On December 21st, a federal appeals court stuck down Hobby Lobby’s request for an exemption from providing the morning-after and week-after pill in their health insurance plan as mandated by Obamacare (ACA).
A Court of Appeals in Denver, CO ruled against the arts-and-crafts store chain’s belief that the Christian fundamentalist beliefs of its owners should exempt them from that provision.
Beginning January 1, the Green Family, who own the chain, face $1.3 million a day in fines if they do not violate their core religious beliefs and provide the abortifacients.
Hobby Lobby immediately asked the SCOTUS for an emergency injunction. A Supreme Court injunction would have prevented the company from being forced into implementing the mandate temporarily while it appeals the most recent decision to a lower court.
Justice Sotomayor handles issues arising from the 10th circuit and received the case.
Justice Sotomayor denied the request, ruling that the store owner does not meet the extremely high standards required for a preliminary injunction. She said it is not clear that they need the injunction though the court doesn’t have much experience with similar religious-based claims [Politico]
Justice Sotomayor, however, did have a similar First Amendment experience prior to becoming a Supreme Court Justice in which she showed unusual deference to Muslim inmates when she found in favor of the Ramadan Ruling of 2003 [Laura Ingraham]
In that case, she found that a MUSLIM PRISONER, who was denied Ramadan meals, must be provided with the meals on a feast day even though it was not a religious requirement.
Sotomayor ruled that the inmate’s First Amendment rights were violated because the feast was subjectively important to the inmate’s practice of Islam. [Ford v. McGinnis]
Lawyers will say the cases are entirely different but they are entirely not.
Fundamental Christians apparently cannot rely on the First Amendment protections but Muslims can.
Hobby Lobby will appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. Hobby Lobby is a faith-based business, represented by the Beckett Fund. A SCOTUS decision in favor of Hobby Lobby is looking bleak.
The government is at war with some religions.
Kyle Duncan, who is representing Hobby Lobby on behalf of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said in a statement posted on the group’s website Thursday that Hobby Lobby doesn’t intend to offer its employees insurance that would cover the drug while its lawsuit is pending. “The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees,” Duncan said. “To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs.”
Contact them here.