Friday, March 29, 2013

10th Circuit Grants Hobby Lobby En Banc Initial Hearing In Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Challenge

The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals today issued an Order (full text) in Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. v. Sebelius, (10th Cir., March 29, 2013), granting an unusual initial en banc hearing, rather than an intitial hearing before a 3-judge panel, in the high-profile case. The case involves the appeal of an Oklahoma federal district court's decision upholding application of the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate against two related small businesses and their Christian owners. (See prior posting.) The 10th Circuit aso indicated that it would expedite oral argument in the case.  The 10th Circuit previously refused to grant an injunction pending resolution of the appeal. (See prior posting.) Becket Fund issued a press release announcing the court's action.