As we reported previously, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Hobby Lobby, a privately-owned for-profit business, can exercise religious freedom. This court found that a lower federal district court’s ruling to deny injunctive relief was wrong. That district court today, in accord with the Appeals court ruling, has granted an injunction to Hobby Lobby.
The Hobby Lobby case is of great significance in the fight for religious freedom against the HHS mandate. The Obama Department of Justice has argued that people who start businesses lose their right to religious freedom–that they cannot run their businesses according to the moral and ethical tenets of their faith. The Court of Appeals found differently. The Department of Justice will surely appeal to the Supreme Court, because this Appeals Court ruling undermines the legitimacy and applicability of Obamacare.
Politically, this is an important victory as well. Hobby Lobby is owned by Evangelical Christians who have no moral objections to contraceptives. This makes it difficult for HHS mandate supporters to trot out the “war on women” meme and paint Hobby Lobby as mean patriarchs trying to deny birth control to poor women.
This will not be settled until the Supreme Court hears the cases.