All-Star Panel: Impact of Hobby Lobby ruling

'Special Report' All-Star panel weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," July 1, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


JONATHAN TURLEY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: It's been an abysmal 10 days for this administration. It's one of the worst of any modern president. He was found to be in violation of the Fourth Amendment on privacy, then another case found on violation of separation of powers. Now he's been found in violation of religious rights in the First Amendment. It doesn't get much worse than this for a president.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I disagree with the reasoning as well as the conclusion. Just think about this for a minute. It's the first time that our court has said that a closely held corporation has the rights of a person when it comes to religious freedom. I find it deeply disturbing that we are going in that direction.



DOUG MCKELWAY, GUEST ANCHOR: So two very different perspective on yesterday's key Supreme Court ruling. Professor Jonathan Turley from George Washington University saying it's a major league smack down of the president of the United States. Hillary Clinton believes it is anti-women. My question for the panel, and we're back with the panel, is this ruling more advantageous politically speaking with the midterms coming up for Democrats or for Republicans?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Certainly it's going to help Democrats because unless you know the case, unless you know that these stories being told about the war on women, that women are being denied access to health care, is preposterous, or contraceptives, is ridiculous that would mean for 50 years preceding Obamacare women were denied access to contraceptives, which historically is actually not quite right.

It's absurd on its face, but that's how the media are portraying it, that's what the headline is, and I think that's how it will be received, and that will be very advantageous to Democrats who will add it on the list of crimes against women that Republicans have allegedly committed.

MCKELWAY: Hyperbole seems to be in order here. Harry Reid saying it's time to get bosses out of the examining room, and Hillary Clinton as well went to much greater lengths to describe this in anti-men or pro-women. Let's listen to what she had to say.


CLINTON: It is a disturbing trend that you see in a lot of societies that are very unstable, anti-democratic, and, frankly, prone to extremism where women and women's bodies are used as the defining and unifying issue to bring together people, men, to get them to, you know, behave in ways that are disadvantageous to women but which prop up them because of their religion, their sex, their tribe, whatever.


MCKELWAY: Over the top, Kirsten?

KIRSTEN POWERS , COLUMNIST, "USA TODAY": Way over the top. We do not live in Saudi Arabia or the Congo. This is what she's basically talking about, about societies that are truly discriminatory against women. I support government mandated contraception, I support the government paying for it. I think contraception is extremely important for women. In fact if women can't control their own fertility they really have no control over anything. Those things are all true.

But to try to turn this into some misogynist plot against women I think is going a little too far. That's not what's going on here.

And this is a tough case. I went back and forth on it a lot and I can see both sides. It was a 5-4 decision, so this is not something that was necessarily -- there are four really smart Supreme Court justices who though one thing and five who thought another thing. And there just happened to be more who ruled against it.

MCKELWAY: Steve, I'm sure you can see the political as being formed right now as we speak.

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": Sure. And I think it's largely because absurd statements like are unlikely to go corrected. You're not going to have front page above the fold correct the record stories in the "New York Times" about Hillary Clinton saying preposterous. That is really a clown show, what she just said there. Remember, this is the same woman who coming out of her tenure as secretary of state said the United States was the most brutal political system in the world. It's absurd that she would say that. If she were right then there would be lots of repercussions based on what she just said now. She would get a lot of grief now. But she's going to be given a pass. The president, the White House yesterday said in fact women are going to be denied contraception all over the place. Democrats are going to say this. They are going to make these arguments, they are going to use these ads, and it won't be corrected because most people in the media believe the same thing.

POWERS: Also, we should just ask the question. If it's so important to get contraception, why doesn't the administration just do that directly? There are 50 family planning clinics in the state of Colorado that the government already has a relationship with that they could provide the contraception through those clinics. Why does it have to be done through the employer? It doesn't. So to a certain extent it seems like a political issue that they just want to have because it's a very easy problem to solve.

MCKELWAY: Some would suggest that the bigger threat to the Democratic cause is the Harris versus Quinn decision. How big of a threat to that two units is that?

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, it is a threat in the following way because what the decision did is it said home healthcare workers who get Medicaid support are required to join a union and pay dues. And the Supreme Court said no, they are a different kind of worker. They are not actually a government worker, special category, and they are exempt. And the reason that's important is because the growth sector in public unions is going to be in these kinds of caring for the elderly and disabled as the population ages, and that's where they are going to get their members.

This is just cut off a huge -- this is all about money, incidentally. It's not about principle. The reason that the unions want these people is not to protect them but because private unions are disappearing. All they have are the government unions, and this is a source of income. You don't force them into unions, you won't get the dues. In Indiana and Wisconsin when they were not, when the government didn't have to collect the dues of the public sector unions, the unions were totally emasculated. Everybody left. And that's what the unions are worried about their future, shrinking the numbers and shrinking revenues.

MCKELWAY: That's it for the panel.

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