On Thursday, Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza, won an injunction against ObamaCare’s contraception mandate in federal district court. Details from the Associated Press:
U.S. District Judge Lawrence Zatkoff granted a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the contraception provision of the law against Tom Monaghan and Domino’s Farms Corp., a management company located near Ann Arbor, Mich.
The company, which is not connected to Domino’s Pizza, has 45 full-time and 44 part-time employees, according to its court filing. Monaghan sold his controlling stake in Domino’s Pizza in 1998 to private equity company Bain Capital and sold his remaining Domino’s stock in 2004, according to Domino’s Pizza spokesman Chris Brandon.
“It is in the best interest of the public that Monaghan not be compelled to act in conflict with his religious beliefs,” Zatkoff wrote.
Monaghan is a Roman Catholic and said in his suit that he considers contraception a “gravely immoral” practice. He offers employees health insurance that excludes coverage for contraception and abortion.
The ObamaCare commissars have graciously allowed actual houses of worship to retain their freedom of religious conscience, but until now this freedom had been formally stripped from individual citizens and business organizations that merely happen to be owned by religious people. Who is this federal judge, to think he knows “the best interest of the public” better than the commissars?
In its response to the suit filed in December, the [Health and Human Services Department] denied the health care law had a substantial effect on Monaghan’s exercise of his rights to religious freedom or freedom of speech.
The provisions of the health care law “are narrowly tailored to serve two compelling government interests: improving the health of women and children, and equalizing the provision of preventive care for women and men so that women who choose to can be a part of the workforce on an equal playing field with men,” the government said.You see, forcing people to provide funding for something they object to on moral or religious grounds doesn’t impact their First Amendment rights, because they’re still free to complain uselessly about it. And how can you ignore the ruthless “War on Women” carried out by those who would insist that they pay for their own contraceptives? That’s pretty much the same thing as slavery.
In a move that might very well provoke further ire from our friends on the Left, Judge Zatkoff actually invoked the Citizens United Supreme Court decision in his ruling, as related by the Washington Times:
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, which ruled in Mr. Monaghan’s favor, harkened back to the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision that said corporations have First Amendment speech rights, and said if that’s true, then a business can also have a religious viewpoint.
“The court sees no reason why a corporation cannot support a particular religious viewpoint by using corporate funds to support that viewpoint,” Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff wrote. “As such, the court finds that [Domino’s Farms] is merely the instrument through and by which Monaghan expresses his religious beliefs.”
Monaghan has won temporary injunctions before. Other business owners suing in other courts have won sometimes… but lost in other cases. The Washington Times puts the score at 13 wins for religious freedom, 5 losses, and 3 cases still pending. The commissars of ObamaCare really should have called a Constitutional convention to modify the First Amendment and codify that the State’s judgment in these matters trumps individual religious conscience, but Americans no longer hold their founding document in such regard, so it will almost certainly be up to the Supreme Court to settle the matter once and for all.