John Oliver Tears Apart the Whole Logic of the Supreme Court's 'Hobby Lobby' Ruling

John Oliver Tears Apart the Whole Logic of the Supreme Court's 'Hobby Lobby' Ruling

"Government is not an à la carte system where you can pick and choose based on your beliefs," John Oliver said on Sunday's Last Week Tonight. "Taxation is more of an all-you-can-eat salad bar. You don't get to show up and say, 'Look, I know it costs $10.99, but I'm only paying $7.50 because I have a moral objection to beets."

If you think about taxation that way, Oliver argued, then the U.S. Supreme Court's logic in Monday's ruling on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby seems simply asinine. Oliver just took the court's argument to the next level: If corporations can enjoy the benefits of being people, shouldn't they bear the costs of taxation as well?


When it comes to paying for taxes, Oliver notes "everyone has their own version of beets," or paying for something you might not like: defense, health care, education and yes, even female reproductive costs, such as contraceptives. As Oliver succinctly put, "If you really want to be treated like a person, corporations, then guess what? Paying for things you don't like is what it feels like to be one."

Watch the full segment below:


Though this segment ran on Sunday, the day before SCOTUS' ruling, Oliver's pleas and concerns obviously fell on deaf ears. Much like it did with the Citizens United case, the Supreme Court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby on Monday that corporations — or at least those that are closely-held — count as people, allowing them to express religious beliefs such as opposition to contraceptives.

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Eileen Shim

Eileen is a writer living in New York. She studied comparative literature and international studies at Yale University, and enjoys writing about the intersection of culture and politics.

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