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Democratic Leaders Lambaste Supreme Court Justices Over Hobby Lobby Decision

Democratic Leaders Lambaste Supreme Court Justices Over Hobby Lobby Decision

July 11, 2014 — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday criticized the Supreme Court's ruling in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell, calling the decision "a frightening one" and adding that people "should be afraid of this court," The Hill reports.

She added that a boss' "business is whatever his business is. But it's not what contraception [a female employee] uses" (Lillis, The Hill, 7/10).

Justices Misled Senate, Democrats Say

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday called the decision the worst in the last 25 years, adding, "It's wrong for five men to decide what happens to women in America."

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) suggested that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito misled the Senate during their confirmation hearings about where they stood on Griswold v. Connecticut, a 1965 Supreme Court ruling that struck down state laws prohibiting contraception.

Durbin said he "asked that question repeatedly of Justice Roberts and Justice Alito to make sure that they would honor that same tradition of privacy," but their ruling in the Hobby Lobby case "violates that fundamental premise." He said that both justices, while careful in their responses, "said they stood by the Griswold decision" (Lefferman, "The Note," ABC News, 7/10).

Reid said that Roberts "misdirected us. He's certainly been a disappointment to us." He said Alito's decision to side with Hobby Lobby was less unsurprising because "Alito told [the Senate] who he was" during his confirmation hearing (Crittenden, "Washington Wire," Wall Street Journal, 7/10).