HOBBY LOBBY GUTS WOMEN’S RIGHTS — Center for Reproductive Rights President and CEO Nancy Northrup slammed the Supreme Court’s Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. ruling, stating: “This astonishingly backward-looking decision makes one troubling pronouncement after another, turning back the clock on what should have been an historic measure of progress for women’s health and empowerment.” The devastating ruling dictates that “closely-held” for-profit secular corporations are exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act … to combat the ruling, Planned Parenthood launched a text helpline for those affected. TEXT “birth control” to 69866 to report denial of coverage and receive information about how to get access.
Democratic Senators Patty Murray (WA) and Mark Udall (CO) are expediting the Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act–nicknamed the “Not My Boss’ Business Bill”–that would override the SCOTUS ruling and ensure that employers cover contraception for their workers. SIGN Planned Parenthood’s petition to Congress HERE.
HOBBY LOBBY MUST READS: “Where Will the Slippery Slope of ‘Hobby Lobby’ End?,” “Ruth Bader Ginsburg Was Right, and We Already Have Proof,” and “Alito’s ‘Hobby Lobby’ Opinion Is Dangerous and Discriminatory” over at The Nation.
ACT NOW TO SAVE NET NEUTRALITY — The ACLU, CREDO Action, Free Press, MoveOn, and the National Organization for Women (NOW), and nearly 100 other progressive organizations sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and the President urging against the Chairman’s proposal that would end net neutrality. If approved, Internet service providers would be able to slow and potentially block online content, effectively creating a two-tiered Internet. The FCC’s comment period to hear arguments from the general public ends NEXT TUESDAY, July 15th. COMMENT at the FCC, CALL your member of Congress, and SPREAD the word to save net neutrality.
THE FIGHT AGAINST VOTER SUPPRESSION — A North Carolina NAACP-backed legal team began arguments on Monday in a federal hearing to stop the worst effects of the state’s restrictive voting law, H.B. 589. The legal team, which includes attorneys from Advancement Project, is seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent the law from disenfranchising voters in the 2014 midterm elections by arguing that it violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and that it disproportionately impacts African American voters. Advancement Project Co-Director and Top Wonk Penda D. Hair: “Even with all of the statistics and legal arguments about North Carolina’s voter suppression law, this case is about voters. Throughout the hearing we will lift up their stories because so much is at stake.”
SIGN Rock the Vote’s “Don’t Block the Vote” petition HERE.
WAGE WAR – Top restaurant industry CEOs made 721 times more than minimum wage workers in 2013, according to new findings by the Economic Policy Institute. Meanwhile, the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) released a new report revealing that states that raised their minimum wage in 2014 had stronger job growth than those that did not. READ: “A Cure For Bloated CEO Pay,” by CEPR Co-Director and Top Wonk Dean Baker.
BLACK WOMEN IN POLITICS — Higher Heights, Center for American Progress, and Rutgers University Center for American Women and Politics released a new report indicating that black women are consistently underrepresented at all levels of political office. The report includes a strategy for making black women’s voices heard and expanding their political leadership. FIND OUT MORE about Higher Heights and READ the full report HERE.
SUMMERTIME SADNESS – Ten percent of all water samples collected last year from 3,500 US beaches contained bacteria levels that fail safety tests, according to a new study by the NRDC. They also published a tip sheet exposing eight summertime woes that will worsen without a climate change intervention. These summertime hazards include more heat waves, more disease-carrying insects, worse air quality, and increasingly dangerous swimming conditions.
THE REAL GOVERNMENT DEPENDENTS — Center for American Progress released a new report revealing that the government subsidizes the wealthy in the form of a subsidy for inherited wealth and low tax rates for capital gains and dividends. If it weren’t for these two tax expenditures, federal revenues would be more than enough to pay for all federal programs over the next 10 years. READ the full report HERE.
FROM THE WONK WIRE …
… A NEW NEW DEAL: Center for American Progress Senior Economist and Top Wonk Heather Boushey outlines a new agenda for American families and the economy, inspired by FDR’s New Deal and adjusted to reflect the increased role of women in the workplace.
… THE RESULTS ARE IN: University of Chicago Professor of Law and Top Wonk Aziz Huq releases broad-based survey results indicating that the majority of Americans oppose religious rights for corporations.
Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.
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