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Hobby Lobby wins big, but questions linger

"Hobby Lobby wins big, but questions linger" Continued...

Justice Kennedy wrote an important concurring opinion signaling his openness to using the nonprofit accommodation to resolve the issue. His separate opinion signals he might differ from the conservative bloc in supporting the accommodation—the “shell game” that many companies find objectionable—in the future.

“You could lose his vote, is what he’s saying, if you push [Kennedy] too hard,” explained Esbeck, who sees a way forward for the dozens of remaining cases, since neither the government nor nonprofits groups are sure where Kennedy would come down on the government’s accommodation. 

“I would think there’s a grace period here for all of this nonprofit litigation,” he said. “This would be a time to sit down with the Obama White House and hammer out a settlement, where they get a RFRA right, not a regulatory accommodation, to do what Little Sisters of the Poor could do.” Esbeck said it’s “New Testament biblical” to seek a good settlement, but he’s not sure there will be peacemaking lawyers at the White House to approach the issue. 

“If you have calm minds, you can say, ‘I might lick my wounds … but I lost issue after issue after issue,” Esbeck said.  “‘I can settle the rest of these cases and then all of this rancor between Catholics and Obama, that goes away.’ That’s a big deal.” 

Listen to WORLD Radio legal-affairs correspondent Mary Reichard discuss the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties decision:

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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