OKLAHOMA CITY —
The federal government is urging a judge to deny a request by Hobby Lobby Stores to block enforcement of the new health care law’s requirement that employers provide coverage for the morning-after pill and similar drugs.
Last month, Hobby Lobby filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City that alleges the mandate is unconstitutional. The company seeks an injunction to prohibit it from being enforced, claiming that the mandate will force the Oklahoma City-based chain’s owners to violate deeply held religious beliefs under threat of heavy fines.
In its response, government attorneys say the arts and crafts supply company 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.