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Hobby Lobby ruling expected this morning

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A woman walks toward a Hobby Lobby store in Phoenix March 24. The Hobby Lobby chain and Conestoga Wood Specialties are the plaintiffs in two cases before the Supreme Court. They are suing over a federal requirement that employers cover a range of contraceptives and services in their employees' health plans. The companies' Christian owners object to the mandate on religious rights grounds. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec) (March 24, 2014) See SCOTUS-MANDATE and MANDATE-PROTEST March 25, 2014.
A woman walks toward a Hobby Lobby store in Phoenix March 24. The Hobby Lobby chain and Conestoga Wood Specialties are the plaintiffs in two cases before the Supreme Court. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

Staff Report

The Supreme Court decision in the cases involving the Department of Health and Human Services’ contraceptive mandate and for-profit employers Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods will be handed down this morning, June 30, around 10 a.m.

The Catholic Telegraph will be following the developments via the Internet and social media. Follow our Twitter feed below for the most up to date information on the case.

Background on the cases: (CNS) — The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Nov. 26, 2013 to take up two cases that challenge provisions of the Affordable Care Act requiring employers to provide contraceptive coverage on behalf of for-profit companies whose owners object to the mandate for religious reasons. The court will take up the cases of Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma-based, family-run arts-and-crafts chain, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Pennsylvania family-run company that makes cabinets.

The cases will be combined for the arguments. A decision is likely by late June. At issue in both cases will be First Amendment arguments that a federal requirement that the owners of the companies provide insurance coverage they morally oppose violates the owners’ Free Exercise rights as well as their rights under a 1993 law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, was pleased with the court’s decision to take up these cases. In a Nov. 26 statement he said the review “highlights the importance of this conflict between the federal government and people seeking to practice their faith in daily life.”

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