Judge rejects Hobby Lobby's birth-control case

A federal judge has rejected Hobby Lobby stores' request to block part of the federal health care law that requires employers to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after and week-after birth control pills.

U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton denied a request to prevent the government from enforcing portions of the law mandating insurance coverage for contraceptives that the arts and craft supply company's Christian owners consider tantamount to abortion.

Heaton said courts have not established that for-profit corporations have a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.

Hobby Lobby's attorney said the companies' owners will appeal. The company's founder, David Green, says, "We seek to honor God by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles."

The company, which is self-insured, has said it will face a daily $1.3 million fine beginning Jan. 1 if it ignores the law.

There are Hobby Lobby stores in Clay, Fayetteville, and New Hartford in Central New York.