Companies that object to extending employee health insurance to cover contraceptives will have to comply with the requirement even as they challenge President Barack Obama’s healthcare law in court.
The ruling comes from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who rejected an emergency appeal to a 10th Circuit Court ruling against Hobby Lobby Stores and Mardel, whose owners argued that complying with the insurance mandate would violate their Christian religious beliefs, Reuters noted.
Some contraceptives covered under the insurance mandate could induce an abortion. Failure to comply with the mandate could result in fines of up to $1.3 million per day for the two companies, which are controlled by billionaire David Green.
The companies are contesting the healthcare mandate in federal court, arguing that it violates their free exercise of religion. Lower courts have declined to issue an injunction allowing the companies to avoid the mandate while they pursue the litigation.
Sotoymayor’s ruling pertained only to their request for an injunction and did not address their claims that the law violated constitutionally guaranteed religious freedoms, which will be addressed by the lower courts.
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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