By Bill Mears, CNN
(CNN)– The billionaire founder of Domino's Pizza has won a temporary court victory, with a federal judge blocking enforcement of part of the health care reform bill requiring most employers to provide a range of contraception and reproductive health services.
Some business owners and their staff see that as a violation of their religious rights.
Federal Judge Lawrence Zatkoff issued his order late Sunday, saying Thomas Monaghan had "shown that abiding by the mandate will substantially burden his exercise of religion."
"The (federal) government has failed to satisfy its burden of showing that its actions were narrowly tailored to serve a compelling interest," said Zatkoff, a 1986 Reagan appointee. "Therefore, the court finds that plaintiffs have established at least some likelihood of succeeding on the merits" of their claim.
Monaghan filed the emergency petition this month, on behalf of himself and Domino's Farms Corp., a Michigan property management firm he operates, not directly related to the pizza-chain empire. Monaghan sold his majority interest in the pizza company in 1998.
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The case will continue to be heard in the federal courts while the stay remains in effect. The Obama administration has the option of appealing the order.
The judge's opinion comes just days after two federal appeals courts in Chicago and St. Louis became the first to rule against enforcement for businesses of the contraceptives mandate in the Affordable Care Act. The policy was set to go into effect Tuesday for many companies whose new insurance year begins on January 1st.
At issue is whether secular, for-profit enterprises– owned and operated by those of a strong religious or personal faith– are exempt from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The separate health care law - dubbed Obamacare - provides such exceptions for religious institutions such as the Catholic Church, of which Monaghan is a member. He argues individually that contraception or abortion does not constitute "health care" and involves immoral practices that destroy "innocent human life."
"Causing death can never be considered a form of medical treatment," said Monaghan in court papers.
Other religious-affiliated groups like parochial schools and church-run hospitals are also temporarily exempted until new final rules are written in coming months.
That followed complaints from a variety of entities over who exactly was covered under the mandates, and who could bring legal objections in court.
The Justice Department, on behalf of the Obama administration, said the 2010 law - upheld this year by the Supreme Court - was designed to provide a range of preventive health services through expanded coverage and lower costs.
Federal lawyers - backed by a range of medical and abortion-rights groups - said economically disadvantaged women in particular need affordable access to reproductive health services contained in the law, which it said was a "compelling governmental interest."
Hobby Lobby faces millions in fines for bucking Obamacare
Under the law, companies with at least 50 employees must provide their female employees of child-bearing age insurance coverage for pregnancy-prevention care, including doctor visits and medicine.
Those firms face daily fines and tax penalties for failure to comply.
Other federal courts - including Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor last week– have allowed the new mandates to go into effect. Sotomayor in an order December 26 said the Supreme Court has never ruled on whether individuals or companies can rightfully claim federal mandates under their constitutional rights of religious freedom.
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That case involved Hobby Lobby Inc., and Mardel, Inc. and five family members involved in ownership and control of the corporations, who had protested the requirement.
Those separate companies said they would be required "to provide insurance coverage for certain drugs and devices that the applicants believe can cause abortions," which would be against their religious beliefs.
The petitioners said they would face irreparable harm if forced to choose between paying fines and complying with the requirement.
But Sotomayor - who handles emergency appeals from the 10th Circuit - said the applicants failed to meet "the demanding standard for the extraordinary relief," and that they could continue to pursue their challenge in lower courts and return to the higher court, if necessary, following a final judgment.
There was no indication when or if the high court would ultimately decide the religious freedom question. Several dozen separate lawsuits are pending in various lower federal courts.
The Michigan case is Monaghan v. Sebelius (12-15488).
CNN's Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.
Over-ruled on appeal.
If you want to kill your offspring, go ahead. Just don't expect other people to pay for it.
If I understand......this guy says his religious beliefs supercede the law. What's next? Will this religious exemption also apply to my religious use of Weed? How about refusing service to Jews, Aetheists, Muslims and others? Surely his religious rights supercede the law and trumps the rights of others.
william: "If I understand......this guy says his religious beliefs supercede the law."
Err, yeah. That's exactly what it does. The law is not supreme, your rights are. And he has a right to practice his religion as he chooses. That means he can choose to not support or pay for contraceptive use.
"Surely his religious rights supercede the law and trumps the rights of others."
Sorry, but since when do you have a right to force another person to pay for your contraceptives?
Get a clue boy.. Birth Control is a product, not a right.. take some money, go buy some if you want. it is that easy.. His right to practice his religion supercedes your right to have unprotected s-e-x for free.
you do realize that there's a law that says people have religious rights............seriously, this forum is filled with people who don't seem to know anything about what they're talking about
another one. best to just act with your wallet. mine will not be opening for this company
HE SOLD THE COMPANY IN 1998...DO YOU READ THE WHOLE THING OR WHAT
Selling the company just means he sold enough stock to lower his percentage to less than 50 percent and gave up control of day-to-day operations. He still has relationships with them, still gets millions from them selling pizza, but now he isn't CEO.
So you are showing us how little you know of how businesses work and what happens when they are sold.
If the whole Dominos pizza corporation was wiped off the face of the Earth, it would hurt him financially very very much even though he is no longer CEO. Try reading something besides Guideposts, you ninnyhammer.
Plus seems to be able to take that Dominos name where ever he wants. I wonder if he might have some agreement where he can offer pizza stock as an incentive to the employees at the property management co.
Earlier this week, news stories came out that Domino's Pizza founder Tom Monaghan had filed suit against the federal government regarding healthcare. Since that time, the story has been widely misreported to indicate Domino’s was involved in this action, which is completely untrue. Tom Monaghan sold Domino’s Pizza in 1998 and today has NO active affiliation with our company. The media often neglect to note this fact. His views are not our views, nor are his actions in any way related to our actions. Domino's Pizza has made no public statements about health care, as we are still waiting to see how the final rules will affect our network of small business owners. Domino's is not a political company; it is not a religious company – we are a pizza company........From Dominos Pizzas Facebook page
Carpe, Are you being paid to defend Monaghan?
And what if this guy's "religious beliefs" meant that he did not want to hire Blacks or women? How many of you would support his "right" to do that? It's the exact same issue, which is why this "judge" will be overturned on appeal ... quickly and emphatically, I would guess.
thefilm: "And what if this guy's "religious beliefs" meant that he did not want to hire Blacks or women? How many of you would support his "right" to do that"
Whether you find something morally repulsive has no bearing on whether or not you have a right to stop that thing.
Much less, whether he can discriminate in employment has no bearing on whether or not the government can force him to act in a way that is anti thetical to his religious beliefs.
If you want to spout off about race and gender, don't forget that religion is also protected.
We must obey God as ruler rather than man when it conflicts with bible principles – Acts 5:29
Hey, Tina...this is a church subject.
1 Corinthians 14:34
.. how many baby mama's are keepin it real in here. none. just wanna breed man. keep them babies comin for Welfare, no what i'm sayin'. I ain'ts gots to work when them is round me makin' for me, know what i'm sayin.?
You're serious? You actually don't care about women's healthcare and you come to this forum to tell people how uninformed you are and immersed in FoxThink. Again, it's apparent from these comments that you, along with others who march to a similar beat, are trained by wealthy people to say things that are loud and obnoxious and have extremely limited value. Congratulations!
Yup another caucasian trying to sound ethnic for no other reason than to stir some controversy because they lack a constructive point of view.
This may be Mr. Monaghan's view but not his thousands of employees. He is using "religion" to cover up that he is a cheap ass SOB who does not care about his employees and only cares about his bottom line.
Reagan appointed Judge? The guy then must be what, 90 years old by now?
This will quickly be overturned on appeal. What a dumb ruling.
LOL.. Contracepticve: A product, not a right.. your mama should have used more.
I'll never by another Dominos pizza. We need to keep religion out of business and government.
HE SOLD THE COMPANY IN 1998.....CAN YOU READ OR DO YOU NEED PICTURES
If he's using Domino's as his pulpit than Domino's will have the effect from that cause.......until they voice dissension.
People that own companies, do not give up their rights to practice religion just because they OWN a company.. Your condoms are a product, they are not a right.. Can you get that? maybe you could bang your head against that cement basement wall a little harder so it will get through to you.. just try.
Thank you Domino's founder for my New Year's resolution number 1: NO MORE DOMINO'S PIZZA!
HE SOLD THE COMPANY IN 1998...READ THE ARTICLE
Yeaaaaa, more Domino's pizza for me.
...and Chik-fil-a sales seem to be as robust as ever.
I respond a bit less these days but never stop being amuzed over the rants of those who 'will never buy from them again'.
The man is exercising his right to become politically active. He has his beliefs and acts on them. Just because his beliefs (and those of many others) runs counter to those of many others, doesn't disqualify him of his right.
It's called freedom.
Those who work for his company have freedoms as well, like staying in those underpaying jobs, or looking elsewhere for possibly better opportunities.
People who are riled by people who exercise their freedoms are often those without the same resources(money, and yes, I'm awfully short on that, too!), or connections.
But before you stop buying Dominoes Pizzas or Chik-fil-a, please take inventory of all your household items for anything made in China. The country that is top on the list of human rights violations(slavery, organ trafficing, political oppression/murder) should warrant your righteous concern.
But most of the time we're just too lazy to care and will dial number for the closest pizza joint with the best deals or coupons.
Happy eating and Happy New Year!
WELL said! .... Freedom of expression WILL ALWAYS rule in this country.....even if you don't agree.
Sorry, but his "freedom" ends when it impinges upon mine. Freedom of religion also includes freedom FROM religion. I don't want Catholicism and its "freedom" affecting my health or my freedom.
Well said! I don't think I have heard anyone else explain it so clearly without injecting unecessary emotions into the mix.
No one is telling you to practice Catholicism or any religion. What they are saying is that if you want a service, such as abortion or contraception, that violates the owner or boards religious beliefs, you have to pay for it yourself. Healthcare is one thing, but contraception and abortion is another. Those are choices, whereas Healthcare is necessary. Personally, I don't fully agree with Obamacare, but there isn't anything I can do about that. But I do care about having to flip the bill for contraception.
Here's a clue for you, Juanito.
He had to BRIBE our legislators to make this happen. That's illegal as well as disgusting.
He doesn't have any rights based on his being wealthy enough to bribe legislators, so your argument falls rather flat.
When you understand how our civil rights work, come on back and apologize. Otherwise, piss off.
Kelly, please inspect your paystub. If you don't work for him, I'd say you're pretty safe from his views or beliefs impeding your right to kill the living unborn.
If you are working for him, I'll go out on a limb here and guess there are more than 2 or 3 jobs that will pay you better.
Happy Job Hunting! Hey, who put pepperoni on this pizza???
@kelly, you dont have a right to free birth control.. didnt you know that?
As an individual, he has every right to express himself and follow his beliefs (as long as they don't infringe on other's rights). But as an employer, he has no right to impose his beliefs, directly or indirectly via economic means, on his employees. Of course, the real reason here is that he sees a way of minimizing his costs. What a hypocrite.
Most insurance policies already do not cover elective procedures. Abortion is an elective procedure. Insurance policies do not cover condems or asprin, but this does not mean you can't buy them. The same applies to the pill. The issue here isn't one of freedom from religion. It's wanting a company to pay for more and you to pay for less. The religious debate just mask the real reason.
yet another reason i won't eat domino's pizza... freedom of pizza choices, freedom of birth control.
Do you ever shop at Walmart?
@ BRIAN.....HE SOLD THE COMPANY IN 1998....READ THE WHOLE THING
carpe diem is obviously our idiot catholic troll using a new name.
Hey, carpe diem, you aren't suffering enough to please your god, so why don't you stab yourself a few times? Thanks.
Well, judging by the election results of the anti-women election candidates, this guy's going to preside over a major fall in revenues shortly.
...see Chik-fil-a. Sales are impressive, considering the 'massive boycott' from last summer, as well as being closed every Sunday.
Just as those who once boycotted Exxon over the Valdez incident, the company is making money hand over fist.
We Americans are too lazy to be politically effective. We vote, and think we've done our job.
It's not as simple as that. This guy is showing you that and you're either too ignorant or too emotional to see it.
Pizzas finally here!!!
All these people griping about this man, what if it was your beliefs that were taken away from you? You have the right to spout anything you want on these sites. What if you couldn't anymore? What if you were forced to agree to something that was against your principals? What if you were told you couldn't drink anymore, or you had to weigh a certain amount to get a job? What if? What if you were told you had to quit smoking period not just in certain places? What if you are taxed about 35% to pay for Obama Care, because that is what is going to happen! Disagree with that?
Wow, you sound totally clueless about civil rights and how they work.
Maybe some day you'll learn, but I won't hold my breath.
It's "principles" actually. And having private beliefs is one thing. Using them to drop out of group support preventing harming the health of others, is quite another sort of action. A bit like a tribe who stops feeding anyone sick or over 65, becuase they don't want too. Sometimes called "evil"..
I think the issue is more that he's imposing his beliefs on his employees. The Government telling him he has to use contraceptives in his family... that would be wrong and I'd agree with his practicing of his religion being infringed.
But him telling his employees that he's going to draw lines on what health coverage they get not on cost but for specific services based on his beliefs... Is horrendous. He's not a doctor. What if your employer told you that you he provides health benefits but they must be administered by his church not a licensed Doctor. It would be absurd.
I'm not prolife, I'm actually prochoice...however I think these companies and owners have should have the right to say that they won't include birth control or abortion. It's one thing if it's needed medical care, I feel like that should be covered. But birth control and abortions aren't necessary medical needs, they're wants. There are cheaper alternatives out there and the employer should have the right to deny elective medical coverage when the cost is on them. I say elective because there are things called condoms, women don't need birth control pills. If birth control was treatment for a disorder then yah it should be covered, but if it is elective or optional i dont think it should be a requirement. It's like Chantix pills for smokers, thats not a necessity and isn't covered by most health insurance.
@ Rational Humanist...HE SOLD THE WHOLE COMPANY TO A PRIVATE FIRM 100%....DO YOUR HOMEWORK NOT MAKE THE FACTS FIT YOUR AGENDA
So give us a link to these facts, then.
And what firm did he sell the company to? A Catholic one? What a surprise that would be. Gosh.
Wow, so now health coverage for abortions or constraceptives is a civil right. You learn something new everyday.
Mr. Monaghan has only 4 daughters. I guess it's just another case of "do as I say, not as I do". Can you say mega Roman Catholic hypocrite?
I guess he is also against abortion. Dont these idiots realize that contraception will prevent abortions – fools
Hmm–long ago, I used to work for Dominos. Won't ever order from them again.
hey steve B.....HE SOLD THE COMPANY IN 1998....READ THE ARTTICLE.....TOOL
I didn't know that God said 'Thou shalt create a pizza delivery service but thou shall not pay for contraceptives nor shall thou purchase a health care for thy employees that offers free contraceptives, even if it shall be offered cheaper by an insurance company because it is more profitable for them'.
Where is that in the Bible?
I think it is in Ruth somewhere :P
It's right next to the place that says that abortion is fine with God.
Larry, where in the Bible does it say the Federal Goverment shall enforce the use of "contraceptives nor shall thou purchase a health care for thy employees that offers free contraceptives, even if it shall be offered cheaper by an insurance company because it is more profitable for them'." Our current POTUS and Legislators seem to think that was more important than balancing the Federal Budget and forcing us into a situation where we face the "imagined cliff" This entire Congress and POTUS are complete jokes and have not accomplished anything worthwhile, only negative legislation that most of the people do not want to begin with. I don't care if a Legislator is a Republican, Democrat or independent, they are all worthless slobs that think they can get away with anything they want, including not doing thier jobs as their party leaders dictate. The American Public needs to demand that both Bonehead and Reed are removed from their positions.
Sigh. And we expected better from corporate America? Hide behind tax laws. Hide behind religion. Hide behind ideology. Just don't take mine away from me, because we haven't sucked seniors, the disabled and other less fortunates dry yet.
Remember Tiffany, You get what you sow. Work for something and you shall get it. Sit around and do nothing and that is what you get. You cannot expect half the people to support the other half unless you want to turn this country into a communist state. Obamacare is just another step in that direction.
DB. You are absolutely right. We do get what we sow, but we must also take care of those less fortunate than we are. If you want to ask me why, then I see that as a failure of human compassion. Of course there are going to be dead beats. It is a fact of life, but that doesn't mean we throw the baby out with the bath water. It also doesn't mean that this country isn't rich enough that we have to argue this point. Why are we arguing it? If I have enough to sustain me, why should i vociferously argue that others shouldn't have the same rights? ACA included. However, that is off topic. My only point was that corporate America is different than you or me. Our agendas are totally different.
Well played Tiffany H. Well played!
Hmm – OK, as Sigh pointed out this is actually in regards to:
Domino's Farms Corp., a Michigan property management firm
not the pizza company.
Yep, mea culpa. But he's still a dovche with a giant vulva on his desk.
I think you're wrong. I've seen this story in multiple media outlets over the last couple of weeks, all of whom also reported it as Dominos Pizza.
But a) he's the founder of the pizza company, and b) he's managed to set up a precedent that will be followed within the pizza company.
I wouldn't be surprised. They ought to make a movie about his rise to wealth: "Blood Pizzas"
(Oh I was replying to Stephen.)
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.