On December 14, 2012, Domino's Food and its owner filed this lawsuit in the Eastern District of Michigan against the federal government under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and the First Amendment. The plaintiffs, represented by the Thomas ...
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On December 14, 2012, Domino's Food and its owner filed this lawsuit in the Eastern District of Michigan against the federal government under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and the First Amendment. The plaintiffs, represented by the Thomas More Law Center, a Catholic non-profit legal aid organization, seek to enjoin enforcement of provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) extending universal contraception coverage in employer-sponsored private health insurance coverage. The plaintiffs contend that this mandatory contraception coverage violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.
On March 14, 2013, Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff granted the plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction. Judge Zatkoff found that, while the question of whether or not a for-profit corporation possess free exercise rights is unresolved, Domino's Farms, distinct from its owner, may assert free exercise rights on his behalf. In this way, Domino's Farms Corp. is merely the instrument through which the owner exercises his religious beliefs. And because the contraception mandate burdens the plaintiffs' sincerely held religious beliefs beyond the least restrictive means, plaintiffs showed a high likelihood of success of the merits and would suffer irreparable without the injunction. On May 13, 2013, the government filed an interlocutory appeal with the Sixth Circuit challenging the preliminary injunction.
On June 26, 2013, Judge Zatkoff granted the parties' joint motion to stay the proceedings pending the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal's decision in two substantially similar cases, Autocam Corps. v. Sebelius, FA-MI-0005
and Weingartz Supply Co. v. Sebelius, FA-MI-0006
. On October 23, 2014, following the Supreme Court's June 30, 2014 decision in Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius
and subsequent decision to remand Autocam to the Sixth Circuit for consideration under Hobby Lobby, the government voluntarily dismissed its interlocutory appeal.
On December 3, 2014, Judge Zatkoff entered a permanent injunction and judgment against the government, based on the Supreme Court's decision in Hobby Lobby. The injunction protected the plaintiffs against government enforcement of the version of the contraception mandate that existed prior to the Hobby Lobby decision. Prior to Hobby Lobby, closely-held for-profit religious employers did not have an opportunity to notify the government of their objection to the contraception mandate, and compel the government to work with their insurer to provide contraception coverage directly to their employees. The decision did not preclude the plaintiffs from bringing suit under later versions of the mandate.
On March 9, 2015, the parties notified the court that they had reached an agreement on attorneys' fees and costs. Wyatt Fore - 04/19/2013
Richard Jolly - 04/03/2014
Kate Craddock - 04/17/2016