UA professor weighs in on Hobby Lobby ruling - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

UA professor weighs in on Hobby Lobby ruling

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TUSCALOOSA, AL -

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that corporations, like Hobby Lobby, can opt out of the part of the new health care law that requires contraceptives to be covered, if those corporations are owned by a small group of people with religious objections to providing the coverage.

Paul Horwitz teaches Law and Religion along with a Constitutional Law class at the University of Alabama School of Law. He said he's been watching the Hobby Lobby case for some time and isn't surprised by the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the arts and crafts company.

“At least where federal law is involved, before the government however unintentionally and whatever good faith can burden someone's religious exercise it must have an excellent reason and it must have had no other option, but to do so," he said.

Horwitz said the ruling involves a statue and not the First Amendment directly. So other companies looking to opt out of certain sections of the health care law may not be successful.

“Some large company that comes along and says well we could just save some money doing this, they're going to have a tough road ahead," Horwitz added.

But what the future will hold for other pleas to opt out of coverage is uncertain at this point.

“It’s possible that this case could have broader implications but it's not by any means guaranteed,” he said.

Congress could decide that the way the statue was interpreted wasn't their intention and the debate could continue.

“This case gave an answer for one dispute. But that's all it could possible do and we can expect some form of this controversy to continue,” he said.

In the meantime, Hobby Lobby, founders celebrate what they are calling a victory for all who seek to live out their faith.

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