On March 14, 2013, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan issued a preliminary injunction against the application of the contraceptive mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to a for-profit employer. District Court Judge Lawrence Zatkoff ruled that Domino’s Farm Corp., a for-profit property management company owned by Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza, did not have to comply with the contraceptive mandate because it violated Monaghan’s religious beliefs. Judge Zatkoff wrote, “It is in the best interest of the public that Monaghan not be compelled to act in conflict with his religious beliefs.” Back in December 2012, Judge Zatoff had issued a temporary restraining order against the application of the contraceptive mandate to Domino’s Farms Corp. This preliminary injunction will enjoin the application of the law to Domino’s Farms Corp. unless the case is appealed.
Currently, there are more than 40 pending legal challenges to the contraceptive mandate. The key issue in these cases is extent to which for-profit employers have a right to religious freedom. The federal courts across the country are addressing this issue and coming to different conclusions.It seems that this issue will remain controversial until the Supreme Court definitively addresses it.© 2014 BARNES & THORNBURG LLP