A U.S. District Court judge in Oklahoma ruled that Hobby Lobby, the largest company (over 13,000 employees) so far to sue the HHS over the mandate, is not “a religious organization” and must provide abortion-inducing drugs to employees. The judge rejected the First Amendment and Religious Freedom Restoration Act claims of Hobby Lobby. The judge wrote that:
General business corporations do not, separate and apart from the actions or belief systems of their individual owners or employees, exercise religion. They do not pray, worship, observe sacraments or take other religiously-motivated actions separate and apart from the intention and direction of their individual actors. Religious exercise is, by its nature, one of those “purely personal” matters … which is not the province of a general business corporation.
As the Obama Department of Justice argued, this judge agreed that you lose your religious freedom when you enter business.
The Becket Fund, representing Hobby Lobby, says that they will appeal immediately.
We will continue to see these cases, some rejected by the courts, and with some judges granting injunctions. This will be decided in the Supreme Court.