Florida Delegation Breaks on Party Lines over Hobby Lobby Ruling

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: July 1, 2014 3:55 AM
Marco Rubio and Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Marco Rubio and Debbie Wasserman Schultz

The Florida congressional delegation broke on party lines over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby which ensured that Hobby Lobby and other closely held businesses do not have to comply with President Barack Obama’s health-care law’s contraception mandate due to religious objections.

The Supreme Court ruled in Hobby Lobby’s favor on a 5-4 decision with Justice Anthony Kennedy joining the conservatives on the court -- Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito -- in ruling with the majority.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016, praised the decision on Monday as a victory for religious freedom and a blow against Obama’s law.

“A key part of the American dream has always been the ability of our people to freely practice their faiths without government interference,” Rubio said on Monday. “Obamacare’s mandates have threatened to change this and, in doing so, erode the American dream as we know it and our people’s ability to live it. The Supreme Court has correctly recognized that Obamacare’s trampling of religious liberty in the Hobby Lobby case should not stand.

“Obamacare was written and passed with a clear disregard for the reality that millions of Americans are inspired by their faiths in all aspects of their lives, including the way entrepreneurs manage their businesses,” Rubio added. “In America, no one should be forced to violate their religious beliefs if they wish to run a business.

“The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision is a re-affirmation of America’s commitment to religious freedom and a reminder of why Obamacare is such a flawed law that needs to be entirely repealed and replaced,” Rubio concluded.

U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., also cheered the ruling as a win for religious freedom and joined Rubio in calling for a repeal of Obama’s health-care law.

"The president's health-care law goes beyond overreaching,” Ross said on Monday. “The Supreme Court has ruled today that the agency tasked with implementing Obamacare can't coerce family-owned businesses to violate core tenets of their religious faith. It's a shame that the First Amendment's protections for freedom of religion needed to be validated by the Supreme Court. Today's decision was a victory for religious freedom and another example of why Obamacare must be replaced."

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), said the decision would hurt women.

“I am disappointed and deeply concerned by the Supreme Court’s decision today in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby,” Wasserman Schultz said on Monday after the 5-4 decision was announced. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans have gained access to preventive services without out-of-pocket costs, including birth control. However, this decision takes money out of the pockets of women and their families and allows for-profit employers to deny access to certain health care benefits based on their personal beliefs. Nearly 60 percent of women who use birth control do so for more than just family planning.”

Wasserman Schultz stressed the partisan divide over the matter.

“It is no surprise that Republicans have sided against women on this issue as they have consistently opposed a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Republicans have also blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would bring us closer to the promise of equal pay for women. In the wake of this dangerous precedent set by the Supreme Court, Democrats in Congress will continue to fight on the issues of importance to women and their families.”

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., also denounced the ruling as bad for women.

“Employers belong in the workplace, not in an employee’s doctor's office,” said Frankel. “Personal decisions about contraception should be between a woman and her physician – not a woman and her supervisor. Today’s ruling is a sad step backward for women’s health and individual rights over those of corporate bosses.”

Frankel stressed that the ruling did not impact other matters including benefits for same-sex spouses or mental health coverage.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (46)

The Swampfox
12:29PM JUL 3RD 2014
Here we go again with DWS foam at the mouth liberal with her monolithic chant of the Republicans taking away from the poor again. The proverbial "War on Women mantra." First Ms. Schultz it was a Supreme Court Decision against a law that flies in the face of our Constitution, you remember Ms. Schultz the same Constitution you swore to uphold "So help me God." The same Constitution this ersatz president is attempting to dismantle and create a dictatorship?

You may be right on one thing, There is a "War on Women" but what you're party fails to mention is that you are the enemy!
10:51PM JUL 3RD 2014
What shrill rightwing nonsense and demonization . . . . slime a Congresswoman, a President . . . . everyone not like you is the enemy . . . .

That's ok . . . . by now most women know which party believes they can control their bodies during a rape . . . . which party would increase their medical costs by requiring un-necessary medical procedures, and restricting their medical coverage on others . . . . women aren't as dumb and oblivious as some rightwing politicians continue to believe they are . . . . . . . yes, no War on Women . . . . at least that's the spin some rightwingers actually believe . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
8:37PM JUL 6TH 2014
Pathetic, indeed; misdirection from the actual issue, which is a law that patently violates the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to a thoroughly misguided career politician.
Patricia Lavins
10:30PM JUL 2ND 2014
The reaction to the SCOTUS decision on hobby lobby only confirms oncce again that the Republican war on women is alive and well.
Michael Hudson
7:28PM JUL 2ND 2014
DWS, along with her Democretin sycophants, don't seem to understand that access to contraception has not been denied. Four of the 20 methods available are considered to be abortofacients that Hobby Lobby's owners morally and religiously do not approve of. Ms. Wasserman-Schultz is of a mind that so called "reproductive rights" are more important to a families 1st Amendment rights to strongly held religious beliefs.
H.E. "Pete" Ashley
2:34PM JUL 2ND 2014
No woman has been denied contraceptives. But why should their employer or anyone else be the one to pay for them? Should it not be the woman's obligation?
Patricia Lavins
10:34PM JUL 2ND 2014
Obvious H. E. "Pete" Ashley failed biology class. The obligation for birth control is a joint responsibility of both the man and the woman.

The reason that employers should want to include birth control in their health benefits plans is because the entire population benefits when child are wanted and nutured.

Paying for birth control is the most cost-effective means of lessening the welfare payments that Republicans hate.
8:42PM JUL 6TH 2014
"The obligation for birth control is a joint responsibility of both the man and the woman."

OK - just not every man and woman American taxpayer.

Employers are not guardians of the social fabric. Responsible individuals are and since insurance is designed to chiefly address UNFORESEEABLE and catastrophic health and medical events, it should be incumbent on no employer to provide birth control on any plan.
Pam W
10:07PM JUL 1ST 2014
On this subject, and most others, DSW is wrong. On this subject, ObamCare may cost women $10 per month. On the other hand, ObamaCare will kill thousands of women by disallowing Pap smears for women after the turn 70 and limiting paps to every 5 years for women in their 50's. Once again, the dems are playing politics with our lives!
Patricia Lavins
10:37PM JUL 2ND 2014
Pam W is wrong. The Affordable Care Act is already proving to be a great success. Women over the age of 70 are still going to be able to get pap smears because of Medicare.

It is only Republicans who play politics with the lives of any American citizen. This is one of the reasons that so many people believe that the GOP does indeed have a war on women.
8:43PM JUL 6TH 2014
Please tell us about all Obamacare's successes.
11:56AM JUL 2ND 2014
Oh, you mean all those women who previously had no health care coverage, right . . . . and those medical consensus guidelines recently released by groups such as the American Cancer Society, right . . . .

Pathetic . . . . .
rick boothe
5:59PM JUL 1ST 2014
Easy solution to contraceptive mania. Teach your children, first of all, that NO contraceptive is fool proof. Secondly, that if they should not spread their legs or, in a guys case, drop his pants for the first person that says I love you! There's a DIFFERENCE between love and lust! Teach them to recognize the difference and make proper choices as opposed to throwing a condom at them and telling them to go to planned parenthood if they run into a problem.
rick boothe
5:55PM JUL 1ST 2014
Contraception is NOT a health issue!!
Patricia Lavins
10:39PM JUL 2ND 2014
rick boothe obviously failed in biology class. If contraception is not a health issue as has been falsely claimed, then you need to explain why it is a part of the medical curriculum for physicians in training.
2:02PM JUL 1ST 2014
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 was passed by an over-whelming majority in both houses and signed into law by President Clinton. This restoration bill was introduced in the House by than Rep Chuck Schumer. Apparently, according to the Democrats, it was the conservatives on the Supreme Court following the existing RFRA and the Constitution that is causing a new "war on women". Hillary is again reacting in a post-active manner with her view on this decision. She failed to have a talk with Bill before he endorsed it and made it a law.
Patricia Lavins
10:50PM JUL 2ND 2014
Jer needs to recognize that the Republican War on Women is very real and it is not confined solely to the issue of access to birth control.

There is ZERO evidence that the SCOTUS considered the Constitution in its decision.
11:44AM JUL 1ST 2014
Yes, yes, the conservative five justices clearly kept to original intent this time . . . . . birth control conflicts with corporate religious beliefs were clearly of concern to our founding fathers and reflected in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, correct . . . . . . rightwing judicial activism hypocrisy . . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
11:34AM JUL 1ST 2014
I love this photo of Debby. Shows her courage and strength to fight for her constituents.
11:16AM JUL 1ST 2014
The Dems keep harping about Republicans staying out of their bedrooms, why do they insist I have to pay for it?
Patricia Lavins
10:41PM JUL 2ND 2014
Repubtallygirl is confused. The SCOTUS decision had nothing to do with any citizen paying for bedroom activities. The cost are the responsibility of health care insurance companies.
11:31AM JUL 1ST 2014
First of all, when insurance companies, e.g., Hobby Lobby's, pays for birth control, you don't. Second - if you don't want to pay for others birth control, what do you think of the Republican justices' decision that the government, i.e., the tax payers, can pick up the tab for Hobby Lobby's employees? Yep. That is what they wrote. Read the decision.
rick boothe
6:03PM JUL 1ST 2014
Diane, the insurance company that you speak of is OBAMACARE. It's run by the government with OUR tax dollars! If you want to play than YOU should pay. Go buy your own condoms.
Patricia Lavins
10:45PM JUL 2ND 2014
rick boothe must be a viewer of the comedy channel known as Fox News. The payment process involved in the Hobby Lobby case involves INSURANCE companies providing a benefit that is comparable to that provided to members of Congress.

The health care premiums provide for the purchase of viagra so it is only common sense that the health care provider would pay for birth control pills.
8:34PM JUL 8TH 2014
Patty is confused about the purpose; worse, the definition of insurance.
5:53PM JUL 1ST 2014
No they did not. They said the employee has to pay for it themselves.
1:23PM JUL 2ND 2014
Via National Review

Imagine that a woman starts work at Hobby Lobby tomorrow morning — July 1. She joins Hobby Lobby’s health care plan. It includes access, copay-free, to the following categories of FDA-approved birth-control:

Male condoms
Female condoms
Diaphragms with spermicide
Sponges with spermicide
Cervical caps with spermicide
Spermicide alone
Birth-control pills with estrogen and progestin (“Combined Pill)
Birth-control pills with progestin alone (“The Mini Pill)
Birth control pills (extended/continuous use)
Contraceptive patches
Contraceptive rings
Progestin injections
Implantable rods
Female sterilization surgeries
Female sterilization implants
(This new woman at Hobby Lobby cannot use male condoms or a vasectomy, at least not directly. However, if she chose either contraceptive method, in conjunction with her husband, she would have access to it.)

Further, not only would she have access to these medicines and devices, but Hobby Lobby would fund them. That’s right: while White House press secretary Josh Earnest claims that it “jeopardizes the health of women,” Hobby Lobby’s health plan pays for 16 different kinds of contraceptives for its female employees!
9:38AM JUL 1ST 2014
While abortion may be a necessity in a few rare cases, it should not be listed as a form of birth control. Abortion and "morning after pill" is killing a live being. Prevention, ie birth control, is completely different.
Patricia Lavins
10:52PM JUL 2ND 2014
The legal right to obtain an abortion has absolutely nothing to do with the SCOTUS decision on Hobby Lobby.
11:08AM JUL 1ST 2014
Where did you see abortion listed as a form of birth control?
rick boothe
6:12PM JUL 1ST 2014
Diane, you don't even know the basis of the case. Hobby Lobby provides 16 different forms of contraception for their employees. The 4 that they filed suit on are the 4 that involve post conception forms! Address the FACTS! Hillary is out there telling people on TV that Hobby Lobby is against ALL contraception involved. TH
Lois Nadeau
8:00AM JUL 1ST 2014
The frantic debate over the SCOTUS decision continues to mislead. Hobby Lobby was granted exemptions for those drugs, which were not "contraception", but active abortion medications. The medications in question were clearly meant to abort newly conceived fetuses. The decision confirmed Hobby Lobby's right not to fund abortions - at any level of fetal development. Hobby Lobby was NOT allowed to deny contraception or medical care to any woman and has been, in fact, proactive, as it pertains to health care coverage for all their employees.
Patricia Lavins
10:54PM JUL 2ND 2014
Lois Nadeau has no factual evidence to support the absurd claim that Hobby Lobby has been "pro-active as it pertains to health care coverage"
11:07AM JUL 1ST 2014
I question whether the Greens actually believe the morning after pill causes abortion -- surely their lawyer explained the science - or oppose birth control. It is possible they just found a way to save the corporation money by hiding behind religion to deny women reproductive health care.
9:39AM JUL 1ST 2014
Science be damned!
The four medications or medical proceedures are not abortifacents.
The Green's and the others believed they were which is all that mattered to the Conservatives on the Court.
A terrible decision for individual choice and freedom.
5:54PM JUL 1ST 2014
No you have a choice and I had a choice. Before it was what you wanted and to hell with anyone else.
abusers are protected species!
7:33AM JUL 1ST 2014
We the people of Florida will never win the war against child abuse as long as the system protects the abusers and not the children. This is literally just one case out of hundreds here In Florida where the abuser is protected by the system. Enough information is being provided so as any ethical person with average intelligence can verify the enclosed information for validity!
Taken directly from public records formerly available on-line:
On 1/20/2013 - MICHAEL JOHN MORROW was arrested by Leesburg, Lake County, Fl Police and booked in to the Lake County Jail - Booking #:13000734-Case #:-Inmate ID:60711 – DOB: February 1986. Place of birth: Omaha, Nb. [Franklin Scandal territory]


On 2/23/2013 – The arrestee posted a $500. Bond and was released for jail.

On 2/25/2013 – The charges against this defendant was dropped by Fifth Circuit Chief Judge Don Briggs, without comment!

12/4/2013 – Lake County Florida Circuit Court Case# 2013 DR 002421 – Name Exempt vs. Morrow, Michael John [an injunction for protection against sexual violence is filed]

12/6/2013 – Case is heard by Circuit Judge Heidi Davis! Remarks entered into docket as reference #4: Order denying petition for injunction for protection against sexual violence; court notes: The parient’s (sic) may supplement the petition to include they are filing because they feel their daughter needs this protection, not because DCF told them to file. Court will be willing to review it again; copies to petitioner by mail.

Who is this protected species? Other Lake Judges have been flippant with this man on other criminal charges as well. On 2/6/2013- Judge Donna Miller -NOLLE PROSEQUI –drug charges
On this person!

But this is blatant disregard for the safety of a child under the age of 12 years old by Judge Heidi Davis’ remarks it is apparent after the Chief Circuit Judge dropped the charges against the 28 year old attacker the parents of this sexually abused child , went to DCF – who apparently advised the parents to seek this “injunction for protection against sexual violence” in circuit court. The results of which are not only appalling, but could possible lead to the death or continued abuse of this child. What if we hear the parents of this child have taken the law into their own hands? The system would never admit they have protected this sexual offender of a child under the age of 12 years! They will blame the parents for going berserk and taking the law into their own hands.

Once this case was brought to the attention of certain persons all “official Records” of this arrest as well as his drug related arrest #12009378 on 10/10/2012 disappeared from the Lake Jail website. Likewise “Circuit Court Case# 2013 DR 002421” (containing the disparaging remarks of Judge Davis) disappeared from the website of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Lake County Florida website as well. Maybe Leesburg Police still have a record of this arrest?
rick boothe
6:15PM JUL 1ST 2014
What does ANY of this have to do with the Hobby Lobby finding? lol Unless you're saying all of these abusers wouldn't be here if we allowed contraception and abortion. lol
Janet Brown
7:02AM JUL 1ST 2014
DWS is being ridiculous and is just repeating the dem line. This law in no way prevents a woman from having contraceptives or from having the morning after pill. If a woman wants to have unprotected sex then she can buy the product herself. BC pills are only a few dollars a month and there are places like PP where she can probably get them for free.
Patricia Lavins
10:58PM JUL 2ND 2014
Janet Brown has invented her own reality. Contraception has absolutely nothing to do with "unprotected sex."

Planned Parenthood does not give anyone birth control pills for free. If such a program existed in the USA, there would be far fewer unwanted children.
11:27AM JUL 1ST 2014
Janet, your argument shows a lack of understanding of relevant facts, including that women deprived of insurance coverage, may not be able to afford contraceptives. Birth control comes in different forms and the woman and her health care provider determine which form is best medically suited for her. Monthly prescription for pills can be as high as $50. If an IUD is the best method for the patient, cost can run as high as $1,000. The ‘morning after pill,’ critical to victims of rape/incest, can cost as high as $65. Furthermore, many women use contraceptives for conditions unrelated to birth control. You should read Ginsberg’s decision. It will clarify many misconceptions.
rick boothe
6:16PM JUL 1ST 2014
keeping your legs closed is FREE!!
5:56PM JUL 1ST 2014
Hobby Lobby still covers 16 types of birth control.
2:56PM JUL 1ST 2014
The decision only applies to employers not furnishing "abortion inducing drugs" in their employee healthcare plans. Employers supplying birth control contraceptive coverage was never in question. Your misconception is thinking pregnancy is a disease and that your employer should be held responsible, instead of you, for killing your unborn baby in case you get pregnant from not taking the contraceptives covered by your employer paid healthcare plan.
Patricia Lavins
11:00PM JUL 2ND 2014
Jer is confused. No one has ever claimed that pregnancy is a disease.

It is an oxymoron to use the phrase "unborn" and "baby" in the same sentence.
8:44PM JUL 6TH 2014
If pregnancy isn't a disease, then no cure is needed, yes?

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