Hobby Lobby Granted Full Court Hearing on HHS Mandate
In November of last year a federal judge ruled Christian-owned Hobby Lobby must pay for abortifacient drugs and birth control for their employees. As a result of this new law Hobby Lobby announced it would defy the Obama HHS mandate and risk potential fines of up to $1.3 million per day.
This week Christian-owned Hobby Lobby found out it will be able to make its appeal against the federal HHS mandate.
Catholic News Agency reported:
Christian-owned craft giant Hobby Lobby will be able to make its appeal against the federal contraception mandate before a full federal panel of nine judges, rather than the usual three.
“Full court review is reserved only for the most serious legal questions,” explained Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in a press release on March 29. The Becket Fund is representing the owners of Hobby Lobby in court.
Duncan said that the decision to grant a full nine-judge hearing speaks to the gravity of the issue.
“This case asks whether the First Amendment protects everyone’s right to religious freedom, or whether it leaves out religious business owners like the Greens,” he explained.
As its religious freedom case comes before a federal court, Hobby Lobby had petitioned for an “en banc” hearing, or an appeals hearing before the full bench of nine judges.
“We are grateful that the court granted Hobby Lobby’s petition,” said Duncan.