recent years, suggesting that their collective conservative bent might have an overall fundament.

            I say this as someone who is neither Catholic nor Protestant.  It is an observation that may or may not provide insight to the slant of decisions that SCOTUS has been bringing as of late.

            I do not see, as Pi Li seems to state, where this has to do with bigotry.  I point such things out because it's the first time in history that such a shift has occurred.

            •  That's a larger issue than I was (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib

              raising in the comment. The error I was calling attention to was the 7 vs 6 claim. It was mentioned in one comment, yet being demonstrably false and well known to be, was picked up and parroted by other users who couldn't be bothered to check because it suited their political purpose. I cited it only as an example of that tendency here, and not of bigotry.

              That said, I believe Pi Li is right and was referring to a number of comments much more explicitly bigoted than that one -- it's far from the best example but she and I have both seen them in recent days -- and I have discussed the facts elsewhere in that context. I suspect I will do so in more detail somewhere other than a dying thread. There's a lot to say.

              For now, I would just say that if you're going to posit that the "overall fundament" underlying voting patterns is religion and not political affiliation, you need more than a hunch. You need evidence. And you need to look at more than the tiny number of non-Protestant justices that the Protestant Establishment has grudgingly permitted to serve over more than two centuries. The evidence, last I checked, is that political affiliation and judicial philosophy expressed in prior judicial work -- and possibly gender for some issues -- are far more important than religion.

              This Court is strongly pro-business (and has been since before the last several Protestants died or retired). Corporatism is its religion. When I look at U.S. history and ask "What branches of religion are associated with corporate greed and elevation of business interests above all?" I gotta say, Catholic is pretty low on the answer list.

            •  That's President Kennedy, not Justice Kennedy. nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  I think that this decision simply confirms what (11+ / 0-)

    most women have always known. We are, in fact, second class citizens whose rights have always been limited and whose opinions, desires and voices count for little.

    The Supreme Court has just made that very clear.

  •  I'm not really sure what prompted this (8+ / 0-)

    therefore I have no idea whether an apology is owed or not. But, I do appreciate this statement immensely:

    See, if people like me care more about the purity of the argument than the effect on people that said arguments are actually affecting, we own this decision as much as any winger.

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:51:37 PM PDT

  •  Apologies are nice. But there's a next step too. (2+ / 0-)

    I have no awareness about the comments for which you are apologizing.  My comment now is only related to what I tell my daughter when she screws up:

    "Thank you for the apology.  Thank you very much, I really appreciate it.  Now, what are you going to do differently to make sure that it doesn't happen again?"

    I am not trying to say that now to you with an accusatory tone.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Everyone.  In my house I tell my daughter that making mistakes is ok, in fact it's her job as a kid to make mistakes.  But it's also her job to learn from them and strive to not make them again in the future. Trying to figure out where you went wrong is part of that process, I think.

    Thank you tons for your diary.  I suspect that it will encourage others to engage in their own self-reflection, and that is usually a good thing.

    If a small minority of people is now stealthily ruling what was previously a democratic country, and "the people" don't seem to realize it, should anyone bother to tell them?

    by Older and Wiser Now on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 04:43:25 PM PDT

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