LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline) -- Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit challenging mandatory contraception coverage in President Obama's federal health care law.

The lawsuit was filed by Ann Arbor-based Domino's Farms and its owner, Tom Monaghan. Monaghan also is the founder of the popular Domino's Pizza chain, which he sold in 1998.

Monaghan, a devout Roman Catholic, offers health insurance that does not include contraception and abortion for employees.

The contraception coverage mandate, which was imposed under the controversial health care law signed by Obama in 2010, requires employers to offer insurance -- including contraception coverage -- or they may be fined.

In his suit, Monaghan argues that contraception is a "gravely immoral" practice.

Schuette said Wednesday that the mandate forces employers, like Monaghan, to violate their religious and faith-based beliefs.

"America's first freedom is religious liberty," the attorney general said in a statement. "Any rule, regulation or law that forces American employers to violate their free exercise of religion is a flat-out violation of the First Amendment and federal law, specifically the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

"This unconstitutional mandate will not only affect religious schools and hospitals, but it will force private sector job-providers across America to violate their conscience. The First Amendment applies to everyone, and I will continue to defend religious liberty for all, not just the chosen few dictated by the Obama Administration."

Schuette filed the brief with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Tuesday. Monaghan's case is expected to be heard by Judge Lawrence Zatkoff Thursday.

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