No Temporary Hold on Contraception Mandate: High Court

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to impose a temporary injunction on a provision in President Obama's health care law that will require employers to provide coverage for contraceptives beginning Jan. 1. Dozens of groups have protested the provision, claiming that the requirement violates their religious beliefs and that choosing not to adhere to it would subject them to punishing fines. On Wednesday, Justice Sonia Sotomayor declined to put a temporary hold on the provision for two businesses challenging the act—a nationwide chain of Hobby Lobby stores and Mardel, a Christian bookstore chain. In a brief opinion, Sotomayor, who handles emergency appeals from the courts where the two companies are based, wrote that "no court has issued a final decision granting permanent relief with respect to such claims." If the companies lose in the lower courts, they will still be able to appeal to the Supreme Court. The Obama administration has said it would delay enforcement of the law for qualified religious institutions until August. Some religious institutions will be eligible for a permanent exemption.

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