Judge halts contraceptive mandate for Mich. firm
BY AP Wire Service
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
1/01/13 at 6:28 AM
DETROIT (AP) - A federal judge has ruled a property management company owned by the founder of Domino's Pizza doesn't have to immediately implement mandatory contraception coverage in the health care law.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence Zatkoff ruled Sunday in favor of Tom Monaghan and his Domino's Farms Corp., near Ann Arbor. Monaghan, a devout Roman Catholic, says contraception isn't health care but a "gravely immoral" practice.
Zatkoff granted Monaghan's emergency motion for a temporary restraining order until a final decision is made in the case. The mandate would have taken effect Tuesday.
Monaghan sold most of his controlling stake in Domino's Pizza in 1998 to private equity company Bain Capital.
The government says the contraception mandate benefits women's health and removes financial barriers. There are about a dozen similar lawsuits pending nationwide.
In Oklahoma, Hobby Lobby Stores and religious book-seller Mardel Inc. are suing to block part of the federal health-care law that requires employee health-care plans to provide insurance coverage for the so-called morning-after pill and similar contraception pills that the companies contend are tantamount to abortion.
Last week Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied the Oklahoma companies' request for an injunction while their lawsuit is pending. She said the companies could still challenge the regulations in lower courts.
U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton in Denver had ruled earlier that the companies were not religious organizations and therefore not subject to constitutional protection from birth-control provisions.
An attorney for the companies said after Sotomayor's ruling that they would continue to refuse to offer its employees insurance that would cover the disputed drugs while the lawsuit is pending.
Original Print Headline: Judge grants Mich. firm interim halt to contraceptive rule