The list of companies winning injunctions or preliminary injunctions that prevents the federal government from enforcing the contraception mandate has grown again.
Last week, Federal District Court Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff of the Eastern District of Michigan granted a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction against the enforcement of the HHS contraception mandate to Tom Monaghan and his company, Domino’s Farm Corporation. Note – this is not the Domino’s Pizza chain as Monaghan sold that off in 1996. The company is now a property management company in Ann Arbor, Michigan with Monaghan as the sole owner and shareholder.
The lawsuit seeking the injunction was filed and handled by the Thomas More Law Center, with Erin Mersino serving as the lead counsel in the case. Mersino argued that the HHS mandate violated the religious beliefs of Monaghan. The government lawyers argued against the injunction by saying that when a business owner makes the decision to operate in the marketplace that he forfeits his right to exercise his religious beliefs in his business operations.
Mersino argued that the First Amendment to the US Constitution grants a business owner the right to exercise his religious beliefs in his business. She then quoted former 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.”
However, Judge Zatkoff claimed that he focused only on the unconstitutional nature of the HHS mandate’s infringement on Monaghan’s right to exercise his religion. He said the issue of Monaghan’s right to the free exercise of religion would require a separate discussion even though the principles are the same as would be the outcome.
After receiving Zatkoff’s ruling, Mersino 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.”
Thomas More Law Center believes the federal government will appeal the District Court’s ruling to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, but they are prepared for this when it happens.
One would think that the growing number of judges granting injunctions against the enforcement of the contraception mandate would be enough evidence to prove that it’s unconstitutional. If the judges did not believe it was unconstitutional, they wouldn’t be granting the injunctions.
Just a caveat to mention that this injunction was granted to another Catholic business owner. As I’ve written before, most of the injunctions are being granted to Catholic business owners and not to Protestant business owners like Hobby Lobby.