Loading
Hobby Lobby gets temporary reprieve from mandate fines
David Green, Founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby with his wife Barbara. Credit: Becket Fund.
David Green, Founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby with his wife Barbara. Credit: Becket Fund.
By Adelaide Mena
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- A district court has ruled that the national craft chain Hobby Lobby may move forward with its lawsuit against the federal contraception mandate without being penalized for violating the regulation.

“Hobby Lobby and the Green family faced the terrible choice of violating their faith or paying massive fines starting this Monday morning,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents Hobby Lobby, in a June 28 press release.

“We are delighted that both the 10th Circuit and the district court have spared them from this unjust burden on their religious freedom.”

On June 28, the Federal District Court of Western Oklahoma ruled that Hobby Lobby will receive a temporary injunction to protect it from compliance with the federal contraception mandate and the penalties that accompany it.

The Green family founded Hobby Lobby in an Oklahoma City garage in 1972. While the company has grown to include over 500 stores in more than 40 states, the family has maintained a strong Christian identity in operating the business, closing all stores on Sundays, making donations to charity and maintaining minimum wages that are above the national standard.

The company and its owners are currently engaged in a legal battle against a federal mandate requiring employers to offer health insurance plans covering contraception, sterilization and some drugs that may cause early abortions.

Finalized last week, the mandate exempts some religious organizations, but it makes no allowance for the religious beliefs of individuals running for-profit businesses.

More than 200 plaintiffs have filed lawsuits against the mandate, challenging that it violates their First Amendment right to free exercise of religion. 

The Greens do not object to the provision of most contraceptives, which are already included in their health care plan. However, they do have religious objections to the “morning-after” and “week-after” pills, which are also included in the mandate. These drugs can end the life of a newly-conceived human embryo, causing an early abortion.

The family had requested a preliminary injunction to protect the company from being subject to fines of up to $1.3 million per day while the case worked its way through the court system.

Courts on several different levels had previously denied the injunction request. However, in December 2012, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals granted Hobby Lobby en banc consideration of its appeal and then ruled to send the case back to a lower district court for more argument and further consideration.

In doing so, the appeals court argued that Hobby Lobby and the Green family had “established a likelihood of success” in their case against the mandate, and that the regulation “substantially burdened” their religious freedom, causing “irreparable harm.”

The appeals court also observed that “no one disputes the sincerity of Hobby Lobby’s religious beliefs,” critiquing the federal government's claim that the company’s “secular, for-profit” status disqualifies its owners from exercising their constitutional right to religious freedom.

Hobby Lobby will now be able to continue with its lawsuit free from threat of penalty. Further hearings on the case are scheduled on July 19 in Oklahoma City.

Tags: Religious freedom, Contraception mandate

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Sep
23

Liturgical Calendar

September 23, 2014

Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 8:19-21

Gospel
Date
09/23/14
09/22/14
09/21/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Prov 21: 1-6, 10-13
Gospel:: Lk 8: 19-21

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
09/23/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 8:19-21

Homily
Date
09/23/14
09/22/14
09/21/14