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Today’s fun video: John Oliver on Hobby Lobby case

 

This actually aired the night before Monday's Supreme Court decision came down, but Oliver's rift on what corporations should have to do if they really want to be considered people may be even more on point now.

He'd probably get high fives from the minority and those in their corner, but not from the five who ruled for Hobby Lobby and those who think they're right on the mark. 

Hobby Lobby to fuel RPA debate next year?

OLYMPIA – Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows some companies to refuse birth control coverage for employees is likely to add fuel to both sides of the Washington legislative controversies over the Reproductive Parity Act.

It probably won’t affect two other controversial cases that involve businesses and claims of religious freedom.

A priority for Gov. Jay Inslee and most legislative Democrats for the last two years, the Reproductive Parity Act would require any insurance plan that offers maternity care to also cover abortions. It easily passed the state House of Representatives this year and last, but died in the Senate where the ruling coalition is predominantly Republicans.

“I’m hoping that what this will do is urge the Legislature to pick (the legislation) up and pass it next year,” Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, prime sponsor of the Reproductive Parity Act, said of the court’s Hobby Lobby decision.

Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, said he doubted that the court’s decision will change any minds on either side of the issue, but it could cause both sides to step up efforts for or against the proposal: “Both sides have their share of passionate people.”

The Hobby Lobby involves forms of contraception that some people consider a form of abortion. The Reproductive Parity Act covers actual abortions, Padden said. “The position against the RPA is even stronger than the argument against abortion in the Hobby Lobby case,” he said.

Opponents of abortion will definitely use Monday’s decision to fight the proposal, Hobbs predicted, and supporters should take it as a sign that a woman’s right to decide to have an abortion is not “all worked out” even though that Supreme Court case is 40 years old. “I think this is a fight that will continue on a state-by-state basis.”

Hobbs said he will likely sponsor  a new version of the Reproductive Parity Act in the next session. Padden, who would lead a committee with jurisdiction over the proposal unless Democrats regain the majority, said he can’t decide at this point whether he’d schedule a hearing. “But I’m not a big fan of mandates,” he added.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the Hobby Lobby decision should have no impact on a court case in which some pharmacists don’t want to stock the morning-after birth control pill or a separate case in which a florist refused to serve a same-sex couple’s wedding. Religious freedom is cited in both cases, but they involve state laws, not the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act involved in Monday’s ruling, he said.

The court also said the Hobby Lobby decision doesn’t create a religious exception to anti-discrimination laws, Ferguson said. The state argues the florist case involves discrimination based on sexual orientation, which is illegal under Washington law. 

For comments about the Hobby Lobby decision from Northwest politicians, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.

Labrador: Hobby Lobby ruling ‘tremendous victory for religious freedom’

1st District Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador is calling the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision today a “tremendous victory for religious freedom in America.” In a statement, Labrador, a Republican who's seeking a third term, said, “No American should be forced to choose between following their faith and submitting to unlawful and unnecessary government mandates.  The HHS mandate, by violating freedom of conscience, needed to be overturned and repudiated.  The Supreme Court’s decision breathes new life into one of our most important freedoms and eliminates one of the most destructive aspects of Obamacare.”

Otter lauds Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter today lauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, in which the court held that family-owned corporations with religious objections can’t be forced to pay for insurance coverage for contraception for their employees. Otter noted that Idaho was among 20 states joining in an amicus brief in support of the arguments from Hobby Lobby and another business, Conestoga Wood Specialties.Here is Otter’s statement:

“As governor of one of the states weighing in on this case, I’m encouraged to see religious liberty trumping Obamacare’s headlong rush to impose a contraceptive mandate on the American people. Today’s ruling confirms once again that President Obama’s policies – when left unchecked – are eroding our constitutional rights. I remain committed to challenging that misguided course at every opportunity, and I’m grateful to courageous individuals and employers willing to stand up and be counted.”

Second area Hobby Lobby Store to open Aug. 31 in North Spokane


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IF Hobby Lobby is your thing, save Aug. 31.

That's when the second of Spokane's Hobby Lobby Stores opens its doors, starting at 9 a.m.

The first was in Spokane Valley near the mall. This one is at the corner of North Division and East Lincoln Road. It's taking over a 66,000 square foot building once used by Hastings and later by Liquidation World.

The store's "official" grand opening will be the following Monday. Both events are open to the public. 

We like that the friendly corporate Lobby folks even told us, in a release, that Scarlet Suitter is the store manager of the 65,900 square-foot retail facility.

This is the Oklahoma City-based group's fifth Washington store.

Notable tidbit: Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. started as an outgrowth of Greco Products, a miniature picture frames company founded in a garage.

Hobby Lobby plans second Spokane store on North Division, near Michaels

A big deal for the crafters in the area, Hobby Lobby has announced it's opening a north Spokane location later this year.

This will be the national craft retailer's second Spokane area location.

It's taking part of the former Hastings store at 7706 N. Division St. It’s spending about $750,000 to convert the building, said Scott Nelson, Hobby Lobby’s assistant vice president of real estate.

The Oklahoma City-based company sells do-it-yourself crafts, hobby supplies and assorted home items. It opened a Spokane Valley store in 2010.
 
Nelson said the current owner will turn the building over to Hobby Lobby by next month. It will take about four months to get the building ready for business, he said. It expects to hire 35 to 40 employees.
 
The business will be a few hundred yards from a North Division Michaels store, a Hobby Lobby competitor. Nelson said the location decision had nothing to do with Michaels. “It’s all about availability (of a building),” he said, adding that Hobby Lobby realized it has customers who didn’t want to drive to the Valley.

Applications accepted Monday at the new Hobby Lobby store in Spokane Valley

We’ve just mentioned the imminent opening of mega-hobby store, Hobby Lobby, in Spokane Valley this summer. Those interested in applying for work can line up on Monday, July 19, at the store location, 13902 E. Indiana.

A company spokesman said this store will hire between 30 and 50 workers. Jobs will be both full- and part-time.

Something wicker this way comes (to Spokane Valley)

Yo crafters and hobby types. News of major proportion just in:  Mega hobby and craft center chain, Hobby Lobby, will move into the empty G.I. Joe’s store in Spokane Valley. It’s expecting to open the new store in August.

The new Spokane Valley store will be at 13902 E. Indiana, and take up 45,000 square feet of floor space. The Oklahama City-based chain has more than 450 stores across the country; the nearest one so far has been in Boise.

This is a very large chain. Vincent Palmer, a company director of customer services, said it’s sort of fair to say Hobby Lobby is the “supersized” version of Michaels, another known chain of crafts stores. The big difference, he said, is that Hobby Lobby has more home-focused items, such as fabrics, picture frames and decorating accessories.

It also has operations in China, Hong Kong and the Phillipines.