WASHINGTON (AP) - Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has denied a request to block part of the federal health care law that requires employers to provide employee insurance coverage for emergency contraception including the morning-after pill.
Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby Stores and a sister company, Mardel Inc., sued the government, claiming the mandate violates the religious beliefs of its owners.
In an opinion issued Wednesday, Sotomayor said the companies failed to satisfy the demanding legal standard for blocking the requirement on an emergency basis. She said the companies may continue to challenge the regulations in the lower courts.
Company officials say they must decide whether to violate their faith or face a daily $1.3 million fine beginning Jan. 1 if they ignore the law.
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