Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Healthcare Reform | Steve Malzberg Show | Mark OMara | Hobby Lobby | birth control | Obamacare

Lawyer O'Mara: Hobby Lobby Likely to Lose Contraceptives Case

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Tuesday, 25 Mar 2014 04:19 PM

The Supreme Court will likely rule against Hobby Lobby in its quest to omit contraceptives from its employee health plans over religious objections, noted criminal defense attorney Mark O'Mara says.

"It's a really, really tough call because it really brings to the forefront so many of the different sides," O'Mara, a CNN legal analyst, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"My gut is the Supreme Court's going to decide that the corporation Hobby Lobby does not have the right to force their religious perspective, if you will, on the employees," he said.

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The issue revolves around whether for-profit organizations may refuse to provide contraceptives — despite the fact that the Affordable Care Act requires large employers to provide more than a dozen contraceptives.

While religious non-profit groups are exempt from the directive, corporations, like the Hobby Lobby chain, which is owned by conservative Christians, are not.

"Since there are appropriate exclusions for those religious organizations, and for-profit companies are not excluded … they can't make that decision themselves," O'Mara said.

"If the Supreme Court were to say, 'OK, Hobby Lobby, you have religious rights that suggest that you don't have to offer a healthcare policy or program that allows for either abortion or contraception,' if you open up that door, then where do you close it?

"Every time any owner of a for-profit corporation decides that they're going to have a philosophical difference with a government program, let's say, welfare, let's say Social Security … how do you react to that? They have to stop the line here, unfortunately."

O'Mara said the case sounds like "a law school exam" question.

"You have a government program being shoved down the throats of corporations, and now you have a corporation responding to it on religious or First Amendment grounds," he said.

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