U.S. lawmakers rally to support Oklahoma's Hobby Lobby's legal challenge

BY BRIANNA BAILEY bbailey@opubco.com Published: February 21, 2013
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The federal government argues that constitutional rights to religious freedom do not apply to Hobby Lobby because the company is a secular, for-profit corporation.

The lawmakers' brief argues that Congress intended Religious Freedom Restoration Act protections to include corporations.

The federal government “may not pick and choose whose exercise of religion is protected and whose is not,” the brief states.

“The brief leaves no doubt that Congress intended to protect the religious freedom of those like Hobby Lobby and its founder, David Green, against federal attempts to force them to insure abortion-inducing drugs,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a nonprofit law firm that is representing Hobby Lobby in its court fight.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt also has filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Hobby Lobby, as has the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.

“The notion that a federal court may don ecclesiastical robes and purport to tell citizens that they do not correctly perceive the tenets of their faith is entirely foreign to American legal practice and experience,” the archdiocese said in its brief.

The appellate court is expected to hear oral arguments in the case this spring.

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