The U.S. Supreme Court has refused a request by national retailer Hobby Lobby for an emergency injunction to block implementation of the Department of Health and Human Services' contraception mandate, an element of President Obama's notorious Affordable Healthcare Act that requires employers to provide their workers with free access to birth control, including contraceptive drugs known to induce abortion.
In making the ruling, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who handles emergency appeals from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said that the request failed to meet the “demanding standard” required to implement a temporary injunction to block the mandate. David Green, the Christian businessman who owns Hobby Lobby along with the Christian book chain Mardel, filed a lawsuit arguing that the mandate violates his convictions that abortion is murder, and that the “morning after” pills he would be required to provide his employees at their request can induce abortion in women who take them.
In her brief opinion Sotomayor wrote that while Green and other family members involved in the suit “allege they will face irreparable harm if they are forced to choose between complying with the contraception-coverage requirement and paying significant fines, they cannot show that an injunction is necessary or appropriate to aid our jurisdiction.”
Together Hobby Lobby and Mardel have nearly 14,000 employees, and Green has said that since he refuses to obey the mandate his company may be subjected to $1.3 million in fines per day.
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