Ruth Bader Ginsburg slays Trump attorney from her hospital bed during birth control hearing
via C-SPAN / YouTube

The Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in a consolidation of two cases on Wednesday: Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania and Trump v. Pennsylvania. The hearings were held via teleconference due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The case is centered around the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) requirement that employee health plans include free birth control coverage for women.

After the ACA was passed, exceptions were made for religious organizations that do not wish to provide birth control to employees via insurance.


Recently, under the guise of religious freedom, the Trump Administration has attempted to expand on those exceptions by allowing employers to exempt themselves from the requirement. The allowed employers ranging from colleges to public companies to prevent their female employees from getting free birth control.

The states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey challenged the exemptions and won a nationwide injunction. Now, the case is being heard by the Supreme Court with Solicitor General Noel Francisco representing the Trump Administration.

Eighty-seven-year-old liberal minority judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg heard the arguments via telephone in her hospital bed at Johns Hopkins University. Although she was admitted Tuesday for a gall bladder condition, she still had the strength to fight back against Francisco.

Ginsberg has a long history of advocating for gender equality and women's reproductive rights.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg destroys Trump Solicitor General over contraception exception www.youtube.com

During the oral arguments, Ginsberg made the point that providing exceptions went against the original aims of the law.

"What the government has done in expanding this exemption is to toss to the wind entirely Congress' instruction that women need and shall have seamless, no-cost comprehensive coverage," Ginsburg told Solicitor General Noel Francisco.

"They can get contraception coverage by paying out of their own pocket which is exactly what Congress did not want to happen," she added.

The justice also pointed out that far too often the freedom of religious people takes precedence over the rights of those who want freedom from religion.

The justice said that a "major trend in religious freedom is to give everything to one side and nothing to the other side."

She then referenced Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.where the SCOTUS found that private corporations could be exempt from the birth control mandate.

"You have just tossed entirely to the wind what Congress thought was essential. That is that women be provided these services with no hassle, no cost to them," she said.

via Wake Forest University / Flickr

She also made the point that women's lives shouldn't be controlled by the religious views of their employers.

"Instead, you are shifting the cost of the employer's religious beliefs to the employees who do not share those religious beliefs," she added. "The women end up getting nothing. They are required to do just what Congress didn't want."

Francisco then argued that churches could not have an exception to the contraception rule if it was available to for-profit businesses as well. Ginsberg countered by saying the Constitution has always treated churches differently.

"The church has enjoyed traditionally an exception from the very first case… the church itself is different from these organizations that employ a lot of people who do not share the employer's faith."

A decision in the case is expected sometime this summer.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Wil Wheaton speaking to an audience at 2019 Wondercon.

In an era of debates over cancel culture and increased accountability for people with horrendous views and behaviors, the question of art vs. artist is a tricky one. When you find out an actor whose work you enjoy is blatantly racist and anti-semitic in real life, does that realization ruin every movie they've been a part of? What about an author who has expressed harmful opinions about a marginalized group? What about a smart, witty comedian who turns out to be a serial sexual assaulter? Where do you draw the line between a creator and their creation?

As someone with his feet in both worlds, actor Wil Wheaton weighed in on that question and offered a refreshingly reasonable perspective.

A reader who goes by @avinlander asked Wheaton on Tumblr:

"Question: I have more of an opinion question for you. When fans of things hear about misconduct happening on sets/behind-the-scenes are they allowed to still enjoy the thing? Or should it be boycotted completely? Example: I've been a major fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I was a teenager and it was currently airing. I really nerded out on it and when I lost my Dad at age 16 'The Body' episode had me in such cathartic tears. Now we know about Joss Whedon. I haven't rewatched a single episode since his behavior came to light. As a fan, do I respectfully have to just box that away? Is it disrespectful of the actors that went through it to knowingly keep watching?"

And Wheaton offered this response, which he shared on Facebook:

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."