In an opinion written by Justice Sotomayor issued Wednesday, the Supreme Court of the United States said that it will not be giving Hobby Lobby and Mardel an injunction against the HHS mandate while Hobby Lobby and Mardel argue their case that the mandate is unconstitutional.
However, while an injunction will not be granted, Sotomayor made it clear that the underlying case could continue in the circuit court, even adding that Hobby Lobby could ask the Supreme Court to review the case after the lower courts have entered a final judgment on the matter.
Reasons for not granting the injunction were twofold. First:
This Court has not previously addressed similar RFRA or free exercise claims brought by closely held for-profit corporations and their controlling shareholders alleging that the mandatory provision of certain employee benefits substantially burdens their exercise of religion.
Second, while the applicants allege they will face irreparable harm if they are forced to choose between complying with the contraception-coverage requirement and paying significant fines, they cannot show that an injunction is necessary or appropriate to aid our jurisdiction.
Kyle Duncan, an attorney for the Becket Fund, stated that the case will continue but that Hobby Lobby does not intend to provide abortion-inducing drugs as part of its health insurance policy:
Hobby Lobby will continue their appeal before the Tenth Circuit. The Supreme Court merely decided not to get involved in the case at this time. It left open the possibility of review after their appeal is completed in the Tenth Circuit. The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees. To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs.