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Mon Jul 15, 2019, 03:03 PM

The Trump administration's incompetence just blocked a major victory by the religious right [View all]

Source: ThinkProgress

The Trump administration’s incompetence just blocked a major victory by the religious right

The government still has to follow the law, even if it thinks God is on its side.

IAN MILLHISER
JUL 14, 2019, 1:05 PM

A federal appeals court struck down Trump administration regulations on Friday that allow virtually any employer to exempt itself from federal rules requiring employer health plans to cover birth control.

This decision is only limited cause for celebration among public health advocates. Judge Patty Shwartz, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit judge who wrote the opinion, is an Obama appointee. The two judges who joined her opinion in Pennsylvania v. President, United States of America are Clinton appointees. The Supreme Court, meanwhile, is dominated by Republicans who are overwhelmingly likely to view this case very differently.

Friday’s victory for contraceptive care is likely to be temporary.

Nevertheless, there are aspects of this case that may trouble even some Republican judges. As Judge Shwartz explains, the Trump administration bypassed the ordinary procedures agencies must nearly always follow when writing new regulations. It also wrote those regulations far more expansively than even a broad reading of federal “religious liberty” laws could permit.

-snip-

For one thing, when an agency promulgates a new regulation, the proposed regulation typically must undergo “notice and comment,” a period where the proposal is publicly available so that anyone with an interest in the regulation may comment on it. The Trump administration bypassed this process — though it did try to do notice and comment retroactively once its rule was already in effect.

-snip-


Read more: https://thinkprogress.org/the-trump-administrations-incompetence-just-blocked-a-major-victory-by-the-religious-right-b1f74984c648/

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