News Law and Policy

Dominos Pizza Founder Wont Have To Comply With Contraception Mandate, Judge Rules

Jessica Mason Pieklo

Billionaire Thomas Monaghan doesn't need to provide employees insurance that covers contraception, a federal court ruled Sunday.

The battle over the birth control benefit shows no sign of relenting with more federal courts apparently willing to temporarily block compliance with the law while the administration and faith leaders attempt to work out yet another compromise and as the judiciary struggles with the argument that corporations have religious exercise rights.

Thomas Monaghan, the billionaire founder of Domino’s Pizza is the latest to win a reprieve from the courts; late Sunday a federal judge blocked the mandate from applying to Monaghan and employees of Domino’s Farms Corp., a Michigan property management firm he operates.

“The (federal) government has failed to satisfy its burden of showing that its actions were narrowly tailored to serve a compelling interest,” said Judge Lawrence 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.

The ruling comes just days after two federal appeals courts, one in Chicago and one in St. Louis became the first to rule against enforcement for businesses of the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act. Like the other challenges, Monaghan will continue to challenge the merits of the contraception mandate while the stay issued by the federal court prevents the Obama administration from enforcing the mandate.

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