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Hobby Lobby will defy mandate, risk fines; federal court blocks enforcement in separate case

December 31, 2012

The Hobby Lobby stores will defy a federal mandate requiring coverage of the morning-after pill in employees’ health-insurance policies, risking fines of over $1 million a day beginning on January 1.

Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned retail chain, has challenged the HHS insurance mandate in court. Last week, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied a request to block enforcement of the mandate until the lawsuit is resolved, but said that Hobby Lobby could pursue its case in lower courts. The chain has announced that it will defy the HHS mandate at least until the case is resolved.

In a related development, a federal appeals court in Chicago granted the request of a Catholic employer to block enforcement of the mandate pending the resolution of a separate lawsuit. Korte & Luitjohan Contractors won a 2-1 decision, with the majority ruling that the employer had a realistic chance to prevail in the legal challenge to the mandate.

The split decisions in federal courts involving challenges to the HHS mandate virtually guarantee that the matter will be quickly presented to the US Supreme Court for final review.


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  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Jan. 01, 2013 5:43 PM ET USA

    Today's bishops know that sooner or later,if not they,future generations will be actively persecuted by imprisonment and death. It's the natural course of events in this country.

  • Posted by: Savonarola - Dec. 31, 2012 10:05 PM ET USA

    These people have Christian courage. Maybe they'll set a needed example for the Catholic bishops.