The Supreme Court rejected her religious objection case on Monday, but Kim Davis still refuses to sign marriage licenses in Rowan County, Kentucky. When history looks back on the civil rights movement of our time, it will be disgusted that the creator of Garfield clung to bigotry so. Hang on—the Combat! blog interns have informed me that Jim Davis is the creator of Garfield, and Kim Davis is the Apostolic Christian county clerk who has refused to sign marriage licenses since the Supreme Court affirmed gays’ right to marry. Now the interns suggest I use the delete key rather than transcribing these errors and corrections in real time, but I don’t let college kids tell me what to do. When history looks back on the civil rights movement of our time, it will remember this week as a turning point in the right of all Americans to do whatever by saying it’s their religion. Kim Davis is the Rosa Parks of hating gay people.
In a New York Times/CBS poll released yesterday, respondents were split on the issue of campaign finance: 39% favored “fundamental changes” to the way elections are funded, while 46% said the system needed to be “completely rebuilt.” There is too much money in politics, and everyone but the Supreme Court seems to know it. Show me another issue on which 85% of Americans agree. While we’re at it, show me an issue that poses a greater existential threat to our democracy. Forget corruption and the appearance of corruption. When two thirds of respondents say the wealthy have a greater chance to influence elections than ordinary voters, they’re describing a crisis of faith in the American experiment.
Kudos to The Missoulian for the stubbornly bland headline Independent Groups Raise Profile of Montana Supreme Court Race. That’s one way to describe what The Republican State Leadership Committee Judicial Fairness Montana PAC—catchy name, guys—did when it made this ad and bought $100k worth of airtime to support Supreme Court candidate Lawrence VanDyke in an ostensibly nonpartisan race. VanDyke’s campaign slogan is “following the law, not the politics.” It’s good he doesn’t follow politics, or else he might realize he was the object of partisan mendacity and get sad.
First of all, Aunt Jemima has gotten a lot less racist over the years, but the basic concept remains extremely problematic. Second, and in no way related to pancakes: the Supreme Court has ruled 5-4 that family-owned corporations like Hobby Lobby are exempt from federal laws requiring them to provide comprehensive insurance coverage for certain types of contraception. In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell, the court determined that forcing companies to pay for birth control methods that prevent the implantation of fertilized eggs—which some Christians consider a form of abortion—constituted a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. So get ready to see more pregnant girls working at Hobby Lobby, as I presume the company’s founders intended.
The Supreme Court ruled today on the EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon emissions from new power plants, and if you’ve gotten to this half of the sentence I presume you are a daily reader. Welcome back. The Supreme Court has ruled, importantly, that the EPA either can or cannot curb greenhouse emissions the way it wants. It depends on whom you ask. I first learned of this decision from the LA Times, which reported that Supreme Court limits EPA authority on power plants. Then, balance-seeking perspicator that I am, I read in the other Times that Justices, With Limits, Let E.P.A. Curb Power-Plant Gases. A computer would tell you those sentences say the same thing.