The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a request by the Hobby Lobby chain of arts and crafts stores to temporarily block a provision in the Affordable Care Act making employers responsible for covering the insurance costs of their employees’ birth control, NBC News reported on Wednesday.
Hobby Lobby and another company, the Christian bookstore chain Mardel, had petitioned the court for an injunction preventing the birth-control mandate from going into effect on Jan. 1 while they appeal a similar decision handed down by a federal court on Dec. 21.
According to The Hill, Justice Sonia Sotomayor acknowledged the companies’ right to challenge the law, commonly known as “Obamacare,” in a brief opinion rejecting the companies’ request.
“While the applicants allege they will face irreparable harm if they are forced to choose between complying with the contraception-coverage requirement and paying significant fines, they cannot show that an injunction is necessary or appropriate to aid our jurisdiction,” she wrote.
After the contraception mandate takes effect, the companies risk fines of up to $1.3 million a day for not complying. Some religious institutions have been granted exemptions based on their faith, but similar requests by for-profit businesses have been refused by federal officials.
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