Versus Trump is a podcast where we discuss how the Trump Administration is breaking the law, and what people are doing about it. Listen in the player below or directly on Soundcloud, and subscribe here with any podcast player or here in iTunes.

Versus Trump is hosted by Jason Harrow, Easha Anand, and Charlie Gerstein. You can listen to previous episodes, and access archived show notes, here.

This Week’s Episode: The Contraception Mandate Challenges

On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, Easha and Jason discuss the Administration's drastic expansion of the number of companies that may now offer health insurance that does not cover birth control, as well as several lawsuits that were immediately filed challenging these new regulations. 

The discussion begins with a recap of the new interim final rules, which both greatly expand an existing, narrow exemption for religious organizations and also permit employers to exempt themselves from covering contraception by invoking a freestanding “moral objection" to offering coverage. Easha and Jason then discuss the three lawsuits that were immediately filed challenging the new regulations, and they walk through the four theories for why this new rule needs to be set aside: that it was not adopted with the proper procedure [at 10:30]; that it violates the First Amendment because it involves government favoring religion over non-religion [at 20:00]; that it violates the Equal Protection Clause because it discriminates against women [at 28:30]; and that it exceeds the Administration's authority under the Affordable Care Act [at 35:00].

The episode ends with a couple of Trump nuggets [at 40:00], including listener feedback about the twitter lawsuit and another update on what Steve Bannon is up to now that he has left the White House.

As usual, you can listen online below, and subscribe here with any podcast player or here in iTunes.

Please share or provide feedback, and rate us in iTunes. You can find us at @VersusTrumpPod on twitter, or send us an email at versustrumppodcast@gmail.com. 

Links

  • The two new interim final rules can be found here and here.
  • Nick Bagley's excellent post, which we discuss extensively, is here at Take Care.
  • We discussed three lawsuits: the one by California is linked here, the one by Massachusetts here, and the one by the ACLU here. Since we recorded, Washington State has also filed suit, and the complaint is here.
  • Easha mentioned that 1/3 of federal rules are issued without up-front notice and comment. Here is her source.
  • We also mentioned the following cases: Zubik v. BurwellTrinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer (specifically Justice Sotomayor's dissent), Estate of Thornton v. CalderBurwell v. Hobby Lobby, and Geduldig v. Aiello.
  • We discussed Ruth Bader Ginsburg's theory that access to contraception and abortion are necessary prerequisites to women's equality and therefore protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. An article about her views is here.
  • Finally, here is an article about Steve Bannon's threat to primary nearly every Republican senator up for reelection in 2018.