Home  >  Hawaii  >  U.S. Senate Democrats introduce bill to counter Hobby Lobby decision

U.S. Senate Democrats introduce bill to counter Hobby Lobby decision

By   /   July 10, 2014  /   No Comments

By Malia Zimmerman | Watchdog.org

HONOLULU — Several U.S. Senate Democrats are fast-tracking a bill,  the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act, they say will counter the U.S. Supreme Court’s  Hobby Lobby decision.

AP file photo

PUSHING BACK: U.S. Sen Brian Schatz is among several Senate Democrats trying to counter the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case.

Those senators include Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Mark Udall, D-Colo.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 June 30 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that individuals do not lose their religious freedom when they open a family business.

The case was significant because this is the first time the high court ruled that under federal law, closely held private businesses may hold religious views.

Barbara Green, co-founder of Hobby Lobby, said the nation’s highest court reaffirmed the vital importance of religious liberty as one of the country’s founding principles — a victory not just for her family business, but for all who seek to live out their faith.

The high court upheld a June 2013 ruling by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that protected Hobby Lobby and the Green family from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate requiring them to provide some birth-control drugs and devices in the company’s health insurance plan.

The Greens maintained the requirement was a violation of their religious beliefs and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Schatz, like many liberal women’s groups and Democrats, has argued corporations aren’t people and should not be given constitutional rights. Schatz maintains the Supreme Court has now “opened the door to a wide range of discrimination and denial of services.”

Nicknamed by Democrats the “Not My Boss’s Business Act,” Schatz said the legislation would allow Congress to begin fixing the “damage done by the Supreme Court’s decision.”

Murray said she hopes Republicans will join Democrats to “revoke this court-issued license to discriminate and return the right of Americans to make their own decision about their own health care and their own bodies.”

However, Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, have supported of the ruling, calling it is a victory for religious freedom.

The Wall Street Journal reports that 15 Senate and House Republicans filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the ruling.

Reach Malia Zimmerman at Malia@hawaiireporter.com

Click here to LEARN HOW TO STEAL OUR STUFF!

“Fearless, fair, intrepid, gets to the truth.” These are words used to describe news reporting by Malia Zimmerman and her small reporting staff at the investigative news organization she co-founded in Honolulu 12 years ago, Hawaii Reporter. Besides publishing daily news reports online at Watchdog.org and HawaiiReporter.com/, Malia hosts a weekly half hour television show, News Behind the News, which features Hawaii congress members, governors, and other local leaders, and she reports daily for KHVH News Radio 830 AM, a local Clear Channel station. She also hosts a monthly inspirational television magazine show on the local CBS and NBC affiliates called You've Got the Power. Malia produced a special investigative report for ABC 20/20 and has been interviewed on that show. Malia also has been a freelancer for People magazine, Inside Edition, Fox News and other national publications including the Wall Street Journal. Malia and Hawaii Reporter have been featured in numerous media outlets around the world including ABC 20/20, Bangkok Post, Business Week, Drudge Report, Forbes.com, Fox News, Radio Australia, United Press International, Wall Street Journal and Washington Times foreign bureau. Malia and the reporters who worked under her have won numerous awards for their investigative reporting including the highest award presented by the Society of Professional Journalists for public service reporting in 2012 as well as investigative reporting in 2012.