The following comes from a November 1 release from PR Newswire.

Federal District Court Judge Robert Cleland of the Eastern District of Michigan, issued an opinion yesterday evening granting a motion for preliminary injunction that effectively halts enforcement of the HHS mandate against plaintiffs Weingartz Supply Company and its owner and president, Daniel Weingartz. The motion was brought by the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Erin Mersino, the law center’s lead counsel on the case who presented the oral argument in support of Plaintiffs, commented,  “The federal court has found that our clients have a likelihood of success and would be irreparably harmed by the unconstitutional overreaching of the HHS mandate. This is not only a victory for our clients, but for religious freedom.”

In ruling for the Weingartz plaintiffs, Judge Cleland emphasized that “[t]he loss of First Amendment freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury….”

Judge Cleland denied without prejudice the motion brought on behalf of Legatus for reasons stated below.

On May 6, 2012, Thomas More Law Center filed a federal lawsuit challenging the HHS mandate on behalf of Legatus, the nation’s largest organization of top Catholic business owners and CEOs, and the Michigan-based Weingartz Supply Company and its president Daniel Weingartz.

The motion for preliminary injunction on behalf of plaintiffs was filed on August 15, 2012. Judge Cleland heard oral arguments on the motion on September 28, 2012.      

Judge Cleland reiterated in his written opinion what he told both sides at the beginning of the oral augments on September 28th, namely, whatever ruling he grants, the case will continue to be litigated.

Judge Cleland denied the motion for preliminary injunction on behalf of Legatus without prejudice on the grounds that he is not persuaded that Legatus has standing to bring its claim at this time.  He cited recent cases where other courts deciding the identical issue found that non-profit organizations protected under the safe harbor do not have standing because their injury is conjectural….

Read full story here.

Click here to read Judge Cleland’s entire opinion.