• State Democrats Launch New Plan to Fight Hobby Lobby Decision

    By: Essex Porter



    Washington Democrats launched a new battle over birth control Thursday.
    State senators and Gov. Jay Inslee say they've found a way around the Supreme Court's controversial Hobby Lobby decision.
    Final construction is underway at the new Hobby Lobby store at 132nd and Aurora Avenue North in Seattle. The Hobby Lobby website says it is scheduled to open Friday.
    Two blocks away Inslee and a group of state senators are working to tear down the Hobby Lobby ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. They don't like that it lets closely held companies refuse to pay for contraception in their health plans on religious grounds.
    “This has real effect on tens of thousands of Washington employees who are now at risk of losing access to their choice of birth control,” said Kent Democrat Karen Keiser.
    Democrats say they can require such coverage under Washington's anti-discrimination laws, because the Supreme Court’s decision is based on a federal law, not the Constitution.
    “This partisan politics around women's reproductive rights and core values is unacceptable,” said Orcas Island Democrat Kevin Ranker.
    But Issaquah Republican Andy Hill is one of their big targets as Democrats try retake control of the state Senate to pass their Hobby Lobby fix. Democrats say he claims to be pro-choice -- but has kept important legislation from coming to the floor.
    “This looks like it's a pretty low political game,” Dan Kennedy,of the pro-life group Human Life Washington, said of the Democratic move.
    And, in fact, KIRO 7 saw Inslee wearing the campaign sticker of Hill's Democratic opponent.
    When KIRO 7's Essex Porter asked about it he playfully stuck it on me and acknowledged, “This is an issue for voters this fall.”
    In a statement, Hill seemed to embrace the Democratic proposal.

    "The proposal offered by my colleagues this morning sounds like a reasonable proposal,” he said.

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