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Court document: Obamacare threatens rights

The court decisions against Barack Obama’s “abortion mandate” in the health care takeover approved by Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court are building, and now a petition has been submitted to a federal court in Michigan seeking a ban on enforcement against another company.

The request from Thomas More Law Center on behalf of Domino’s Farms Corp. and owner Thomas Monaghan says if the administration plan is allowed to be implemented Jan. 1, it will violate the U.S. Constitution.

The mandate requires that employers pay for abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilization through health insurance plans or pay massive fines. It also demands that employers educate their workers about the use of the drugs.

This all is regardless of what the employer’s religious faith may be.

“Tom Monaghan is a staunch pro-life advocate and Catholic philanthropist,” the legal team said. “His religious beliefs prohibit him from paying for abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilization.”

Erin Mersino, the attorney for the center who is working on the case, has asked Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff to hear the motion as soon as possible because the mandate is to take effect Jan. 1.

The request is for a temporary restraining order that would allow the company to continue providing insurance for Monaghan’s employees that does not violate his constitutionally protected rights to free exercise of religion.

Mersino alleges the government blatantly is violating the Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

The restraining order request comes in a case filed Dec. 14 on behalf of Monaghan and his company. It is the second lawsuit the center has filed that challenges the mandate.

Earlier in the year, the Thomas More Law Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of Michigan businessman Daniel Weingartz and his Weingartz Supply Co, as well as the staff of Legatus, an organization of top Catholic business owners and CEOs. TMLC was successful in obtaining a preliminary injunction barring the government from enforcing the mandate against Weingartz and his company. Legatus also remains free of the mandate’s requirements under the safe harbor provision.

The new request said without action on the part of the court, “the plaintiffs will be irreparably harmed as the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights will be violated.”

The filing points out Obama already has granted “numerous” exemptions to the requirements but has refused to do so for the plaintiffs in this case.

The government’s actions, the document alleges, proves it “cares so little about those professing Catholic beliefs that they will not be bother to address their concerns.”

Either that, or the government is “patently discriminating” against those with Catholic beliefs.

A new report from LifeNews confirmed an agreement has been reached in a case in New York in which the government promised not to enforce the mandate against a group called Priests for Life.

The group also brought a complaint against Obama.

Further, it’s been argued that another court has promised not to enforce the mandate.

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“The government … represented to the court that it would never enforce [the mandate] in its current form against the appellants or those similarly situated as regards contraceptive services,” said an order released by U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia last week.

The three-judge panel noted the government said there will be “a different rule for entities like the appellants … and we take that as a binding commitment.”

“The government further represented that it would publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the new rule in the first quarter of 2013 and would issue a new Final Rule before August 2013.”

The judges continued: “We take the government at its word and will hold it to it.”

Dozens of lawsuits have been filed on behalf of Christian business owners, religious colleges and others. Several judges, including an appellate bench, have ordered the government not to enforce the mandate for now.

The District of Columbia appellate decision came in a case brought by Wheaton College of Illinois and Belmont Abbey College.

The lower court had dismissed the cases as premature. Now the appeals judges have reinstated the cases and have ordered the Obama administration to report back every 60 days, starting in February, until its promise for a new rule that protects the colleges’ religious freedoms is in effect.

“The D.C. Circuit has now made it clear that government promises and press conferences are not enough to protect religious freedom,” said Kyle Duncan, an attorney working on the case.

Dozens of Christian organizations around the country, and a number of companies, have launched legal actions over the mandate, which also now may be heading back to the U.S. Supreme Court for review after the justices ordered an appellate court to consider religious rights claims by Liberty University.

Leaders of a number of religious-advocacy groups are warning of the Obamacare contraception mandate consequences for business owners of faith: