The Urban Dictionary defines “pretzel logic” as:
…fallible, twisted or circular reasoning that when dissected is wrong, does not make sense or does not explain the situation rationally.(Urban Dictionary)
…well, that’s what, when read through, today’s 5-4 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. appears like: one great big batch of judicial pretzel logic…quoting Crooks & Liars:
After reading the majority opinion in Hobby Lobby, I’m stunned. If you thought the reasoning in Citizens United was bad, welcome to the decision opening the floodgates to the Church of the Almighty Dollar. In order to make this decision, the majority had to twist itself in knots. Here are some examples: (1)Corporations are persons, but maybe only if they’re closely held. Maybe. Corporations are established to protect the people who own them, therefore they are ‘persons’ too. (2)Corporations are religious too, my friends. In disagreeing with Ginsburg’s dissent, Alito writes that ‘for-profit corporations do seek to perpetuate the religious values shared’ just like churches do. (3)Lofty values belong to owners and employees alike. Because for-profit corporations may be organized for any lawful purpose, they are not required to pursue profit at the expense of everything else, and therefore may impose their owners’ religious beliefs onto their customers and employees. (4)Denying science: It is enough that the Greens and the Hahns believe some contraception methods are actually abortion methods, regardless of science. Alito argues that because the Hahns and Greens believe IUDs and three other forms of covered contraception are “connected to the destruction of the embryo in a way that is sufficient to make it immoral for them to provide the coverage. (5)Contraception first, then vaccinations, transfusions, antidepressants and more! They are trying to kill the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Medicaid by the death of a thousand cuts. First it was contraception, but the majority left the door open for more challenges by carving out contraception and inviting other groups to challenge other treatments.(Crooks & Liars)
That last point is the most chilling; don’t be surprised if more cases begin worming their way through the judicial woodwork, all using the faux mantras of “corporate personhood” and “religious liberty” to get what they want, regardless of what the law – or the Constitution – actually said.