Reaction to Supreme Court decisions generally falls into two camps: (a) The court wisely followed the Constitution, legal precedent, first principles, logic and sensible jurisprudence, or (b) WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!
Reaction B was on full view after the Hobby Lobby decision, in which the Supreme Court held that some companies could cite religious objections to avoid complying with a federal contraception mandate. The New Yorker offered a typically measured and thoughtful response: “When the Taliban Meets Hobby Lobby,” which was based on the extremely realistic premise that the Taliban would move to the U.S., set up a closely held corporation, and then file suit to avoid having to pay insurance coverage for polio vaccinations.
The essay drew a lot of amused response. “What if the Taliban wanted to exercise its right to free speech?!?!?!?!” mocked one reader on Twitter. “Sure, the 4th Amendment SOUNDS nice,” wrote another. “But what if a cop pulled over Osama bin Laden driving down I-95?!”
Still, you can’t blame people who lose an argument for getting upset. Unfortunately, they also tend to exaggerate. And to complain not only that the reasoning was wrong but that the decision will produce consequences so horrible we’d all be better off letting an asteroid the size of Texas smack into planet Earth and kill everything but the roaches.