Congressional Democrats aren’t taking the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby ruling laying down. Bills that would essentially gut the court decision have been introduced in both the House and Senate.
You’ll recall that the decision held that “closely-held” for-profit companies could avoid the health reform law’s mandate to cover birth control on account of religious objections.
The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act (S. 2578, H.R. 5051) would, according to a press release,
explicitly prohibit for-profit employers that maintain a group health plan for its employees from using religious beliefs to deny employees coverage of contraception or any other vital health service required by federal law.
The proposed law would keep in place the existing exemption from the contraception mandate for religious organizations (like churches) and non-profit religious organizations.
Chance of passage: slim
The chances of the bill’s passage? Not so good.
Lyle Denniston, writing on SCOTUSblog, said that “While the bill may well have a political impact, especially in an attempt to take advantage of the resentment among women’s groups regarding the Hobby Lobby decision, it does not appear to have much chance of actually being passed by Congress. … House Republican leaders have praised the Hobby Lobby decision as reinforcement of religious freedom.
“… The bill already has attracted forty co-sponsors in the Senate. But that would not be enough to overcome a filibuster, should opponents of such a measure mount one there.”
Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Diana DeGette (D-CO), and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced the bill in the House. Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mark Udall (D-CO) sponsored companion legislation in the Senate.