Just another case/example of the Federal Government overstepping their bounds..... And people truly wonder why there is a secession movement nationwide....
Court rejects Hobby Lobby's challenge to contraceptive mandate
November 19, 2012 | By Steve Olafson | Reuters
OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - A federal judge on Monday denied a legal challenge to President Barack Obama's signature health reforms, ruling that the owners of a $3 billion arts and crafts chain must provide emergency contraceptives in their group health care plan.
The owners of Hobby Lobby asked to be exempted from providing the "morning after" and "week after" pills on religious grounds, arguing this would violate their Christian belief that abortion is wrong.
Judge Joe Heaton of the U.S. District for the Western District of Oklahoma denied the request for a preliminary injunction.
Heaton ruled that while individual members of the family that owns and operates Hobby Lobby have religious rights, the companies the family owns are secular, for-profit enterprises that do not possess the same rights.
Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in Washington, D.C., which assisted Hobby Lobby in the legal challenge, said Monday's ruling will be appealed. Hobby Lobby, the largest non-Catholic U.S. company to go to court over the issue of contraceptives in the Affordable Care Act, is owned by the Green family of Oklahoma City. Patriarch David Green is ranked 79th on Forbes Magazine's list of the 400 richest Americans with a net worth of $4.5 billion.
The family operate 514 Hobby Lobby stores in 41 states and employ 13,240 people. It funds a variety of Christian charities, closes its stores on Sundays and plays inspirational Christian music in its stores. The Green family also sought contraceptive health insurance exemption for Mardel, their family-owned bookstore and educational supply company that has 35 stores in seven states with 372 employees. The Oklahoma City-based companies already had been unwittingly providing the emergency contraceptives until they realized they were do so during the debate over provisions of what conservatives have dubbed "Obamacare," according to court testimony. They discontinued that coverage only recently, testimony showed.
The Food and Drug Administration lists the "morning after" and "week after" pills as emergency contraceptives. But abortion opponents like the Green family consider them abortion-inducing drugs because they are often taken after conception.
Hobby Lobby faces a January 1 deadline to comply with the mandate to provide all FDA-approved contraceptives. Failure to do so would entail a penalty of up to $1.3 million per day.
There are more than 40 other lawsuits challenging the health care mandate that requires that all group health plans provide emergency contraceptives, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
(Reporting by Steve Olafson; Editing by Nick Carey and Lisa Shumaker)
Judge rejects Hobby Lobby's case against ObamaCare contraceptive coverage rule
Read more: http://www.foxnews.c.../#ixzz2Clwayh8d
A federal judge Monday rejected Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.'s request to block part of the federal health care overhaul that requires the arts and craft supply company to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after and week-after birth control pills.
In a 28-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton denied a request by Hobby Lobby to prevent the government from enforcing portions of the health care law mandating insurance coverage for contraceptives the company's Christian owners consider objectionable.
The Oklahoma City-based company and a sister company, Mardel Inc., sued the government in September, claiming the mandate violates the owners' religious beliefs. The owners contend the morning-after and week-after birth control pills are tantamount to abortion because they can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman's womb. They also object to providing coverage for certain kinds of intrauterine devices.
At a hearing earlier this month, a government lawyer said the drugs do not cause abortions and that the U.S. has a compelling interest in mandating insurance coverage for them.
In his ruling denying Hobby Lobby's request for an injunction, Heaton said that while churches and other religious organizations have been granted constitutional protection from the birth-control provisions, "Hobby Lobby and Mardel are not religious organizations."
"Plaintiffs have not cited, and the court has not found, any case concluding that secular, for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby and Mardel have a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion," the ruling said.
Heaton wrote that "the court is not unsympathetic" to the problems cited by Hobby Lobby and their owners, the Green family. He said the health care law's expansion of employer obligations "results in concerns and issues not previously confronted by companies or their owners."
"The question of whether the Greens can establish a free exercise constitutional violation by reason of restrictions or requirements imposed on general business corporations they own or control involves largely uncharted waters," Heaton wrote.
Hobby Lobby's attorney said the companies' owners will appeal.
"Every American, including family business owners like the Greens, should be free to live and do business according to their religious beliefs," Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said in a statement.
The morning-after pill works by preventing ovulation or fertilization. In medical terms, pregnancy begins when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of the uterus. If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, it can reduce a woman's chances of pregnancy by as much as 89 percent.
Critics of contraception say it is the equivalent of an abortion pill because it can prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus. The lawsuit also alleges that certain kinds of intrauterine devices can destroy an embryo by preventing it from implanting in a woman's uterus.
Hobby Lobby is the largest business to file a lawsuit against the mandate.
Hobby Lobby calls itself a "biblically founded business" and is closed on Sundays. Founded in 1972, the company now operates more than 500 stores in 41 states and employs more than 13,000 full-time employees who are eligible for health insurance coverage. The company, which is self-insured, has said it will face a daily $1.3 million fine beginning Jan. 1 if it ignores the law.
"It is by God's grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured," said David Green, founder and CEO. "Therefore we seek to honor God by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles."
The Green family has said it has no moral objection to the use of other contraceptives and will continue covering them for its employees.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.c.../#ixzz2Clx3BazN
Edited by Neo, 20 November 2012 - 08:19 AM.