Bush Names Affirmative Action Opponent to Civil Rights Post
Fearing a possible defeat for his nominee in committee, President Bush used his power to make appointments during Congressional recesses to name Gerald A. Reynolds to head the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education. The regulatory lawyer from Kansas holds very little experience in educational and civil rights issues and is a vocal opponent of affirmative action. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, and Labor Committee in February, Committee Chair, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), challenged Reynolds qualifications for the post citing his “lack of education policy experience and his longstanding hostility to basic civil rights laws.”
As part of his duties, Reynolds will be responsible for enforcing civil rights laws affecting school and universities, addressing complaints about racial discrimination, enforcing Title IX laws, and addressing the concerns of students with disabilities. He will serve as a recess appointment until the end of the year unless confirmed by the Senate before then.
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .