Skip to comments.Hobby Lobby granted full court hearing for mandate case
Posted on 04/02/2013 9:06:14 AM PDT by NYer
.- 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.
The arts and crafts retailer is one of well over 100 plaintiffs challenging a mandate issued by the Department of Health and Human Services to require employers to provide contraception, some abortion-inducing drugs and sterilizations.
A narrow religious exemption included in the mandate does not apply to for-profit businesses run by religious individuals.
Since its founding in an Oklahoma City garage in 1972, Hobby Lobby has grown to more than 500 stores in 40 states. Its founder and CEO, David Green, and his family describe themselves as committed Christians who strive to serve God through all their endeavors, including their business.
The Greens donate large amounts of money to charitable causes, maintain a minimum wage that is significantly higher than that required by federal law and close their stores on Sundays, sacrificing profit to allow their employees to worship and rest.
As Christians, the Greens also object to funding or facilitating any drugs that can cause abortions, including the “morning after” and “week after” pills. Their lawsuit argues that their First Amendment guarantees of religious freedom are being violated through the mandate’s demands.
Both a federal district court and an appeals court initially denied an injunction that would have blocked the mandate from going into effect while Hobby Lobby argued its case.
The courts said that although the Greens express their sincere religious beliefs through their company, they did not feel that those beliefs were directly burdened by the mandate’s requirements.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied the company’s emergency injunction appeal in December, saying that the case did not meet the extreme standard necessary for the Supreme Court to intervene.
Without an injunction, Hobby Lobby was faced with up to $1.3 million per day in fines for violating the mandate, beginning Jan. 1 of this year.
In January, however, the retailer released a statement saying it had found a way delay the crippling fines by “shift(ing) the plan year for its employee health insurance, thus postponing the effective date of the mandate for several months.”
The company has said that despite the threat of staggering fines, it will continue fighting to exercise its owners’ religious beliefs in its policies.
In addition to granting a full panel of judges for the appeal, the 10th Circuit also said in its March 29th response to Hobby Lobby’s plea that it will “grant the pending request to expedite oral argument,” thereby accelerating the appeals process.
The court said that a date for the appeals case will be set soon. Arguments are expected to take place in the spring.
Are you saying there are states where you can legally drive without insurance?
Enlighten me as to which ones.
Texas certainly isn’t one of them.
Why can’t Hobby Lobby, no matter the ruling of the court, simply cease funding of health care?
There is no rational reason for an employer to fund health insurance any more than for them to fund auto insurance.
If honorable dealing is the issue, they can give each employee the value in money of their particular health care package.
They are out of the health business, and the employees are taken care of, and each of them gets to decide for him/her self where they get their health care.
The law does not require employers to offer health insurance; however, beginning in 2014, employers with more than 50 full-time employees that do not offer coverage will have to pay a penalty of $2,000 per full-time equivalent employee for all full-time employees in excess of 30 if even one employee receives a federal government subsidy and purchases coverage in an exchange.
Employer Penalty for Unaffordable Coverage: If an employee opts out of an employer plan because coverage is unaffordablethat is, if the premium exceeds 9.5 percent of family incomethe employer must pay a $3,000 penalty for each full-time employee who receives a government subsidy and purchases coverage through an exchange.
The government gets them coming and going.
Do you know why that paint is so hard to find?
I LOVE Hobby Lobby. I recently got back into quilting after many years of not sewing and am appalled at the price of nice cotton fabric. Hobby Lobby has 30 percent off their calico fabric all the time, not quite as much to choose from as JoAnn’s or other places, but good enough. It is a pleasant place to shop, the workers in our store are so nice. And the canned music overhead is hymns and other Christian music.
They have a great selection of drawing paper and art supplies too.
Even if you have insurance, you can still be sued for a much higher amount so it doesn't do much for people with assets to take.
A voucher would be a good idea.
You can take this voucher or an equivalent raise in pay...up to you.
I love Hobby Lobby too. They do sell more than crafts and have gorgeous items for home decorating too.
Their prices on paintings, mirrors, patio furniture is cheap and what they sell is so unique
That fist needs a weapon in it.
the full nine? wow that is rare.
It’s very popular among hobbyists——mfg probably can’t keep up with demand.
Other than the constitutionl issues, what's the downside from a purely business perspective? I provide each of my New York employees at my expense with a high-deductible health insurance plan, with family coverage, at a cost of $13,000 per year per covered employee. I will save a huge amount of money when I terminate the plan next year, even after paying the penalties and splitting the remainder 50-50 with the effected employees after deducting the additional labor burden.
To #12: All our lampposts in the DC area lean to the Left. Hard to hang anything from them. Besides that, many of them don’t work, like a lot of Democrat voters. Others are so dim, you can understand where the saying “Dimmest bulb in the pack” came from.
In the DC area, so many things don’t work that you have to ask “What does work” in order to get a short answer” and it is getting worse.
There isn’t a competent Democrat leader within 30 miles of DC.
i (heart) Hobby Lobby. finally a t-shirt i could wear.
There is no rational basis for a business being responsible for an employees health insurance. Nada.
It would make far more sense for the employer to give the $2000 to the employee and have them be responsible for their own health care, and if they want the government version, then they can pay the gov’t that $2000.
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