Hobby Lobby, Inc. and Mardel Inc. [corporate websites] announced Thursday that they will not comply with Justice Sonia Sotomayor's order [JURIST report] that the companies provide employees with coverage for contraceptives under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) [text; JURIST backgrounder]. The two businesses, a craft store and religious bookstore, are owned by a Christian family, and are represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty [advocacy website]. Their attorney, Kyle Duncan, posted this statement [text] in response to Sotomayor's order.
Hobby Lobby will continue their appeal before the Tenth Circuit. The Supreme Court merely decided not to get involved in the case at this time. It left open the possibility of review after their appeal is completed in the Tenth Circuit. The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees. To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs.Duncan later clarified to the press [NewsOK report] that the companies would not be complying with the mandate where contraception is concerned, despite Sotomayor declining to enjoin the mandate. Defying the mandate, which goes into effect for the businesses on Tuesday, could result in fines of $1.3 million per day of violation [UPI report].
US Supreme Court [official website] Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday denied [opinion, PDF] the Green family's application for injunction which would have prevented enforcement of the provision in the PPACA pending its appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit [official website] challenging the provision. Sotomayor ruled that the Oklahoma City family's religiously oriented business did not meet the requirements to allow an injunction against the PPACA's mandate. The opinion stated that the Hobby Lobby family did not meet the standard of showing that they have an "indisputably clear" legal right to an injunction while appeal is pending. The organizations are appealing an order by the US District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma that ruled [opinion, PDF] that despite the family's religious values, the businesses do not qualify for an injunction. "However, 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."