The Democrats vs. the Supreme Court, Coming Soon to a Campaign Near You

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 1 2014 5:03 PM

The Democrats vs. the Supreme Court, Coming Soon to a Campaign Near You

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The new enemy of the left?

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Democratic response to Hobby Lobby became clear yesterday with the release of one number: 30. As in 30 percent, as in the percentage of Americans who have "confidence" in the Supreme Court. As the chart displays, this doesn't represent a new collapse as much as SCOTUS falling in line with the increasingly disliked presidency and the despised Congress.

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It's useful for Democrats because the fight against Hobby Lobby is turning out like the fight against Citizens United—the case is becoming a byword for something lousy that can't be changed unless more Democrats win. (Most of what Democrats dislike about CU is actually a result of the SpeechNow decision.) That's certainly the undertone of the Democrats' current legislative solutions. Sam Stein reports that Democrats (who can hold Senate votes on whatever they want until December at least) want to amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to "specify that corporations are not granted certain protections given to individuals and others" or to add "explicit language protecting individuals from having employers' religious beliefs imposed on them." Brian Beutler reports that the Center for American Progress—which, remember, handed John Podesta back to the White House for the year—wants the latter fix.

None of that will happen. Have you seen the Republican House lately? If it's going to break the logjam on any issue this year, it sure won't be this. But it's something to run on. Fun election year we're having.

UPDATE: Andrew Stiles calls Hobby Lobby "the Left's Benghazi," which is accurate in at least this sense: It is fundraising gold. This, for example, is the emblem on most outgoing DNC emails.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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