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On Monday, conservatives across the country celebrated Justice Samuel Alito’s decisions in Harris v. Quinn and the so-called Hobby Lobby case. Harris v. Quinn established that states could not force home health care providers into unions; the Hobby Lobby case decided that closely-held, for-profit corporations owned by religious people could not be forced to pay for the contraceptive care of their employees.

Right-wingers on Twitter, talk radio, and throughout the blogosphere hailed the decisions as great conservative victories; leftists hailed them as great defeats (including the execrable Sandra Fluke, who falsely tweeted that the Supreme Court had somehow granted blanket ability for employers to reject birth control coverage).

Conservatives would be significantly wiser to react with caution.

SCOTUS Always Limits Freedom Broadly But Makes Exceptions Narrowly. Before Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare could mandate that employers purchase health insurance plans for their employees, and that individuals had to buy health insurance plans or face a fine. That left the door open to complete government control of how Americans receive their health care.

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