It’s a victory for Hobby Lobby and a loss for President Barack Obama’s administration – and vice President Joe Biden – who spent Wednesday at the ruling’s first hearing trying to rally support for his plan.
The ruling by a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit applies only to the “kinship exemption” for certain employers.
“Our holding today does not hold that the government may force all employers to offer paid contraception or sterilization coverage to their female employees,” the decision said.
The Supreme Court has already made a decision this month on whether Hobby Lobby can get out of covering the morning-after pill and an intrauterine device.
Biden spent part of his Wednesday morning at the first court hearing for the regulation arguing that there was no religious right to exempt religious corporations from the birth control provision.
The case came to the court after the justices upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule requiring new sources of power plants to install devices to capture carbon dioxide emissions.