Attorney General Pruitt Applauds 10th Circuit Decision to Overturn Ruling in Hobby Lobby Religious Liberty Case
“This is an incredible win for Hobby Lobby, Oklahoma and every state that joined in the fight to protect our religious freedom. The health care law’s mandate requiring religious groups to violate their lawful beliefs and practices directly goes against the ideals that our Founding Fathers set in place to protect Americans from an overbearing and intrusive government,” Attorney General Scott Pruitt said. “The Court agreed with Oklahoma’s argument that the religious freedoms of Hobby Lobby and the Green Family are protected by federal law, and that they have a strong argument that implementation of the contraception mandate should be stopped.”
Attorney General Pruitt filed a brief in support of Hobby Lobby in February. Hobby Lobby, located in Oklahoma City, is challenging the federal government’s requirement that employers offer health insurance coverage for abortifacients, which conflicts with the Green Family's religious beliefs.
The state’s amicus brief asked the appeals court to reverse the district court’s earlier ruling in the case and defends the free exercise rights of the company’s owners.
“The actions of the (Federal Government) substantially burden the undisputed, sincere, and deeply held religious faith of these citizens of Oklahoma who are otherwise fully protected by the Constitution and laws of the State of Oklahoma, and forcibly require them to personally undertake actions that are contrary to the undisputed, sincere, and deeply held religious faith of these citizens,” the court filing states.
Oklahoma also is among seven states involved in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Nebraska that challenges the constitutionality of the federal government’s mandate, claiming the requirement would be an unprecedented invasion of First Amendment rights to free speech, free exercise of religion and free association.
Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius -- Opinion.pdfAmicus in Support of Hobby Lobby (file stamped).pdf