Judge Nap: Flood of Lawsuits Coming If States Don't Change Religious Freedom Laws
Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday urged state lawmakers to change a controversial religious freedom bill sent to his desk a day earlier, in the face of criticism that it could allow businesses and others to discriminate based on sexual orientation.
Hutchinson had initially said he planned to sign the bill but backed off as his state quickly became the new focal point of a nationwide backlash over such legislation.
Indiana had for days faced similar criticism for a related religious freedom bill and was working to clarify the legislation.
Just before Hutchinson's announcement, Judge Andrew Napolitano reacted on Fox Business Network to the controversy surrounding the laws.
He said the statutes in Indiana and Arkansas are essentially the same.
If the bill in Arkansas goes through as it is written now, the judge said that if someone discriminates in housing or public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation and they can "elevate a religious reason for it" then they cannot be sued or prosecuted.
He said if the current laws stay as is, it will open up the floodgates for lawsuits.
Napolitano explained that the states' public accommodations laws must include special protections to cover sexual preference, as they do for race, gender, national origin, religion or creed.
Watch his analysis above.