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US Appeals Court Grants Hobby Lobby Full Hearing

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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 9 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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