Looks like Obamacare could be coming before the Supreme Court once again. Don’t get too excited, though — the case involves just one provision of the Affordable Care Act.
In an unusual move, Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft-supply stores that describes itself as “Christian-owned and operated,” has asked the Supreme Court to review the section of the ACA that requires employers to provide and pay for contraceptives.
What makes the move unusual? The company’s already won a court decision.
Last June, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the government’s argument that the owners and their family-owned businesses, Hobby Lobby and a Christian bookstore chain named Mardel, could not legally exercise religion. The court further said the businesses were likely to win their challenge to the HHS mandate, according to company officials.
Since then, courts in other parts of the country have ruled differently, setting up a conflict that only the Supreme Court can resolve, the company said in a press release.
Last month, the government asked the Supreme Court to review the case, and Hobby Lobby agreed that the Supreme Court should hear the appeal.
Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and Hobby Lobby’s attorney, issued the following statement:
Hobby Lobby’s case raises important questions about who can enjoy religious freedom.
Right now, some courts recognize the rights of business owners … and others do not. Religious freedom is too important to be left to chance. The Supreme Court should take this case and protect religious freedom for the Green family and Hobby Lobby.
The Court will consider the government’s petition and Hobby Lobby’s response next month. If the petition is granted, the case would be argued and decided before the end of the Court’s term in June.
Here’s a copy of the firm’s petition to the Supreme Court (link courtesy of Becket Fund).