Narrow Supreme Court Majority Gives Corporations Freedom of Conscience; Justice Ginsburg Objects

The conservative majority on the Supreme Court once again expanded its doctrine of corporate personhood with its ruling on Monday in the Hobby Lobby case.

Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, said:

“Protecting the free-exercise rights of corporations like Hobby Lobby, Conestoga, and Mardel protects the religious liberty of the humans who own and control those companies.”

And while the Court limited its decision to tightly held private companies, its argument applies to all corporations.

“No known understanding of the term “person” includes some but not all corporations. . . . No conceivable definition of the term includes natural persons and nonprofit corporations, but not for-profit corporations.” (Italics in the original.)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg jumped all over this in her dissent.

“Although the Court attempts to cabin its language to closely held corporations, its logic extends to corporations of any size, public or private,” she noted.

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