Senate Democrats said they plan to unveil legislation in the coming weeks in response to the Supreme Court’s controversial ruling in the Hobby Lobby contraception case.
“This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous, and we’re going to do something about it,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters on Capitol Hill today. “People are going to have to walk down here and vote, and if they vote with the five men on the Supreme Court, I think it’s — they’re going to have — be treated unfavorably come November with the elections.”
Reid said the Senate needed to do something to “ensure that women’s lives are not determined by virtue of five white men.”
In a 5-4 decision last week, the Supreme Court ruled that for-profit companies with religious objections did not need to pay for contraception for their employees.
But Reid’s reference to “five white men” is actually incorrect, as it was four white men — Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito, Justice Antonin Scalia, and Justice Anthony Kennedy — and one African American, Justice Clarence Thomas, who sided with Hobby Lobby in the case.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., will spearhead the effort to craft new legislation to address the contraception ruling, Senate Democratic aides said.
While Senate Democrats plan on making this initiative a major priority in the weeks before the month-long August recess, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused them of only being interested in holding “show votes” ahead of the November elections.
“We’d have a better chance of working our way through the bills that we need to pass if we cut out the show votes and didn’t eat up time trying to score points for the fall election,” McConnell said.