- - Thursday, July 10, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Still smarting over the eminently reasonable Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling, the left is on an unholy tear. The high court said company owners need not betray their religious convictions to become an accessory to abortion, so the Democrats have cooked up legislation to make the Constitution go away.

Three-dozen Senate Democrats have co-sponsored a nine-page bill by Sens. Patty Murray of Washington and Mark Udall of Colorado, deceptively called the Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act. The first seven pages of the measure are a preamble extolling the virtues of birth control, burying the actual intent of the legislation on the back page. They’re embarrassed because it doesn’t sound very “progressive.”

Murray-Udall would nullify the Religious Freedom Restoration Act for scores of religiously based charities, schools and other nonprofits. The Obamacare mandate’s exemption for churches and religious nonprofits would stay in place, but only by the grace of a regulation that could be changed at the whim of this administration or one following.

“Coloradans understand that women should never have to ask their bosses for a permission slip,” says Mr. Udall, who is rallying his base in an uphill re-election campaign, “to access common birth control or other critical services.” He’s following the lead of angry feminist groups (is there any other kind?) who have been tweeting their opposition to the Hobby Lobby ruling with disingenuous hashtags such as “notmybossbusiness.”

Democrats aren’t seeking a “permission slip” from religious businesses, but a deposit slip for banking contributions to finance abortions. There are no barriers to accessing birth control now, and Democrats would compel employers with religious scruples to betray their convictions and mock their beliefs.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has put Murray-Udall on a fast track, but everyone knows it will go nowhere fast. Its prospects of overcoming a Senate filibuster are dubious and painful to certain Democratic incumbents, and it has precisely zero chance of clearing the Republican-controlled House that places a high and unapologetic value on religious freedom. The Democratic leader isn’t shy about his intention.

“The one thing we are going to do during this work period,” says Mr. Reid (who is fond of racial politics), is that “sooner rather than later [we will] ensure that women’s lives are not determined by virtue of five white men. … This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous, and we are going to do something about it. People are going to have to walk down here and vote … and if they vote with the five men on the Supreme Court they’re going to be treated unfavorably come November in the elections.”

Mr. Reid is either colorblind or insulting — Justice Clarence Thomas joined the Hobby Lobby ruling, too. But the bumptious Mr. Reid is aware of party politics. He knows his party is dispirited, and the invention of a “Republican war on women” is the route to hysteria. Hillary Clinton famously observed in her Wellesley College senior thesis paean to Saul Alinsky, “There is only the fight.”

The Senate Democrats who are pushing a constitutional amendment to repeal the First Amendment’s free-speech provision with respect to campaign finance are out as well to eliminate the First Amendment’s free exercise of religion clause as well. Harry Reid has no shame.

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