U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, a staunch conservative, will likely vote against Hobby Lobby in the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act to justify his original backing of the healthcare law, CNN legal analyst Paul Callan says.
"Roberts kind of set the course … He had a really easy way to say this was an unconstitutional law and he took the escape route," Callan told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"Once he's taken that route, he's committed to this law … So I say, Roberts is going to look for excuse to justify his original decision upholding Obamacare."
Roberts was the surprise swing vote that tipped the Supreme Court to toss out a court challenge to President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.
In the latest challenge to the law, Hobby Lobby and another company, citing religious objections, are questioning whether they must provide some forms of birth control in health plans offered to their employees.
As a George W. Bush appointee, Roberts has been seen by many as an ally of Hobby Lobby, which operates about 500 arts and crafts stores and employs 13,000. But Callan isn't convinced.
"If [Roberts] wants to uphold his prior vote, he's got to vote in favor of the liberals," said Callan, a former New York City homicide prosecutor.
He called the issue one of the most serious cases the Supreme Court has faced recently.
"It's a very strange case and it's got that name Hobby Lobby so it doesn't sound like a very serious situation, but it's most serious," Callan said.
"Hobby Lobby … [has] a particular problem with something we call the morning-after pill and they're opposed to that because they say their religious belief is that life begins at conception.
"So they're paying for abortions as a result of a government mandate and they say that's unconstitutional and it violates something called a Religious Restoration."
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