Federal Judge Blasts SCOTUS for Ruling in Hobby Lobby Case

Monday, 07 Jul 2014 06:45 PM

By Cathy Burke

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An outspoken federal judge skewered the Supreme Court's birth control decision in the Hobby Lobby case, saying it did "more harm . . . than good" and advising the justices to stay out of "hot-button cases that the court has the power to avoid."

Writing on his blog on July 5, Judge Richard Kopf, of Nebraska, who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush, said the high court only hurts its own prestige by taking on such cases.

Kopf noted that the "five male justices of the Supreme Court, who are all members of the Catholic faith and who each were appointed by a president who hailed from the Republican Party," ruled Hobby Lobby was entitled to assert a religious objection to Obamacare's contraception mandate "because that corporation was 'closely held' by family members."

"To the average person, the result looks stupid and smells worse," he railed.

"To most people, the decision looks stupid 'cause corporations are not persons, all the legal mumbo jumbo notwithstanding. The decision looks misogynist because the majority were all men. It looks partisan because all were appointed by a Republican. The decision looks religiously motivated because each member of the majority belongs to the Catholic Church, and that religious organization is opposed to contraception."

"While 'looks' don't matter to the logic of the law (and I am not saying the justices are actually motivated by such things), all of us know from experience that appearances matter to the public's acceptance of the law," he added.

The July 5 post was first reported Monday by Think Progress.

The judge suggested that in the future, the Supreme Court should zip it.

"Next term is the time for the Supreme Court to go quiescent — this term and several past terms has proven that the Court is now causing more harm (division) to our democracy than good by deciding hot-button cases that the court has the power to avoid," he wrote.

Kopf vented about another branch of government last fall, telling Congress to "go to hell" for causing a partial government shutdown.

"It is time to tell Congress to go to hell. It's the right thing to do," Kopf wrote on his blog in October.

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