FROM Patrick Whelan
Contraception, Religion and Presidential Politics President Obama said today he won't back down on the new rule that insurance plans – even at religious institutions -- provide free contraceptives to all women employees for family planning, prevention of cancer and other medical needs. But he recognized the objections of religious institutions and offered this olive branch , saying that those institutions won't have to pay. Will that satisfy Catholic Bishops, Christian conservatives or his Republican opposition? We hear the details of today's compromise and hear why contraception is needed for medical reasons beyond family planning. Why hasn't there been an outcry against states with similar and even tougher requirements? Is it about politics as well as religion?
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."
Political appointments and the reshaping of the judiciary President Trump has the chance for a long-term impact -- not just on the US Supreme Court, but on the entire federal court system. And his nominees are likely to get the support of a massive spending campaign by donors who don't have to reveal their names. Can President Trump "pack" the federal court system?