Senate To Vote On Bill That Would Reverse Hobby Lobby Decision


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has scheduled a vote this week on a bill that would reverse the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision.

The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act would restore the contraceptive coverage that is guaranteed in the Affordable Care Act and would protect women from employers who want to impose their religious beliefs on them.

Co-sponsor of the bill Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said, “This bicameral legislation will ensure that no CEO or corporation can come between people and their guaranteed access to health care, period. I hope Republicans will join us to revoke this court-issued license to discriminate and return the right of Americans to make their own decisions, about their own health care and their own bodies.”

Co-sponsor Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) said, “The U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision opened the door to unprecedented corporate intrusion into our private lives. Coloradans understand that women should never have to ask their bosses for a permission slip to access common forms of birth control or other critical health services,” said Senator Udall. “My common-sense proposal will keep women’s private health decisions out of corporate board rooms, because your boss shouldn’t be able to dictate what is best for you and your family.”

Senate Democrats probably won’t have the votes needed to move the bill forward on Wednesday. Democrats will require five Republicans to join them in order to break a GOP filibuster. It is doubtful that Democrats can attract the kind of support they need to advance the bill from the other side of the aisle, but it is important that they try.

Since the Hobby Lobby decision many have adopted a defeatist attitude that nothing can be done, but this is not true. A Democratic congress could easily reverse the Supreme Court’s decision with new legislation. Republicans won the battle, but they have not won the war. Democrats need to be energized, not defeated. The only way that those who wish to steal fundamental rights from women will win is if their opponents stop fighting.

The bill that will be voted on this week is the first step in that fight. Because of Republican obstruction progress is difficult, but it will be achieved if those who are opposed to this decision keep trying. Instead of throwing in the towel and admitting defeat congressional Democrats are gearing up for a fight, because the war on women is something that Republicans will never win.

48 Replies to “Senate To Vote On Bill That Would Reverse Hobby Lobby Decision”

  1. That is the only way that Republicans can win, if we give up, and I’d say that is something they are hoping for.

    I know it’s been said a million times, but your vote does count, if you think it doesn’t, just look what happened in 2010.

    There are enough of us in this country to easily defeat the right wing, we just need to vote.

  2. Even if this does come to a vote in the Senate, and passes, there is no chance of it being brought to a vote in the gop-led House. What this does, is show that Democrats think that women should, with their doctors, make their own healthcare decisions. Equally importantly, it puts gopers on the record as thinking it’s OK for an employer to get between a woman and her doctor.

  3. even if this passes in the senate, it still has to pass in congress, right?

    so what’s the point? as stated in the artivl, a democratic congress would vote to overturn the ruling, not a republican controlled house.

    that means we have to retain the senate (we will), and gain control of the house. we will pick up seats in the house, but not enough I think to gain control. not until 2016 at least.

  4. I keep feeling like this whole issue is being spun entirely the wrong way. TO me, this isn’t about women’s health, it’s about granting a license to corporations to play the religion card to get out of complying with laws they don’t like!

    To me, focusing on contraception is undercutting how important it is that this judgement not stand. Why is it that I feel like I’m the only one who sees that??

  5. What about religious freedom? The owners of Hobby Lobby, a business that they worked hard to create from a beginning that was very little. The business is an extension of them. Their health insurance was paying for 16 out of the 20 contraceptives mandated in obamacare before it went into place. They simply did not want to pay for drugs or other Plan B items, that actually could destroy an embryo after it was conceived. Which is the destruction of life.

    But, people seem to want to say this is just some big evil corporation they feel is doing wrong by women. The Supreme Court ruling didn’t deny women anything. It simply said that Hobby Lobby didn’t have to pay for it. Hobby Lobby also pays better than most retail places.

    What if no religious people ever created businesses? Or if we closed all business that were created by people of faith. Where will the jobs come from to feed and comfort those families that no longer have a job, simply because people think faith is….

  6. A little lesson here.

    You say “The business is an extension of them”. As they are incorporated, they are separate from the corporation and cant be sued for the corporations actions.

    Their lawsuit opened the door saying they are now the corporation. They can now be sued as can any other supposedly religious incorporated company. They screwed tons of companys who wanted to use the same defense.

    This goes far far beyond Hobby Lobby. You have no idea. Something else you dont know, the Court said 2 days after theior decision that this covers all birth control, not jsut the 4 types.

  7. Can you touch a Corporation? Can you speak to a Corporation, take its pulse or blood pressure? Can you kiss a Corporation or kill it with a gun?

    What is the birth date of a Corporation, does it breathe, does it eat or use the bathroom?

    Corporations are pieces of paper nothing more.

  8. The point is to make Republicans views be made a part of the record. They will not be able to weasel their way out of taking responsibility for their actions regarding the rights of women on birth control.

  9. Jerome, major medical groups have made note of the fact that Plan B and IUDs do not cause abortions. They affect ovulation. Also the employees pay for their health insurance. It is not a gift from the employer. Losing portions of this compensation in effect is reducing their pay. Hobby Lobby didn’t reduce employees compensation by taking away Viagra, penile implants and such. Why is that? They covered all contraception prior to ACA. Why was it OK then and not now? Answer: they don’t like ACA and are trying to chip away at it. It’s hypocrisy.

  10. None of the drugs they objected to were abortifacients according to medical experts but it was the Green’s opinion, based on their religious beliefs, that they were.

    And the Koch wing of the SC said all contraception two days later, not just the four.

  11. Actually Rita, it’s that Kenyan, Muslim, Nazi, Socialist, Communist, anti-Colonialist, anti-American, Marxist, Community organizing Atheist, fake Christian usurper in their White House that they don’t like.

  12. I’m sure the GOP just wants us to accept
    this. Case closed! The Supreme Court has ruled!
    Ya know,
    like they accepted the #ACA (ObamaCare).

  13. “What about religious freedom?”

    What about religious freedom, Jerome? Religion by definition is a spiritual belief system held by a person, not a corporation, and not our government. Is this discrimination OK by you because HL claims christianity? What if it was another religion using “religious freedom” to discriminate against someone, next time maybe you? When a company (or an individual) pays for insurance, they are paying for services that are part of a package based on the actuarial/demographics of all those who are insured by that company. Complaining about having to pay for a part of it that you may not use is like complaining about paying for school taxes even if you have no children in school. We’re all in this together, we need to realize that we’re all responsible to some extent for the welfare of others besides ourselves. the greatest religious persecution in this country is done by those claiming to be fundamentalist christians.

  14. Exactly. I have no use for Viagra, but it is a covered med in my policy. How about I file suit that based on my religious beliefs, middle aged men are supposed to become impotent, because God says? This opens the door to a lot of crap the RW will not be happy about.

  15. There is a veil between a corporation and the owners (LLC or there should be unless you are really dumb). That means if you own ABC LLC I can sue you but can’t touch your company. Likewise, I can sue ABC LLC but legally can not sue you.

    Therefore legally a company can not be the owner and the owner can not be the company they are legally separate. Because of this veil an owner can not force his/her personal opinions on their employees.

    What the Supreme Court did was to render the veil worthless and allowed for the first time in our Constitutional history for a company to force the owner’s personal beliefs on the employees. This holds far reaching problems as is going to cause massive lawsuits for everything under the sun. Most companies stood back waiting to see the decision as they are not happy about the destruction of the veil which opens up many opportunities for lawsuits. The court is now saying that if I sue ABC LLC now since there is no veil I can at the same time sue…

  16. Thats what I have been trying to explain to these people that think this is all about 4 methods of birth control

  17. Shiva, I wish it were the case that the SC decision opened the door to suits against corporate insiders. But the reality is that, in such cases, the 5 right wingers on the Court would undoubtedly side with the corporations. The Hobby Lobby decision was, plain and simple, a way for the right wing shills on the Court to further support the 1% and the continuing acquisition of wealth and power by the plutocracy.

  18. this is about so much more than birth control and so called religious rights. it’s about power and control.
    if the owners of hobby lobby were so very worried about religious beliefs and abortion why do they invest in those companies that develop and market the contraceptives? why do they buy most of the items they offer for sale in their stores from china? a country that limits births by law and by law enforces abortions? they want to do away with contraceptives but willingly pay for viagra and penis pumps for male employees.
    no, this is about power and control of women. the religious right and the hardline repub conservatives and made comments in interviews that they also want to rescind the law that granted women the right to vote. that they want them out of the work force so that “men” can be men and the bread winners. that women belong in the home taking care of those homes, their men and the babies.
    they are attempting to shove women back at least 200yrs if not even more…..

  19. The scariest thing is that 5 Supreme Court justices made their decision based on the plaintiffs’ (and probably their own) religious “belief” instead of scientific fact.

  20. You are not the only one who sees it that way, and I agree with you completely. But it is actually, imho, a two headed monster, having both a religion supersedes secular law component as well as a woman’s sexuality control component. The latter is used to establish the former. It’s the latter that defines the battleground, while the former wins the prize. But, yes, at the core of all this is the right of a corporation to defy a law that essentially treat women’s sexual needs as equally important as men’s sexual desires. However, with this ruling, the corporate veil has been torn. It won’t be long before owners of corporations will be sued. Then, the desire to have the corporate veil back in place will be once again sought and promoted as necessary. This ruling will be overturned. The rich will see to that.

  21. Then they simply have gone against themselves if they do. They have already done it once since the decision. That could be dangerous for them

  22. Not every lawsuit will end up back at SCOTUS’ desks. It won’t take long for a backlash to develop. The Christian fundamentalists aren’t they only ones with money to spend. Not every lawyer is a Christian fundamentalist supporter or adherent. Theocracy is not conducive to a vibrant capitalistic economy, a type of economy that has a proven record of establishing wealth. That’s why theocratic rule was eliminated throughout the western world in the past.

  23. And if they can’t pass the bill this week, they can try at least 50 more times. There is a precedent for that.

  24. Democrats created the problem. The reason Hobby Lobby won the decision is because the administration had already made accompdations for religous non-profits to not have to cover health care. The Supreme Court said that same system can be used to cover the women who chose the 4 methods of birth control that Hobby Lobby is against. Since it is completely seperatee from the business now they board room will be completely out of the woman’s right to chose the control she wants. There is no additional cost to the women who use this program either, so it does nto adversily effect them despite what democrats want you to believe. Instead of those four methods being covered by the employeer in the few cases that the decision applies to it is covered through a government program that was already set up before the decision was made.

  25. “Religious freedom”. It’s an interesting concept. Whose religious freedom should triumph? The employers or the employees? And where does personal health enter into the discussion? Should an employer’s belief system trump a medical doctor’s diagnosis and treatment plan? Because the owners of a corporation believe something is an abortifacient (a belief not remotely rooted in fact or science) should that determine a woman’s (or anyone’s) medical treatment plan if that is what her doctor recommends?

  26. ”The cornerstone of democracy rests on an informed electorate.” Thomas Jefferson

    Everyone who is posting is correct – we must get out and VOTE!

    First we must be an informed electorate first!

    E.g., I have a friend who was against raising the minimum wage – “too high” until I explained it would be done incrementally (I earned $.75 an hour in 1952…so why is $10.10 “too much”?

    And another friend who had not heard of Citizens United or the McCutcheon SCOTUS decisions till I explained. I don’t think that folks realize that every decision being made by SCOTUS, Congress
    and by their state government, affects them – until it’s too late!

    Thanks to all for your well-informed posts!


  27. Any so called religious organisation that gets into politics should give up any kind of
    tax breaks for themselves.

  28. @Shiva – not only can the owners/partners of a privately held company be sued, but CEO’s, corporate executives and individual shareholders of a publicly traded company are now subject to frivolous litigation. SCOTUS opened a Pandora’s box that will lead to new found wealth for every slimy lawyer in America.

    As for theocratic agenda of the new right, this is just the beginning of the erosion of our civil rights.

    An interesting side note, I stumbled upon this video on the origins of religion you might find enlightening. This debunks the mythology of their base.

  29. There is a lot of correct and perceptive thinking here. HL is simply one in a number of speciously argued power plays from people with deep pockets who think it is time for self righteous megalomaniacs to run everything. I hope everyone blogging will mobilize all their like minded friends to vote rightist extremists out of office. It’s the only leverage we have to keep things fair forr the average person.

  30. Im relieved, i was thinking the government was too corrupt to change the effect of the Hobby Lobby decision.., i mean its not like the supreme court will(I dont know if they even CAN, procedurally) re-visit their own decision and overturn it. So besides legislation would have to wait for a lawsuit challenging hobby lobby to work its way up, up, up to the supreme court all over again. And which emplpoyee of these corporations who decide to play the religion card could afford to sue their employer and wait for years on the breadline? Shouldnt the ACLU be all over this? Are they all over it? I dont watch news because in America cable news is a farce

  31. In light of the Hobby Lobby decision, are we going to have to re-assert our natural rights against the injustice of an imperial Court?

    SCOTUS has imposed divine rights over our minds and will—targeting primarily women. Who will be next?

    Does the Court not know that the intent of our founders was that laws of the federal government are to be extended to individual citizens of America–not corporations? (Federalist Papers 15 and 23)

    “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law. The alliance between church and state in England, has ever made their judges accomplices in the frauds of the clergy.” Thomas Jefferson, Essays 1764.

    Has the Court overreached its authority? Does not the First Amendment prohibit the Court from imposing ecclesiastical law, Roman Catholic canon law (RCCL), on individual citizens, elevating RCCL to a status higher than the authority the Constitution allows? Is this not an impeachable offense?

  32. Jerome, once again I must reply to a person who thinks as you do. I assume you are CHRISTIAN ,one who reads the bible and believes every word. So here goes.
    read Gen: chapter 2 verse 7. My Bible goes like this and is the king James.
    Then the LORD GOD formed man from the dust, from the ground, and BREATHED into his nostrils the BREATH of life; and man became a living being. Now argue with GOD!!

  33. David, this court should m know the law. all are trained lawyers are they not? It is just that the controlling members of this court believe they are an imperial court. Most are catholic, one is special Knight in the church organization. None of these will ever think as Kennedy did. That the church has no place in the Gov. of our country. All will follow the rule of the church. There is one bright spot, the new Pope, seems to be much more open then any before. So maybe there is hope? Beside the fact Churches should be taxed as anyone else can be. Especially when they get involved in Government.

  34. When will you people realize that abortion is not”health care”? No American should be forced to aid another in the murder of an unborn child. If you want an abortion pill, no one is stopping you from buying one yourself.

  35. This bill is the first shot across the bough to that effect, I believe – – and there are at least 2 repubs in support of the legislation as well.

  36. Jerome,
    I know the courts have basically ruled that “corporations are people too”, but can you find that text in the bible where it says “And God said ‘Let us create corporations in our imagine and after our likeness’…so Inc.’s LLC’s created He them”? Anywhere????????? Hmmm????? So wth are you and these other CINOs talking about?

  37. When they realize that Viagra isn’t healthcare…. and that employer “sponsored” health insurance plans are considered as part of compensation, the costs of which, in many cases are shared by the individual….and when you recognize that what you do between you and your doctor for YOUR own body and health is your business…not mine.

  38. I’m still trying to understanding legally how SCOTUS was able to do this given the laws with regard to corporations and their protections…I mean, why is a “closely held” corporation entitled to individual rights and beliefs at another’s expense still maintaining all its protections and separations as it benefit$ them? What constitutes “closely held”?

  39. When will people like YOU, js, understand that contraception is not abortion, that preventing fertilization or ovulation is not abortion?

    When will people like you understand that pregnancy and the prevention of pregnancy IS a health issue, and when will you people understand that there are times when abortion is also a health issue?

    For that matter, when will people like you understand that contraceptive medications are used to treat a whole host of female issues aside from being used to prevent pregnancies?

  40. In this country, a corporation is considered and treated as a person. This is law, not assumption. It’s not up for argument – person, period.

  41. Of course it’s up for argument. That’s why so many people are trying to reverse Citizens United.

  42. You folks don’t get the fundamental concept here–why should I, as a taxpayer, have to pay for your birth control? If you want it, go buy it!! And why should an employer be forced to provide drugs to it’s employees? Is this some sort of God-given right? If you want it, go buy it: It’s all up to you–be responsible for yourself.

  43. By the same token, why should you as a policy holder have to subsidize someone elses diabetes meds?

    There are no god given rights.

    Thank you for your vote for single payer medicine

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