Senate may soon vote on bill that would curtail religious freedom in response to Hobby Lobby decision [CWN]

Cardinal Seán O’Malley, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop William Lori, the chairman of the conference’s Ad …


Sounds about right for this administration: “The courts didn’t agree with me, so, instead of acting like an adult and accepting defeat, I’m going to sidestep them to get my way anyways.”

This is essentially equivalent to a bratty child asking daddy after mommy already told him no.

It will never clear the House.


What? Why should someone accept defeat about something they feel strongly about when other avenues are open? There are many political paths of action provided to citizens and law-makers. The US government was specifically designed for checks and balances. This is the legislature checking the power of the judiciary.

Exactly. I also agree with the other poster. This bill will be DOA in the House. So why would the Senate waste time passing a bill that has no chance at becoming law? It’s all about political posturing for the base. They can then go to their constituents and say “We worked very hard to get this important piece of legislation passed because we deeply care about this issue. But those other guys are standing in the way as usual.”

“Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) has introduced a bill (S. 2578) that would not only reverse Hobby Lobby, but go far beyond that decision. It negates any right that employers, insurers or employees may have, under RFRA or any other federal law, to opt out of federally mandated coverage.”
This would simply further expand the power of the Federal bureaucracy. It might decide to mandate no-copay coverage of all forms of contraception, sterilization, abortion, or euthanasia. The bureaucracy does not need more power; it needs less power. The government ought not to be mandating the types of products that businesses offer. As noted, the proposal is DOA. But even proposing it is offensive.

I agree with you in principle, the problem is that this is not simply fighting for a given cause, this is active circumvention. The law would nullify a judicial decision, literally removing any authority from the judicial branch. This is seeking to remove involvement from the judicial branch, not balance against it.

And, respectfully, I disagree with you. The USSC ruled that for Hobby Lobby and the other plaintiffs based on the law (RFRA). Since Congress wrote the law, they can change it. If there is a problem with the new law with regards to a constitutional question, another challenge can be made and the USSC can rule on the merits of the argument. The judiciary has no role in lawmaking, only in interpretation of the law.

I don’t believe there is a chance that the House would actually even take up the proposed legislation, so this is nothing but barking into the wind, but it is certainly within the rights and purview of Congress.



I don’t disagree in principle with the idea of the legislature acting as a brake upon the judiciary. I do disagree with the legislature attempting to nullify the principle of religious liberty guaranteed by the first amendment to the constitution.

Neither judicial imperialism nor legislative imperialism is a good idea. Most objectionable of all is imperialism of the federal bureaucracy, as emplified by the HHS mandate, and which is now endemic to the executive branch.

Don’t forget the President’s pen and phone.:frowning:

It failed :slight_smile:

Of course, I am glad it failed, but I am appalled that so many in congress fail to recognize the value of following one’s conscience. Our government is trying to force people into not following one’s conscience. There are six things that are the primary motivating factors a person might have in making a decision.

  1. You can do the right thing because your conscience tells you that it is the right thing to do, the satisfaction of knowing you did a good job.
  2. The other five are the selfish gains of money, sex, or power or leisure or satisfying one's ego.

How would you like to know that you were flying in a plane, that was designed, built and maintained by people whose only motivation was item number two above ?

And if it crashed, and you or your loved ones suffered as a result of people following item number two above, you would have nothing to complain about if you choose to vote for those who want to force EVERYONE not to follow number one above.

Writing “in strong opposition” to the bill earlier this week were Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairs respectively of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities and the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty. They wrote that S. 2578 "does not befit a nation committed to religious liberty. Indeed, if it were to pass, it would call that commitment into question. Nor does it show a genuine commitment to expanded health coverage, as it would pressure many Americans of faith to stop providing or purchasing health coverage altogether."

A motion to take up this legislation was supported by 56 Senators but failed to achieve the 60 votes needed to proceed. Commenting on the vote, USCCB Director of Government Relations Jayd Henricks said: “While the outcome of today’s vote is a relief, it is sobering to think that more than half the members of the U.S. Senate, sworn to uphold the laws and Constitution of the United States, would vote for a bill whose purpose is to reduce the religious freedom of their fellow Americans. We need more respect for religious freedom in our nation, not less.

How they voted**


Very glad it failed. Maybe it was just cynical politics after all. Turns my stomach.

It’s offensive because all these folks take the oath of office to support and defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. The constitution is the law. The first amendment protects the free exercise of religion. The 14th amendment requires equal protection of the laws for any person. By supporting blatantly unconstitutional bills like this, they make themselves domestic enemies of the constitution.

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