In the case of Hobby Lobby and other businesses up before the Supreme Court regarding Obamacare's provision of birth control, an important piece of legal material in the case is the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which talks about the rights of persons, as opposed to the First Amendment, which doesn't make any reference to persons or people, says Ira Lupu, a Professor of Law at George Washington's School of Law, in Washington, D.C.
The three women Justices are primarily concerned about the harm that would be inflicted on female employees and their dependents, with the loss of co-pay or deductible coverage for contraceptive products under Obamacare's mandate that they must be covered, says Lupu.
Lupu believes that the companies are arguing quite effectively on whether they should be considered as people and he doesn't believe there will be five votes on the Supreme Court that will say corporations don't get protection of the federal Freedom Restoration Act. "I'm pretty confident that there will be five votes to say corporations are entitled to that protection," says Lupu, but the question will be "what is the content of that protection and what rights do they have?"
Lupu doesn't think that the government is going to successfully knock out all for-profit corporations from the coverage of this law, rather this will be taken up case by case, based on the circumstances, rather than excluded altogether as a category.