Second U.S. Judge Blocks Trump Administration Birth Control Rules

A judge said that a preliminary injunction was necessary given potential "dire public health and fiscal consequences."

REUTERS

(Reuters) — A second U.S. judge on Thursday blocked President Donald Trump's administration from enforcing new rules that undermine an Obamacare requirement for employers to provide insurance that covers women's birth control.


U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. in Oakland, Calif., said the federal government likely did not follow proper administrative procedures in promulgating the new rules and put them on hold while a lawsuit challenging their legality proceeds.

The decision followed a similar ruling from a federal judge in Philadelphia last Friday that blocked the administration from enforcing rules it announced in October allowing businesses or nonprofits to obtain exemptions on moral or religious grounds.

Gilliam ruled on a lawsuit pursued by Democratic attorneys general in California, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia.

He said that a preliminary injunction was necessary given the "dire public health and fiscal consequences" that could result as a result of the administration adopting the rules without the input of interested parties.

"If the Court ultimately finds in favor of Plaintiffs on the merits, any harm caused in the interim by rescinded contraceptive coverage would not be susceptible to remedy," he wrote.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement that, given last week's decision in Pennsylvania, "today's ruling amounts to a one-two punch against the Trump administration's unlawful overreach."

The U.S. Justice Department defended the rules in court. Lauren Ehrsam, a department spokeswoman, said the agency disagreed with the ruling and was evaluating its next steps.

"This administration is committed to defending the religious liberty of all Americans and we look forward to doing so in court," Ehrsam said in a statement.

The lawsuit is among several that Democratic state attorneys general filed after the Trump administration revealed the new rules on Oct. 6, which targeted the contraceptive mandate implemented as part of 2010's Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.

The rules will let businesses or nonprofits lodge religious or moral objections to obtain an exemption from the law's mandate that employers provide contraceptive coverage in health insurance with no co-payment.

Conservative Christian activists and congressional Republicans praised the move, while reproductive rights advocates and Democrats criticized it.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

Golf Club Calls Police on Black Women Members for Allegedly Playing Too Slow

The five women, one a local NAACP president, say it's a clear case of racial and gender discrimination.

Myneca Ojo / FACEBOOK

Five Black women, members of the Grandview Golf Club in Braddock, the oldest public golf course in York County, Pa., decided to meet on Saturday for a round of golf. The outing ended with the club co-owner, who is white, calling the police on the only Black, female players on the course because they allegedly played too slow and did not want to cancel their membership and leave.

Read More Show Less

New York's 'Fearless Girl' to Stare Down the Stock Exchange

"Fearless Girl," whose message is for a bigger role for women in corporate America and whose appearance in lower Manhattan on the eve of International Women's Day last year sparked a social media sensation, will be moved by the end of 2018.

REUTERS

(Reuters) — The bronze statue of a little girl that became a tourism phenomenon by staring down Wall Street's massive "Charging Bull" sculpture is to be moved to a nearby spot where its stern gaze will be on the male-dominated New York Stock Exchange, city officials said on Thursday.

Read More Show Less

Senate's 'First Baby' on Hand for Confirmation Vote

A swaddled 11-day-old Maile Pearl Bowlsbey arrived on the floor of the chamber carried by her mother, Sen. Tammy Duckworth.

REUTERS

(Reuters) — A little history was made in Washington on Thursday — little in the form of a newborn who became the first baby ever to appear on the floor of the U.S. Senate during a vote.

Read More Show Less

Nike's Head of Diversity and Inclusion Leaves Amid Executive Scandal

The company not only has a problem accelerating women into leadership roles but also has a boys-club culture.

Nike CEO and Chairman Mark Parker/ REUTERS

As Nike Inc. continues to fail in hiring and retaining women at leadership levels and grapples with the alleged sexist behavior of executives, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Antoine Andrews has left the company.

Read More Show Less

Beyoncé Brings Black Pride to Coachella

The superstar made African American culture the star of the show.

INSTAGRAM

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter has carved a place in Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival history as the first Black woman to headline the event. The traditionally hipster/bohemian festival took a journey into Black America with Queen Bey at the helm.

Read More Show Less

Senate Panel To Hold Hearing On Sexual Abuse Of Olympic Athletes

The scandal prompted the entire board of directors at USA Gymnastics and the president and athletic director of Michigan State University to resign. It also spawned lawsuits and criminal and civil investigations.

REUTERS

(Reuters) — The U.S. Senate will hold a hearing next week into how the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and other sports organizations handled sexual misconduct allegations.

Read More Show Less