Appeals court rules against Hobby Lobby in contraception coverage case
A Denver-based federal appeals court denied the retail chain's bid to overturn a lower court's ruling on a part of the federal health care law regarding insurance coverage for contraception.
A federal appeals court in Denver denied an appeal by retail chain Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. to temporarily halt enforcement of a federal health care law that requires insurance coverage for some types of contraception.
We do not think there is a substantial likelihood that this court will extend the reach of RFRA (the Religious Freedom Restoration Act) to encompass the independent conduct of third parties with whom the plaintiffs have only a commercial relationship.”
10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling,
Attorneys for Hobby Lobby said they will appeal Thursday's ruling on a temporary injunction to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is handling the case for the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby and Christian bookstore chain Mardel Inc.
“The Green family is disappointed with this ruling,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund. “They simply asked for a temporary halt to the mandate while their appeal goes forward, and now they must seek relief from the United States Supreme Court. The Greens will continue to make their case on appeal that this unconstitutional mandate infringes their right to earn a living while remaining true to their faith.”
Hobby Lobby could face fines of up to $1.3 million per day starting Jan. 1 if it fails to follow the law's insurance coverage provisions. The chain has more than 13,000 employees in 41 states.
The Green family and Hobby Lobby filed a lawsuit in September challenging part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. They said a provision dealing with insurance coverage for certain types of contraception — the morning-after pill, the week-after pill and some intrauterine devices — went against the family's beliefs. The Greens believe those types of contraception could cause abortions.
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