American corporations have fought hard to protect their shareholders and owners from being personally responsible for the sins of the business, and vice versa. The Supreme Court, with its latest decision in the Hobby Lobby case, has highlighted that what we’re experiencing in America isn’t an assertion of religious freedom; it’s a takeover by the “Christian”-corporate Right.
Hobby Lobby takes an era’s worth of legal precedent and turns it on its head to promote the interests of an oligarchical few.
Shareholders are supposed to be protected from personal liability, in most cases, from the actions of the corporation. But the inverse is also supposed to be true and the corporation is, in most cases, supposed to be protected from liability based on the personal actions of its shareholders.
In Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court has said, to hell with that notion. Instead, if a corporation is held by individuals of a particular religious persuasion, then the corporation may not be required to adhere to laws that go against those individuals’ religious tenets.
This is wrong.
This Court has built its own precedent to decide the case this way. By leaning heavily on thinking that was first enunciated in Citizens United, by viewing corporations as people, these same Justices that imbued them with the right to contribute unlimited sums of money to political campaigns have also allowed corporations to pursue the dominion of a chosen faith.
As Norm Ornstein stated in the National Journal:
“[F]or the majority of the Roberts Court, through a series of rulings that favor corporations over labor or other interests, it is clear that corporations are king, superior to individual Americans–with all the special treatment in taxes and protection from legal liability that are unavailable to us individuals, and now all the extra benefits that come with individual citizenship. Call it the new Crony Capitalism.”
So if there’s one thing that you can definitely walk away from the Hobby Lobby decision with a firm faith in, it’s that this Roberts Court isn’t done siding with corporations over people.