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Jesse Ventura: Women's rights, civil rights supercede all corporate personhood

The latest failure of the Supreme Court was front and center on Jesse Ventura's "Off the Grid" and the former governor took a stand on not just women's rights, but all civil rights.

Jesse Ventura
Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images

During an episode this week of "Off the Grid" titled "Failures of the Fed" on, host Jesse Ventura was asked about the recent Supreme Court case involving Hobby Lobby and whether or not a corporation has a right to voice their religious concerns even if it influences their employee policies.

"No they should not. In my opinion, a woman's right to her own body supercedes all of that. But of course the battle will come in now, thanks to the Supreme Court, that corporations have equal rights as individuals. I'm appalled at this decision...I think this is a decision that will have some real consequences down the line because it takes away a woman's right to be in charge of her own body. In this world, how can anything supercede you being in charge of your own body?"

"Off the Grid" producer, Alex Logan read a piece of Justice Ginsberg's dissent that noted that corporations were given the same rights as people when it comes to religious liberty. The governor agreed.

"Now let me get this right. They are now saying this entity called a 'corporation' is religious? So what, now we are going to get a big church where all the corporations go to church? They are stating that corporations can have religious feelings. In essence, they are turning the corporations into a human, which I guess follows the decision they made when they said that corporations have the same rights as individuals. I guess just smile and say that's fascism at its best."

Logan then quoted conservative Eric Boehm from, who noted that the Supreme Court was the "most libertarian" branch of government and that the Hobby Lobby case "chipped away at one of the one-size-fits-all rules created by the Affordable Care while affirming that there are limits to what the federal government can require businesses to do." Ventura responded that the federal government has a role and needs to intervene if a business is acting unlawful.

"There is nothing wrong with a bit of socialism. There is nothing wrong with the government making decision that effect us all in a good way. Imagine if the government didn't intervene on civil rights. Can the corporations now discriminate? Or do we have to say hands off on that too? You need government intervention to make sure everything's fair and to me, this is ridiculous giving corporations the power to do that."

Ventura was then asked what he thought of a story that flew under the radar. Meggan Sommerville, a transgender employee at Hobby Lobby, was told she wasn't allowed to use the women's restroom. Sommerville filed a grievance in 2011 and was told by Hobby Lobby that she would only be allowed to use the women's restroom if she "provided proof that she had undergone genital reconstructive surgery." Despite the federal or state law of Illinois not requiring surgery for a person to change their gender, Hobby Lobby still insisted.

"That says it all right there. Now you've got a corporation making its own private decision on something really to me, is a civil rights thing. There may be something good to it because you certainly don't want the government dictating everything, but there are certain things the government has to be involved in. Transportation for example. You can't have private highways or you would have a toll every 50 feet. To me they are transgressing into almost civil rights where they are saying corporations can make their own decisions and have their own biases. I think this decision moves us backwards in time."

When it comes down to it, it's about people vs big money and giant corporations. You might not always agree with Ventura when it comes to particular issues, but he speaks his mind and stands up for the people and the rights given to them, not a corporation, under the Constitution.

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