Domino’s Pizza founder sues over contraception mandate

posted at 5:01 pm on December 16, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

The fight over the contraceptive angle in Obamacare, which Ed has written about extensively, is apparently far from over. It’s also going to expand past the application of the law to churches and other religious institutions. Just yesterday I related the story of how one provider explained rising costs to employees at a local small business and listed a number of women’s health services which are now mandated to be provided at no cost. Another employer – in a significantly larger enterprise – has been up in arms over one aspect of this debate all year. Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza, is going to court over the mandate.

Tom Monaghan, a devout Roman Catholic, says contraception is not health care and instead is a “gravely immoral” practice. He’s a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court, along with his Domino’s Farms, which runs an office park near Ann Arbor.

Monaghan offers health insurance that excludes contraception and abortion for employees. The new law requires employers to offer insurance that includes contraception coverage or risk fines. Monaghan says the law violates his constitutional rights, and he’s asking a judge to strike down the mandate.

Unlike Ed – and many others here, I’m sure – I’ve never seen this as an issue of religious freedom, particularly when it branches out to strictly secular businesses such as Monaghan’s. But it does remind us once again of the question of mandating anything in terms of the negotiations between employers and employees over their coverage, to say nothing of the specifics for one type of treatment over another. The number of mandates flying around these days are dizzying, and rather than reducing costs – ostensibly one of the chief goals of health care reform – they seem to drive them up.

Still, you can’t keep the first amendment out of this conversation entirely, as shown by Wesley Smith over at The Corner.

This isn’t about birth control, but the power of the government to bulldoze freedom of religion down to a mere freedom of worship. Regardless of one’s faith or lack thereof, all who believe in American liberty should wish Monaghan well.

This is a rather curious situation where you might find people from opposite sides of the religious spectrum finding common cause, though for very different reasons. But even for the many Americans who may not spend their time obsessing over politics and government and, perhaps, may not be particularly devout, there is a third front. That one is comprised of the folks waking up to find their insurance costs are going through the roof and asking their providers why.


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He must be rolling in dough to be able do this.

SparkPlug on December 16, 2012 at 5:15 PM

He could close every Domino’s tomorrow and have enough money to maintain HIS lifestyle for the rest of his life…

It will be interesting to see if he does that if he loses his challenge…

Khun Joe on December 16, 2012 at 7:37 PM

The government would sue him to keep them open. But, you’re exactly right, it would be interesting to see some of these large employers go Gault in a very public spectacle.

The Hammer on December 16, 2012 at 7:42 PM

The government would sue him to keep them open. But, you’re exactly right, it would be interesting to see some of these large employers go Gault in a very public spectacle.

The Hammer on December 16, 2012 at 7:42 PM

That would be interesting…it surely wouldn’t be good. I’m not a fan of Domino’s but I would want them to stay in the game since more competitors is good.

22044 on December 16, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Beyond the contraception mandate, ObamaCare requires that everyone have mental health coverage, rehab for drug and alcohol problems and maternity care. At 68 years of age for me and 64 for my wife, we definitely don’t need maternity care nor any of the other services our government now makes me pay for against my will. Even with Medicare, our insurance costs approach $1600 a month and now we have an new found added fee for the government exchanges.

amr on December 16, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Did that open an opportunity to post irrelevant out of context and edited comments here?
 
lester on November 24, 2012 at 1:14 PM

 

Is this going to be like Papa John’s where he eventually admitted the Obamacare actually levels the playing field and allows him to compete with others who do not offer coverage? That he was already covering full time employees for decades and part time employees were not affected anyway?
 
lester on December 3, 2012 at 6:19 PM

 
So you support “levelling the playing field” in favor of enormous corporations against local startups?
 
If not, please clarify how the bolded part can mean anything else.
 
rogerb on December 4, 2012 at 9:48 AM
 
http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2012/12/03/cheesecake-factory-ceo-obamacare-is-going-to-be-very-costly-to-small-enterprises/comment-page-1/#comment-134342

 
(Dead thread, btw)

rogerb on December 16, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Hosanna Tabor hinged on the employee being a minister. There is some debate over who qualifies as a ministerial employee, but pizza workers likely wouldn’t.

dedalus on December 16, 2012 at 7:33 PM

True, the school considered all the teachers “ministers,” in a sense.

But the more important issue in the Domino’s case may be whether the government can favor one religion over another, unless, of course, a Muslim has to buy insurance for his employees, if he runs a business, but need not buy it for himself.

Besides Domino’s there is also the challenge to the contraceptive by Tyndale House, which publishes Bibles. It is a publishing house like any other publishing house, except it only publishes religious books, and is not affiliated with any denomination, like the school in Hosanna-Tabor.

If the product or service that you sell is secular or religious, should it matter, if you offer the goods or services to the general public?

Wethal on December 16, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Wethal on December 16, 2012 at 8:07 PM

You would have to show that the tests used for that are intended to favor one religion over another or are applied selectively. They have been around for some time for both soc sec and the IRS and have been upheld. Muslims aren’t exempt any more than Christians and Jews. In fact they don;t object o mandated insurance like auto insurance but some sects might be sensitive to that just as they are in very few Christian sects. New sects aren’t allowed to take advantage of that.

lexhamfox on December 16, 2012 at 8:15 PM

In fact they don;t object to mandated insurance like auto insurance but some sects might be sensitive to that just as they are in very few Christian sects. lexhamfox on December 16, 2012 at 8:15 PM

If you don’t drive, you don’t have to have auto insurance, so there is a way to opt out of that.

New sects aren’t allowed to take advantage of that.

According to what SCOTUS opinion? “Old” sects are allowed to be exempt from some federal programs, but “new” ones aren’t???

How long does a religion have to be around to be “old”?

Wethal on December 16, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Wethal on December 16, 2012 at 8:24 PM

The edicts in Islam about religion are generally trumped by a Muslim’s duty to follow the law of the country he lives in. Often where there is conflict they try to set up institutions that allow for compliance with Islam and the law (special mortgages and insurance policies). The Saudi and Gulf insurance markets are pretty healthy.

I think the law says it has to be established for 50 years (correction 1950). You would have to look up the test… look at the history for social security exemptions. That is where I saw that figure.

Found it. IRS SS Section G (1)

lexhamfox on December 16, 2012 at 8:52 PM

I think the law says it has to be established for 50 years (correction 1950). You would have to look up the test… look at the history for social security exemptions. That is where I saw that figure.

Found it. IRS SS Section G (1)

lexhamfox on December 16, 2012 at 8:52 PM

But has any “new” sect ever challenged the 50-year rule on the basis of the First Amendment?

The Unification Church, for example, was founded in 1954. Regardless of what you think of Moonies, assuming they objected to Obamacare or the contraceptive mandate, would 4 years difference be able to withstand strict scrutiny, and the presumption of unconsitutionality?

Scientology (regardless of what you think of it), was founded in 1953, so it would presumably be out of luck, too, if it objected to Obamacare.

Just because a law is on the books does not mean it can withstand a First Amendment challenge when one is finally raised.

Until a few years ago, an old PA law exempted Bibles from sales tax, although other books were taxed. PA SC struck it down as establishing religion.

Wethal on December 16, 2012 at 9:11 PM

A conservative Mennonite cabinetmaker who employs 950 people sues over Affordable Care Act’s mandate citing the principles of religious freedom on which William Penn founded Pennsylvania,

aknews on December 16, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Wethal on December 16, 2012 at 9:11 PM

Sorry. I don’t have time to explain IRS and SS tax code. You are confusing the two and the reasons why an institution would want or qualify to opt out of one or the other. Obamacare relys the IRS tests.

The big legal challenges involving Scientology are whether it qualifies as a religious institution at all. The Reverend Moon did go to prison for tax fraud if I recall correctly.

You will have to do your own research. The Amish opted out of SocSec and that is well documented and easy to follow.

lexhamfox on December 16, 2012 at 9:28 PM

One of the lesser known facts about the freedom of religion is that once the Bill of Rights was passed, it did not automatically result in “separation of church and state,” but that towns and counties in places like VA and New England continued to tax to support the local church.

If you ever read Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience,” he mentions in passing that he refused to pay the local tax to support the local preacher. This was around 1835.

It was not until cases got to SCOTUS in the 1830s and 1840s that SCOTUS said these taxes were unconstitutional. Sometimes it does take a court case to strike down a law or regulation that been around for several years.

Wethal on December 16, 2012 at 9:29 PM

The big legal challenges involving Scientology are whether it qualifies as a religious institution at all. The Reverend Moon did go to prison for tax fraud if I recall correctly.

You will have to do your own research. The Amish opted out of SocSec and that is well documented and easy to follow.

lexhamfox on December 16, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Moon got charged with personal tax evasion. His sect’s religious beliefs were not at issue. Whether Scientology “counts” as a religion has probably been settled by US v. Ballard. (1944).

No one is objecting to the Amish opting out of SS, as they do take care of their group members. Just as SCOTUS said in Wisconsin v. Yoder, it was ok for the Amish to pull their kids out of school at eighth grade (this was before home schooling), as they gave the kids vocational training for the Amish life from then on. No other religion objected to that.

I am not confusing the IRS and SS regs, but looking at a broader constitutional argument on whether ANY federal statute or reg can select certain religions for special status if another religion objects to this favoritism, and wants that special status, too.

Wethal on December 16, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Wethal on December 16, 2012 at 9:29 PM

I really enjoyed Civil Disobedience.

Yeah Constitutional history is pretty fascinating. The Colonial Charters themselves are worthy of serious study and those tithing laws often go back to the original charters… If you are really interested I would urge you to check this out. It’s absolutely brilliant and you can see the huge impact it had on our nation’s founding and political economy.

Have a good evening.

lexhamfox on December 16, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Whether Scientology “counts” as a religion has probably been settled by US v. Ballard. (1944).

More recent. Early 90′s for the 501c status resolution. Kabbalah is another interesting one because of it’s small size.

lexhamfox on December 16, 2012 at 9:51 PM

I live near Philadelphia and if you drive through certain neighborhoods, every block has at least one little storefront church, with names like the “Church of Jesus Christ of Hallaulah Holiness of God and Spirit Salvation,” etc.

These are presumably some fundamentalist version of Christianity, and entitled to the protection of the First Amendment, and recognition under federal law as such, just like the first Anglican church founded in Jamestown, VA, regardless of how odd their beliefs might be. It’s the odd beliefs that make it to SCOTUS.

Wethal on December 16, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Don’t forget Kingjester’s 1000th post, if you are into it.

http://kingsjester.wordpress.com/

Axe on December 16, 2012 at 10:04 PM

You don’t get to be a freeloader in society just because you have a particular religious belief. If they want to be exempt from these things then move to Somalia and establish a colony there. See how long it lasts. We all know that would be measured in days if not hours.”

Is this not the reason people moved to what is now the US? To be ‘exempt from these things’ that is, to have religious liberty.

theblackcommenter on December 17, 2012 at 3:37 AM

You can always go to work for Pizza Hut or Shakey’s or Little Cesar’s etc….

racquetballer on December 17, 2012 at 7:25 AM

yesterday I related the story of how one provider explained rising costs to employees at a local small business and listed a number of women’s health services which are now mandated to be provided at no cost

When are we going to get an equal protection lawsuit from men, claiming that Obamacare discriminates against them? All these mandated “free” services for women are discriminatory. Why “free” yearly mammograms, but not “free” yearly tests for testicular or prostate cancer? Are women’s cancers more important than men’s? Why are insurers required to provide “free” birth control pills for women, but not “free” condoms for men?

AZCoyote on December 17, 2012 at 9:32 AM

I still think the argument against health care mandates should be a secular one, not based on religious freedom. The problem is that someone who is NOT elected is deciding what *must* be covered, and that should concern everyone on the left or the right.

If a liberal Secretary of HHS can mandate birth control, couldn’t a conservative secretary of HHS then mandate that birth control & abortion drugs CANNOT be covered? Couldn’t someone mandate coverage of those awful & damaging therapies designed to turn gay people “straight”? Or anything else that liberals don’t approve of?

To me, it’s a freedom issue, where the government is dictating what service a private company must provide. It isn’t about birth control, which I am VERY much in favor of personally. It’s about choice and the freedom of private companies to provide for their employees as they see fit, and employees to either accept that or find other employment.

Violina23 on December 17, 2012 at 10:17 AM

When are we going to get an equal protection lawsuit from men, claiming that Obamacare discriminates against them? All these mandated “free” services for women are discriminatory. Why “free” yearly mammograms, but not “free” yearly tests for testicular or prostate cancer? Are women’s cancers more important than men’s? Why are insurers required to provide “free” birth control pills for women, but not “free” condoms for men?

AZCoyote on December 17, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Prostate screening currently isn’t a recommended procedure. Mammograms currently are.

And condoms are already free. Go to a hospital and ask for a condom. Planned Parenthood gives them out for free too. And tons of other places.

segasagez on December 17, 2012 at 10:32 AM

I’ve never seen this as an issue of religious freedom, particularly when it branches out to strictly secular businesses such as Monaghan’s.

Tom Monaghan, a devout Roman Catholic, says contraception is not health care and instead is a “gravely immoral” practice.

It’s both. Or, all of the above, so to speak, as to offense by a government uninhibited by our Constitution.

The offense/s involved should offend every American.

And good for Monaghan, may his lawsuit prevail.

Lourdes on December 17, 2012 at 10:35 AM

The Obama administration often uses the term “freedom of worship,” which means you can do what you want behind your house of worship’s doors, and ordain whom you want, but the minute you step out into society, it is a non-religious (albeit “multi-cultural”) world in which all discourse should be in secular terms…

Wethal on December 16, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Exactly right. More people need to pay very close attention to the phraseology and words used and how by Obama (actually, by both of them). They so far have cashed in on the emotional vulnerabilities of and vanity appeal to some voters, but their ongoing use of certain buzzwords needs to be paid closer attention pragmatically as to what they are “really” saying.

Lourdes on December 17, 2012 at 10:39 AM

…So, Mr. Shaw, it would be OK to – oh, let’s just say – mandate that everyone eat pork (including muslims, etc etc…), because it’s “outside” the place of worship, so it “doesn’t count” as religious freedom?!

It *that* it, Mr. Shaw?!? ** YOURS.

Czar of Defenestration on December 16, 2012 at 5:41 PM

I think a correct example of analogous conditions would be if Obama/ObamaTax “mandated” (required) Muslims to fund the purchase and consumption of pork in school cafeterias. Or that they be required to pay for the construction of Jewish Temples.

Lourdes on December 17, 2012 at 10:48 AM

But in addition to the religious freedom issue is this blatant violation of Constitutional limits and bestowed Rights.

And when did taxes start demanding that citizens violate their religious liberty?

Lourdes on December 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM

The organizations I work with long ago offered corporate benefits to same sex couples and they included medical coverage that cover contraception and abortion.

They are far larger than Dominos pizza and decided that it was easier to throw in the towel earlier to avoid needless hassle, then pass costs on to employees and customers in a phased approach.

They have effectively legitimized SSM AND coverage for birth control and abortions for all full time employees. And most of you are their customers one way or another.

CorporatePiggy on December 16, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Doesn’t mean what they are doing is right in a moral or ethical or Constitutional sense in regards to liberties (“Rights”). They’re avoiding lawsuits, is what they’re doing, under pressure of threat from others who may or may not also be acting Constitutionally, but it’s “easier to throw in the towel” than to suffer the Obama-threat treatment he and ACORN and SEIU applied to CITI years ago to get them to dole out mortgages based upon race rather than credit worthiness.

Lourdes on December 17, 2012 at 10:55 AM

But in addition to the religious freedom issue is this blatant violation of Constitutional limits and bestowed Rights.

And when did taxes start demanding that citizens violate their religious liberty?

Lourdes on December 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Should those that are religious against war pay the taxes that support them?

segasagez on December 17, 2012 at 11:18 AM

In addition to producing horrible pizza Tom Monaghan is apparently a horrible gynecologist as he does not know that “birth-control” pills are frequently prescribed to regulate menses.

plewis on December 17, 2012 at 11:36 AM

In addition to producing horrible pizza Tom Monaghan is apparently a horrible gynecologist as he does not know that “birth-control” pills are frequently prescribed to regulate menses.

plewis on December 17, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Doctors use bcps to cover up underlying problems with menses. It is a shame women can’t get real answers to their underlying problems.

cptacek on December 17, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Unlike Ed – and many others here, I’m sure – I’ve never seen this as an issue of religious freedom, particularly when it branches out to strictly secular businesses such as Monaghan’s.

Tom Monaghan is a devout Catholic. This means he agrees with the teachings of his church that life begins at conception, and that euthanesia, at any point, is the taking of the life of a human being

He has never varied in his belief.

There is no way he is going to help people kill human beings, even if he only has to pay 8 bucks a month.

This from the Mission statement of Ave Maria University, founded by Monaghan

This is perhaps the single most vital task for Catholic academicians: to explicate the truths of the faith, and measure against them the evolving societal propositions or practices in politics, the arts, the economy, etc. Two hundred or more years ago, those practices included slavery, laissez faire capitalism, and child labor. Fifty or more years ago, they included Marxism, Nazism, and Freudianism. Today they include abortion, fetal research, cloning, same-sex “marriage,” moral relativism, and world terrorism. It is the graduates of Ave Maria University who will become the Catholic intellectuals needed to bring the truths of the faith to bear on these issues.

entagor on December 17, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Good for Tom Monaghan.

David Blue on December 17, 2012 at 4:35 PM

In addition to producing horrible pizza Tom Monaghan is apparently a horrible gynecologist as he does not know that “birth-control” pills are frequently prescribed to regulate menses.

plewis on December 17, 2012 at 11:36 AM

auto-immolate, reprobate

tom daschle concerned on December 19, 2012 at 6:11 AM

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