Supreme Court Justice—and Muse—Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inspires Summer Jam

The Supreme Court justice's scathing opposition to the ruling that allows companies to deny female employees birth control coverage has inspired a singer-songwriter.
Jul 1, 2014·
Michael Sugerman is a summer intern at TakePart and a student at the University of Michigan, where he reports for the school newspaper, The Michigan Daily.

A Bob Dylan–esque ballad to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is capturing some of the grassroots outrage being inspired by the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, which allows religious company executives to use their beliefs as a reason to refuse to pay for female contraception.

For more than five years now, Jonathan Mann has written a song each day—that's more than 2,000 tunes—and this week's decision provided juicy quotes.

Portions of Bader Ginsburg's sharp dissent to the Supreme Court's controversial ruling in the Hobby Lobby case have gone viral in the last 24 hours. She was part of the four-judge minority opposed to expanding Hobby Lobby's religion-driven health care edict.

"The exemption sought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga would override significant interests of the corporations' employees and covered dependents," she wrote. "It would deny legions of women who do not hold their employers' beliefs access to contraceptive coverage that the ACA would otherwise secure."

The ACA (Affordable Care Act), also known as Obamacare, mandated certain minimums in the coverage that employers provide. The Supreme Court decision to throw out part of that mandate represents a major setback for reproductive rights but has religious rights advocates cheering.

Bader Ginsburg added: "Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. Workers who sustain the operations of those corporations commonly are not drawn from one religious community."

It is worth noting that while some of Mann's song draws direct language from Bader Ginsburg's dissent, the 81-year-old justice did not refer to her colleagues who ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby as "slut-shaming geezers"—that phrase is Mann's creation.