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Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Case: Justices Divided After Hearing Oral Argument (Full Transcript)

( [email protected] ) Mar 25, 2014 04:04 PM EDT
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments today for Hobby Lobby and Contestoga challenges to the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate.
Demonstrators participate in a rally in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 25, 2014, as the court heard oral arguments in the challenges of President Barack Obama's health care law requirement that businesses provide their female employees with health insurance that includes access to contraceptives. Supreme Court justices are weighing whether corporations have religious rights that exempt them from part of the new health care law that requires coverage of birth control for employees at no extra charge. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments today for Hobby Lobby and Contestoga challenges to the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate.

According to Reuters, the majority of the Supreme Court justices appear likely to rule that businesses have right to religious claims, but the contraceptive mandate may not be merited.

The Associated Press simply stated that the justices seemed divided throughout the fast-paced, 90-minute argument.

Although it touched on abortion and health law in general, the focus was mainly on the question of whether businesses have religious rights, according to AP.

While it is uncertain when the judges will issue their opinion on the case, all cases argued during a term of Court are decided before the summer recess begins, usually by the end of June, according to U.S. Supreme Court's website.

About 50 businesses have sued. Among them, some objected to pay for all forms of birth control. But those involved in high court case are willing to cover most method of contraception as long as they can exclude drugs or devices that the government say may work after an egg has been fertilized, the AP reported.

The two companies who presented the arguments today are Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., an Oklahoma City-based chain of more than 600 craft stores in 41 states with more than 15,000 full-time employees, and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. of East Earl, Pa, which employs 950 people in making wood cabinets.

Hobby Lobby is owned by the Green family, evangelical Christians who say they run their business on biblical principles. Conestoga Wood Specialties is owned by the Hahns, who are Mennonite Christians.

   Hobby Lobby Transcript by Abby Ohlheiser