Hume: SCOTUS decisions reflect state of American politics

Does divided court mirror a divided country?


Today's Supreme Court decisions reflect the state of American politics -- a narrowly but deeply divided court produced two narrowly tailored rulings that nonetheless provoked extravagant reactions from both sides. Consider the Hobby Lobby case. The company's supporters cheered wildly and from Justice Ginsburg's dissent, you might have thought that the court had carved out a vast exemption from ObamaCare's requirements for any company claiming a religious objection. She described the ruling as one of -- quote -- "startling breadth." But the court ruled that only closely held companies, such as family-owned Hobby Lobby, whose owners' religion is deeply embedded in the company's culture, cannot be forced to provide certain forms of birth control. Mind you, Hobby Lobby had no objection to the 16 types of birth control used by most women, only resisting a few which the company said amounted to abortion. The root of all this, of course, is the ObamaCare law itself which passed Congress by the narrowest possible margin on a purely partisan vote and has been the object of intense resistance ever since. Small wonder then that its individual mandate was barely upheld earlier by a closely divided Supreme Court. And equally small wonder that it continues to produce narrow rulings by narrow margins. Divided court. Divided Congress. Divided country.