Rachel Maddow was dismayed by the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision on Monday.
The court ruled that Hobby Lobby and other "closely held" corporations cannot be required to cover contraception for their employees if doing so would contradict religious beliefs. Maddow pointed to two cases where organizations cited religion as the basis of their business practices in the past, but the courts did strike those practices down.
One was the case of restaurant owner Maurice Bessinger, who believed that segregation was justified by the Bible. In 1968, the Supreme Court ruled that he had to desegregate his Piggie Park restaurant chain. Years later, a federal appeals court also ruled that the Fremont Christian School in California could not withhold health benefits to their married female employees.
The Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday was "very, very different" from those two other decisions, Maddow lamented Monday.
“The five members of the conservative majority voted that the religious beliefs, or lack thereof, of a company’s employees — those are effectively overruled by the religious beliefs of the boss,” she said. “The boss’ religion determines what laws apply to his or her employees and his or her business, at least on this issue.”