The Obama Administration was given a set-back today in U.S. District Court in Ann Arbor, MI. The Thomas More Law Center announced today that U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff granted Thomas Monaghan, and his property management company, Domino’s Farm Corporation, a court order stopping the enforcement of the HHS Mandate. On January 20, 2012, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that a mandate that all health plans provide coverage at no cost for all contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration which would also includes the “morning after” pill. The mandate also included coverage for sterilizations.
The Thomas More Law Center also noted that Domino’s Farm Corporation is not to be confused with Domino’s Pizza which Monaghan founded and then sold in 1998. He currently has no affiliation with Dominos Pizza.
Judge Zatkoff’s decision protects freedom granted under the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Thomas More Law Center, in their press release, noted that the Government argued against the preliminary injunction by claiming that once a business owner chooses to enter into the marketplace, he surrenders his right to exercise his religious beliefs. Lead Counsel Erin Mersino in his brief quoted President Ronald Reagan who said, “To those who cite the First Amendment as reason for excluding God from more and more of our institutions and everyday life, may I just say: The First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people of this country from religious values;it was written to protect religious values from government tyranny.”
Mersino in a formal statement said, “The HHS Mandate forces our clients to provide abortion causing drugs to their employees when doing so is a direct violation of the teachings of the Catholic Church and our clients’ sincerely held religious beliefs. The Court’s decision today upholds everyone’s freedom of religion and rights protected by the Constitution.”
The government is expected to appeal to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.