Opinion

Liberal law professor sides with conservatives on Hobby Lobby, #FreeJustina

Famed Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz claims to be a die-hard liberal, but he sounded more like he was playing on the other side’s team during a Saturday appearance on “The Huckabee Show.”

In both the #FreeJustina and Hobby Lobby cases dominating the news lately, Dershowitz came out on the side of the individual, not the government.

In the #FreeJustina case, where a judge last week awarded Massachusetts custody of a 15-year-old Connecticut girl, the law expert said the matter may involve a difference of opinion between two reputable hospitals on the girl’s diagnosis, but the decision should be clear.

“Neither my wife nor I can understand this case,” he said. “The law of Massachusetts is clear. When you have a conflict on medical opinion, … you allow those conflicts of medical care to be resolved by the parents.”

When Justina Pelletier’s parents attempted to do exactly that, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families declared her a ward of the state and removed her from the couple’s custody and control. She’s remained in the state’s custody for the 14 months since.

“If what we’ve heard is true, this is a horrible abuse of human rights, of civil liberties,” Dershowitz said. “And I’d like to help out, too. I’m a member of the Massachusetts Bar. If there’s anything I can do to restore the parental rights here.”

Watch the exchange via The Right Scoop.

On the Hobby Lobby case, heard last week by the U.S. Supreme Court, Dershowitz said he doesn’t personally have a problem with the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. But he believes the company has a valid First Amendment complaint.

“Of course, it’s a reasonable exercise of religious freedom,” he said of Hobby Lobby’s desire not to cover contraceptives in its employee health plan. “They believe that these are abortion methods.”

The Constitution must rise above mere politics, Dershowitz said.

“I’m a liberal Democrat who supports Obamacare,” he said. “But I think that the constitutional right of the free exercise of religion trumps my own personal, political views. … I don’t think this is a complex case.”

Watch thhe Hobby Lobby segment of the Dershowitz-Huckabee interview via The Right Scoop by clicking here, then check out “‘Racist’ Michelle Obama quote fools panel; Bill Maher pretends Paul Ryan said it.”

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