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Hobby Lobby's Newest Hobby: Affordable Care Act Appeals

By Robyn Hagan Cain on November 29, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Craft stores are cool because they're not cool. It's all a part of the hipster obsession that we're supposed to be embracing or rejecting, depending upon whom you ask.

Crafting is a connection to the past: A time when you needed a scrapbook to catalog your life because it wasn't documented in excruciating detail on Facebook. A time when people cross-stitched "Home Sweet Home" instead of the best after-school special lines from Saved by the Bell.

Crafters have an appreciation for the best of yesteryear, so it's only fitting that one of the largest craft store chains in the country would have a similar fondness for the hottest legal topic of the last year: Affordable Care Act litigation.

The craft chain in question, Hobby Lobby, is a Oklahoma-based, family-owned, hobby superstore. Hobby Lobby currently operates over 500 stores in over 40 states with over 13,000 full-time employees. The Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, is suing to challenge the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate because it conflicts with the family's religious beliefs.

The Greens describe themselves as "evangelical Christians," and state in their petition that they believe they are "obligated to run their businesses in accordance with their faith." The birth control mandate, however, would force business owners like the Greens "to violate their faith under threat of millions of dollars in fines." The Greens want to be exempted from providing the "morning after" and "week after" pills on religious grounds, arguing this would violate their Christian belief that abortion is wrong, Reuters reports.

District Judge Joe Heaton wasn't persuaded by their claims. Judge Heaton ruled last week that the Green family has religious rights, but Hobby Lobby is a secular, for-profit enterprise that does not possess the same rights.

The Greens are appealing that decision to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and asking the appellate court to enjoin the mandate before January 1, reports.

"Every American, including family business owners like the Greens, should be free to make a living without forfeiting their religious beliefs," Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents Hobby Lobby, said in a press release announcing the appeal.

Hobby Lobby isn't the only litigant pursuing Affordable Care Act litigation after the Supreme Court's decision upholding the law. On Monday, the Supreme Court remanded Liberty University's challenge to contraception coverage requirement to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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