Thomas Monaghan, a member of the advisory board of the Catholic League, prevailed in federal district court against the Obama administration’s Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate. On March 14, Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff of the Eastern District of Michigan granted a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction against enforcement of the HHS mandate.
Monaghan and his property management company, Domino’s Farms Corporation, is being represented by the Thomas More Law Center (Monaghan sold Domino’s Pizza in 1998; Domino’s Farms is a separate entity).
The Obama administration’s lawyers contended that once a business owner chooses to enter into the marketplace, he no longer is entitled to exercise his religious rights. But Judge Zatkoff disagreed, saying, “It is in the best interest of the public that Monaghan not be compelled to act in conflict with his religious beliefs.”
The attorney for the Thomas More Law Center, Erin Mersino, nailed it just right: “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.”
There will no doubt be an appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court, and eventually all of these matters are bound to wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court. It is encouraging, however, that Tom Monaghan and his able lawyers won this round.