Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius

Decision Date27 June 2013
Docket NumberNo. 12–6294.,12–6294.
Citation723 F.3d 1114
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Tenth Circuit
PartiesHOBBY LOBBY STORES, INC.; Mardel, Inc.; David Green; Barbara Green; Mart Green; Steve Green; Darsee Lett, Plaintiffs–Appellants, v. Kathleen SEBELIUS, in her official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services; United States Department of Health and Human Services; Hilda Solis, Secretary of the United States Department of Labor; United States Department of Labor; Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the United States Department of Treasury; United States Department of the Treasury, Defendants–Appellees. Emeritus Professor of Law Charles E. Rice; Professor of Law Bradley P. Jacob; Texas Center for Defense of Life; National Legal Foundation; Liberty, Life and Law Foundation; American Center for Law and Justice; Breast Cancer Prevention Institute; Bioethics Defense Fund; Life Legal Defense Foundation; The Right Reverend W. Thomas Frerking, Osb; Missouri Roundtable for Life; Archdiocese of Oklahoma City; Eagle forum; Sanford C. Coats; Senator Daniel Coats; Senator Thad Cochran; Senator Mike Crapo; Senator Charles Grassley; Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Senator; Senator James M. Inhofe; Senator Mitch McConnell; Senator Pat Roberts; Senator Richard Shelby; Congressman Lamar Smith; Association of Gospel Rescue Missions; Prison Fellowship Ministries; Association of Christian Schools International; National Association of Evangelicals; Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance; Christian Legal Society; Association of American Physicians & Surgeons; American Association of Pro–Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Christian Medical Association; Catholic Medical Association; National Catholic Bioethics Center; Physicians for Life; National Association of Pro Life Nurses; United States Justice Foundation; Congressman Frank Wolf; State of Oklahoma; Wywatch Family Action, Inc.; The C12 Group; Physicians for Reproductive Health; The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; The American Society for Emergency Contraception; Association of Reproductive Health Professionals; American Society for Reproductive Medicine; Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine; American Medical Women's Association; National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health; James Trussell; Susan F. Wood; Don Downing; Kathleen Besinque; Americans United for Separation of Church and State; Union for Reform Judaism; Central Conference of American Rabbis; Women of Reform Judaism; Hindu American Foundation; National Women's Law Center; American Association of University Women; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (Afscme); Black Women's Health Imperative; Boulder Now; Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (Color); Gender Impacts Policy, a project of the Center of Southwest Culture; Ibis Reproductive Health; Law Students for Reproductive Justice; Mergerwatch; Naral Pro–Choice America; Naral Pro–Choice Colorado; Naral Pro–Choice Wyoming; National Organization for Women Foundation; National Organization for Women–Santa Fe Chapter (Santa Fe Now); National Partnership for Women and Families; New Mexico–National Organization for Women (Nmnow); Planned Parenthood of Arkansas & Eastern Oklahoma, Inc., d/b/a Planned Parenthood of Heartland–Oklahoma; Planned Parenthood Association of Utah; Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid–Missouri; Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Inc.; Population Connection; Raising Women's Voices For The Health Care We Need; Service Employees International Union; Southwest Women's Law Center; Utah Health Policy Project; Center for Reproductive Rights; American Public Health Association; Guttmacher Institute; National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association; National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health; National Women's Health Network; R. Alta Charo, Professor; Reproductive Health Technologies Project; American Civil Liberties Union; American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma; Anti–Defamation League; Catholics for Choice; Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc.; Interfaith Alliance Foundation; National Coalition of American Nuns; National Council of Jewish Women; Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice; Unitarian Universalist Association; Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation; National Health Law Program; Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.; Asian Pacific American Legal Center; Forward Together; National Hispanic Medical Association; Ipas; Sexuality Information and Educational Council of the U.S.; Campaign to End Aids; Hiv Law Project; National Women And Aids Collective; Housing Works, Amici Curiae.

OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Validity Called into Doubt

42 U.S.C.A. § 300gg-13(a); 45 C.F.R. § 147.130.S. Kyle Duncan (Luke W. Goodrich, Mark L. Rienzi, Eric S. Baxter, Lori H. Windham, and Adèle Auxier Keim with him on the brief) The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Washington, D.C., for Appellants.

Alisa B. Klein, Appellate Staff Attorney (Stuart F. Delery, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney, Beth S. Brinkmann, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, and Mark B. Stern, Appellate Staff Attorney, with her on the brief) Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., for Appellees.

Before BRISCOE, Chief Judge, KELLY, LUCERO, HARTZ, TYMKOVICH, GORSUCH, MATHESON, and BACHARACH, Circuit Judges.*

TYMKOVICH, Circuit Judge.

This case requires us to determine whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Free Exercise Clause protect the plaintiffs—two companies and their owners who run their businesses to reflect their religious values. The companies are Hobby Lobby, a craft store chain, and Mardel, a Christian bookstore chain. Their owners, the Greens, run both companies as closely held family businesses and operate them according to a set of Christian principles. They contend regulations implementing the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act force them to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs. In particular, the plaintiffs brought an action challenging a regulation that requires them, beginning July 1, 2013, to provide certain contraceptive services as a part of their employer-sponsored health care plan. Among these services are drugs and devices that the plaintiffs believeto be abortifacients, the use of which is contrary to their faith.

We hold that Hobby Lobby and Mardel are entitled to bring claims under RFRA, have established a likelihood of success that their rights under this statute are substantially burdened by the contraceptive-coverage requirement, and have established an irreparable harm. But we remand the case to the district court for further proceedings on two of the remaining factors governing the grant or denial of a preliminary injunction.

More specifically, the court rules as follows:

As to jurisdictional matters, the court unanimously holds that Hobby Lobby and Mardel have Article III standing to sue and that the Anti–Injunction Act does not apply to this case. Three judges (Kelly, Tymkovich, and Gorsuch, JJ.) would also find that the Anti–Injunction Act is not jurisdictional and the government has forfeited reliance on this statute. These three judges would also hold that the Greens have standing to bring RFRA and Free Exercise claims and that a preliminary injunction should be granted on their RFRA claim. A fourth judge (Matheson, J.) would hold that the Greens have standing and would remand for further consideration of their request for a preliminary injunction on their RFRA claim.

Concerning the merits, a majority of five judges (Kelly, Hartz, Tymkovich, Gorsuch, and Bacharach, JJ.) holds that the district court erred in concluding Hobby Lobby and Mardel had not demonstrated a likelihood of success on their RFRA claim. Three judges (Briscoe, C.J., and Lucero and Matheson, JJ.) disagree and would affirm the district court on this question.

A majority of five judges (Kelly, Hartz, Tymkovich, Gorsuch, and Bacharach, JJ.) further holds that Hobby Lobby and Mardel satisfy the irreparable harm prong of the preliminary injunction standard. A four-judge plurality (Kelly, Hartz, Tymkovich, Gorsuch, JJ.) would resolve the other two preliminary injunction factors (balance of equities and public interest) in Hobby Lobby and Mardel's favor and remand with instructions to enter a preliminary injunction, but the court lacks a majority to do so. Instead, the court remands to the district court for further evaluation of the two remaining preliminary injunction factors.1

One judge (Matheson, J.) reaches the merits of the plaintiffs' constitutional claim under the Free Exercise Clause, concluding that it does not entitle the plaintiffs to preliminary injunctive relief.2

Accordingly, for the reasons set forth below and exercising jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(a)(1), we reverse the district court's denial of the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction and remand with instructions that the district court address the remaining two preliminary injunction factors and then assess whether to grant or deny the plaintiffs' motion.

I. Background & Procedural History
A. The Plaintiffs

The plaintiffs in this case are David and Barbara Green, their three children (Steve Green, Mart Green, and Darsee Lett), and the businesses they collectively own and operate: Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Mardel, Inc. David Green is the founder of Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts chain with over 500 stores and about 13,000 full-time employees. Hobby Lobby is a closely held family business organized as an S-corp. Steve Green is president of Hobby Lobby, and his siblings occupy various positions on the Hobby Lobby board. Mart Green is the founder and CEO of Mardel, an affiliated chain of thirty-five Christian bookstores with just under 400 employees,...

To continue reading

Request your trial
208 cases
  • E.O.H.C. v. Barr
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • January 22, 2020
    ... ... Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc. , 555 U.S. 7, 20, 129 S.Ct. 365, 172 L.Ed.2d 249 (2008) ... that each of them is threatened with harm."); Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius , 723 F.3d 1114, 1179 (10th ... ...
  • Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sec'y of the U.S. Dep't of Health & Human Servs.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • July 26, 2013
    ... ... ; Planned Parenthood Association of the Mercer Area Inc.; Planned Parenthood of Central Pennsylvania; Planned ... See Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, 917 F.Supp.2d 394 (E.D.Pa.2013). Appellants then filed an ... See Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius, U.S. , 133 S.Ct. 641, ... ...
  • Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter & Paul Home v. Pennsylvania
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • July 8, 2020
    ... ... 4980D(a)(b); see also Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. , 573 U.S. 682, 696697, 134 S.Ct. 2751, ... v. Sebelius , 6 F.Supp.3d 1225 (D Colo.2013), p. 5 (Complaint) ... ...
  • Doster v. Kendall
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Sixth Circuit
    • November 29, 2022
    ... ... Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc. , 555 U.S. 7, 20, 129 S.Ct. 365, 172 L.Ed.2d 249 (2008) ... See Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius , 723 F.3d 1114, 1155 (10th ... ...
  • Request a trial to view additional results
4 firm's commentaries
  • Religious Institutions Update: November 2013
    • United States
    • Mondaq United States
    • November 11, 2013
    ...the case with instructions to abate further proceedings until the U.S. Supreme Court completes its review of Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, 723 F. 3d 1114 (10th Cir. 2013), wherein the appeals court held that two for-profit corporations were "persons" within the meaning of the RFRA, compliance wi......
  • Court Upholds Biblically Based Arbitration Clause in Wrongful Death Case ... (Religious Institutions Update: November 2013)
    • United States
    • Mondaq United States
    • November 9, 2013
    ...the case with instructions to abate further proceedings until the U.S. Supreme Court completes its review of Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, 723 F. 3d 1114 (10th Cir. 2013), wherein the appeals court held that two for-profit corporations were "persons" within the meaning of the RFRA, compliance wi......
  • Supreme Court Docket Report - October 26, 2013
    • United States
    • Mondaq United States
    • November 27, 2013
    ...RFRA," and the contraception requirement is not the least restrictive means of advancing a compelling interest of the federal government. 723 F.3d 1114, 1128-29 (10th Cir. 2013). The en banc court also held that the corporations would suffer an irreparable injury if the preliminary injuncti......
  • Religious Institutions Update: July 2014
    • United States
    • Mondaq United States
    • July 17, 2014
    ...for-profit corporation that does not qualify for an exemption or waiver. Based on the authority of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius, 723 F. 3d 1114, 1126 (10th Cir. 2013), the court ruled that Group III plaintiffs also are entitled to injunctive relief. Furthermore, upon a motion for cl......
10 books & journal articles
  • Religious Exemptions
    • United States
    • Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law No. XXIV-2, January 2023
    • January 1, 2023
    ...Id. at 702–03. 85. Id. at 708–10. 86. Id. at 696–98. 87. The two for-prof‌it corporations cases, Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius, 723 F.3d 1114 (10th Cir. 2013) and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sec’y of U.S. Dep’t of Health & Human Servs., 724 F.3d 377 (3d Cir. 2013), were conso......
  • A Compelling Interest? Using Old Conceptions of Public Health Law to Challenge the Affordable Care Act's Contraceptive Mandate
    • United States
    • Georgia State University College of Law Georgia State Law Reviews No. 31-3, March 2015
    • Invalid date
    ...(last updated Jan. 8, 2015).14. See id.15. 77 Fed. Reg. 8725; Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius, 723 F.3d 1114, 1123 (10th Cir. 2013) (describing the contraceptives at issue).16. See 26 U.S.C. § 4980D(b)(1) (West, Westlaw through P.L. 113-36) (imposing a tax of "$100 for each day in the ......
  • Freedom of expressive association and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation
    • United States
    • Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law No. XXIV-2, January 2023
    • January 1, 2023
    ...duties to minority shareholders 51. Id. at 701–03. 52. See id. at 696–97, 707–08, 719. 53. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius, 723 F.3d 1114, 1122 (10th Cir. 2013); Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sec’y of the U.S. Dep’t of Health & Hum. Servs., 724 F.3d 377, 381 (3d Cir. 2013). 54. H......
  • MARY DOE EX REL. SATAN? PARODY, RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, & REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS.
    • United States
    • Columbia Journal of Gender and Law Vol. 40 No. 1, June 2020
    • June 22, 2020
    ...(discussing Brief for Physicians for Reprod. Health et al. as Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioners, Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius, 723 F.3d 1114 (10th Cir. 2013) (No. 12-6294), affirmed sub. nom. Hobby Lobby, 573 U.S. 682 (2013) (No. (116) Id. at 1199. (117) Id. at 1200. (118) Id. (119) Id.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT