US appeals court grants Hobby Lobby full hearing

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A federal appeals court has granted Hobby Lobby's request for the entire court to hear its challenge of a requirement that it provide insurance coverage for the morning-after pill and similar emergency contraceptive pills.

The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court handed down the ruling on Friday. Ordinarily, appeals filed with the court are decided by a three-judge panel, but a total of nine judges will hear Hobby Lobby's appeal.
 
The court also ruled it will hear Hobby Lobby's appeal on an expedited basis, with oral arguments expected this spring.
 
Hobby Lobby is challenging a requirement of the new federal health care law to provide and pay for emergency contraceptives. The Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts company says that requirement violates its Christian owners' beliefs.
 
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