The federal government has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.'s legal challenge to part of the Affordable Care Act.
The court will consider whether to take up the case in the next six weeks. If the federal government's petition for Supreme Court review is granted, the court would likely decide the case before the end of its term in June 2014.
Hobby Lobby's founder and CEO, David Green and his family are morally opposed to some types of contraceptives, including the morning-after pill, that the new health care law requires them to cover as part of the company's employee health insurance plan. The family believes that the morning-after pill and some other emergency contraceptives are a form of abortion, which conflicts with their Christian beliefs.
“The United States government is taking the remarkable position that private individuals lose their religious freedom when they make a living,” Kyle Duncan, general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and lead lawyer for Hobby Lobby, said in a statement. “We're confident that the Supreme Court will reject the government's extreme position and hold that religious liberty is for everyone — including people who run a business.”
Earlier this week, the government filed court papers indicating that it would also challenge a preliminary injunction that Hobby Lobby won in July that has allowed the company avoid millions of dollars in fines for refusing to cover the cost of emergency contraceptives for its employees while its court case is pending.