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Hobby Lobby to defy Supreme Court

Dec. 28, 2012 at 2:51 PM

OKLAHOMA CITY, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- A lawyer for Hobby Lobby says the company will not comply with federal healthcare law requiring coverage for contraception, despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The court Wednesday turned down Hobby Lobby's request for an emergency injunction to block contraceptive insurance coverage requirements, saying it will not decide the craft chain's case -- along with Christian bookseller Mardel, both owned by the Green Family of Oklahoma City -- before lower courts have ruled.

Kyle Duncan, general counsel of The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing Hobby Lobby and Mardel, said Thursday the companies will not provide healthcare coverage for contraception they regard as "abortion-causing drugs and devices," The (Oklahoma City) Oklahoman reported.

Non-compliance may subject Hobby Lobby and Mardel to fines of as much as $1.3 million a day beginning Tuesday, the newspaper reported.

"We're just going to have to cross that bridge when we come to it," Duncan said.

Hobby Lobby and Mardel -- which operate more than 500 stores and employ more than 13,000 people -- are challenging Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provisions on certain employer-funded contraception devices and pills that will take effect Jan. 1.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Wednesday the stores do not meet standards required for an emergency injunction, a document on the Supreme Court's Web site stated.

U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton ruled in November that contraception healthcare laws do not violate the stores' owner's religious beliefs.

Hobby Lobby Chief Executive Officer David Green, in a statement at the time, said the company is operated "in a manner consistent with biblical principles." He said he had no moral objection to what he termed "preventive contraception" and would continue to cover it under Hobby Lobby and Mardel health insurance plans.

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