The question of whether corporations are people with religious beliefs, capable of theological objections to contraception access, won’t appear before the Supreme Court until the spring, with a ruling likely in the summer. But in the meantime, the rhetoric surrounding the issue is going to be amazing.
Speaking out against the contraceptive mandate, South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy accused the president of winning the election by misleading women voters.“The president knows he is not going to win this case. But what he did win was an election. He won election in part by deceiving women and the so-called war on women,” Gowdy said Wednesday on Fox News’s “On the Record.” “He knows he is not going to win this in Supreme Court, but he won in 2012. That was his real objective.”
Even for House Republicans, this is a doozy. According to Gowdy, President Obama included contraception access as part of preventive care under federal law, but it was really just an elaborate ruse. Consider the logic here, as outlined by the far-right congressman:
Obama knew there would be a lawsuit filed by corporation owners pushing the limits of corporate personhood and religious liberty to unseen levels. And Obama knew an appellate court would ignore existing precedent that recognizes the distinction between owners’ religious beliefs and the business’ First Amendment rights. And Obama knew the Supreme Court would agree to hear the case. And Obama knows conservatives on the court will also ignore legal precedent and strike down this provision of the law.
The president’s crystal ball is just that good.
Why, pray tell, did Obama ignore his premonitions of the future? According to Trey Gowdy, it’s because of the president’s willingness to “deceive women,” in order to fool them into voting for him in 2012.
Remember, the South Carolina congressman seems to sincerely believe this, so much so that he pushed this argument on national television.
The far-right lawmaker, who is a lawyer by trade, added that this “is not even a close case.” It’s worth noting, however, that the 3rd Circuit already ruled in the exact opposite direction, explaining that courts have “long recognized the distinction between the owners of a corporation and the corporation itself.” Ruling that “a for-profit corporation can engage in religious exercise” would “eviscerate the fundamental principle that a corporation is a legally distinct entity from its owners.”
Gowdy must have missed that one. That or he ignored it because it doesn’t fit nicely into his conspiracy theory.