The U.S. government is urging a federal judge to deny a Hobby Lobby Stores request to block the enforcement of a new health care law that requires employers to give staff insurance coverage for the morning-after pill and similar drugs.
Last month, the arts and crafts supply chain filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City that alleges the mandate is unconstitutional. The company wants an injunction to prohibit the law's enforcement. The Oklahoma City-based store says the mandate will force its owners to violate deeply held religious beliefs under threat of heavy fines.
Government attorneys say Hobby Lobby cannot claim to exercise religion in an effort to avoid laws designed to regulate commercial activity.
A hearing is set on Nov. 1 before U.S District Judge Joe Heaton.
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