A federal district court today ordered the HHS to not enforce the mandate against Hobby Lobby, in a major ruling. The Federal District Court in Oklahoma granted a temporary restraining order against the HHS, pending a hearing to review Hobby Lobby’s request for an injunction. This ruling followed immediately after the entire 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that private businesses do have the right of religious freedom.
The 10th Circuit was considering, in the words of the court,
This case requires us to determine whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Free Exercise Clause protect the plaintiffs—two companies and their owners who run their businesses to reflect their religious values.
In the first such finding by a U.S. appeals court, the 10th Circuit ruled,
We hold that Hobby Lobby and Mardel are entitled to bring claims under RFRA, have established a likelihood of success that their rights under this statute are substantially burdened by the contraceptive-coverage requirement, and have established an irreparable harm.
This ruling is extraordinary and is a major victory against the HHS mandate. The Department of Justice will certainly appeal the government’s case, and to the Supreme Court.