|Legatus, the Catholic business organization created by Domino's Pizza founder Tom Monaghan, has joined in a suit asking for a declaratory judgment against the HHS abortion mandate|
A group of influential Catholic businesses have united in a court challenge to the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate for coverage of birth control, the "morning-after" pill and sterilization procedures.
Erin Mersino of the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) is the lead attorney on the case. She is representing a number of people who feel the measure is stifling their religious freedom.
"My clients are Legatus, Weingartz Supply Company and Daniel Weingartz," she lists. "Legatus is an organization with over 4,000 members. It is comprised and composed of Catholic businessmen … CEOs and their spouses."
"Our objections are it's a complete assault on religious freedom," Mersino details. "It's an assault on our freedom of speech, freedom of association and also the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, as well as numerous violations of the Administrative Procedures Act."
"Legatus" is the Latin word for "ambassador," and the group's members are called to become "ambassadors for Christ." The organization was founded in 1987 by Tom Monaghan, the former owner of Domino's Pizza. But under ObamaCare, it would face stiff penalties for refusing to comply on the basis of religious beliefs.
Christina Huth, a spokeman for the Fortnight for Freedom organization, welcomed the business leaders' court challenge. "The Catholic business community wields considerable power for the good in communities across the nation," she said on hearing of the suit. "This action by the most influential Catholic business leaders should serve as a model for similar challenges--in courtrooms and in the court of public opinion--by Catholic businesses and their allies at all levels of the economy. We would like to see efforts like this in every town, county, and state in America."
The Legatus Challenge
TMLC is asking a federal court for a declaratory judgment.
"We want the court to step in and say this is illegal … it needs to stop, and it needs to stop right now," the attorney concludes.
Richard Thompson, president of TMLC, says the free exercise of religion and right of conscience is "our most fundamental human right and must be vigorously defended on behalf of all Americans, or else our constitution becomes nothing more than a piece of paper with nice sounding words."