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Lawyers optimistic after Hobby Lobby hearing

"Lawyers optimistic after Hobby Lobby hearing" Continued...

Later, Kennedy noted that based on the government’s arguments, for-profit corporations could be forced to pay for abortions.

“There is no law on the books that requires for-profit corporations to provide abortions,” Verrilli said.

Chief Justice John Roberts looked ready to swallow his gavel. He asked Verrilli to repeat what he had said several times and then responded, “Isn’t that what we’re talking about?”

“That’s the judgment they make,” Verrilli said. “It’s a belief that’s sincere but it’s not reflected in federal or state law.”

Clement jumped on this in his closing comments. He noted that conscience protections already exist for for-profit medical providers who don’t want to provide abortions. He also jumped on Kennedy’s concern that Congress never passed the contraceptive mandate.

“Congress spoke,” he closed. “It spoke in RFRA.”

Outside, the Supreme Court’s marble porch had grown wet and slippery, and lawyers teetered out to talk to reporters. Several hundred protestors from Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America clashed with protestors from Americans United for Life, March for Life, and Concerned Women for America. A Tea Party group brought a man to play the bagpipes as snow melted on lawyers’ manicured hair. Under the miserable weather, the crowds quickly dispersed after the case. The court will issue its decision when the weather gets warmer, in June.

Listen to Nick Eicher interview Matt Bowman of Alliance Defending Freedom about the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Supreme Court cases on The World and Everything in It:

Emily Belz
Emily Belz

Emily, who has covered everything from political infighting to pet salons for The Indianapolis Star, The Hill, and the New York Daily News, reports for WORLD from New York City. Follow Emily on Twitter @emzleb.

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