U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor Refuses Hobby Lobby Request to Block Contraceptive Mandate

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor refused Hobby Lobby's request Wednesday to block the federal healthcare law's contraceptive mandate from going into effect for for-profit companies on Jan. 1. Businesses, regardless of their religious convictions, will have to begin offering contraceptives, including abortifacients, with their health insurance plans on New Year's Day or face hefty fines.

The Christian retailer and its sister company Mardel Inc. is in the process of suing the federal government over the mandate's infringement on their religious liberties.

In her opinion, Justice Sotomayor said the retailer failed to satisfy the demanding legal standard for blocking the requirement on an emergency basis. She said the companies could continue their challenge to the mandate in the lower courts. Sotomayor's ruling represents the first time the high court has weighed in on the mandate.

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Mickey McLean
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