Roundups Law and Policy

Gavel Drop: Catholic Hospitals Really Can Be Dangerous for Women

Jessica Mason Pieklo & Imani Gandy

Plus: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's death will continue to affect numerous court cases; crisis pregnancy centers still don't promote patient health; a gender discrimination lawsuit at a major newspaper; and more.

Welcome to Gavel Drop, our roundup of legal news, headlines, and head-shaking moments in the courts.

According to a newly leaked report, a Michigan-based Catholic hospital chain risked the lives of at least five pregnant patients because rather than follow standard medical care, staff adhered to Catholic doctrine instead. It’s not clear what, if any, impact this report will have on the several lawsuits attempting to hold Catholic hospitals liable for prioritizing religious directives over patient safety, though.

Hopefully, the public will soon get the message that crisis pregnancy centers do not promote patient health.

We are about a month away from oral arguments in the second Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit, and the religiously affiliated institutions challenging the rule in lower courts keep losing. This time, it’s at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which recently ruled that the Catholic broadcasting network EWTN must comply with the accommodation process set up by the Obama administration if it wants to opt out of providing contraception coverage for its employees. 

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Justice Antonin Scalia’s death has North Carolina Republicans scrambling; they were counting on his vote to support their plan to use racial gerrymandering to disenfranchise Black voters.

Meanwhile, the dust is still settling on the impact Scalia’s death will have on the Court’s major cases this term. The short answer is that nobody knows, and we’ll likely be figuring out the answer in the Supreme Court’s following term. 

Bob Dylan is fine and all, but here’s hoping that a more diverse Supreme Court will produce a wider array of rockers quoted in court opinions.

Anita Hill for the Supreme Court? Maybe the Kesha case will change your mind.

Georgetown Law students and faculty have a lot of feelings about Scalia’s death. A lot.

Congressional Republicans just made it clear they plan on obstructing any nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, ensuring the Supreme Court remains a political issue through the 2016 presidential election.

A candidate for district court judge in Van Buren County, Arkansas has withdrawn from the race after a blogger published a text message from the candidate, in which he called a county clerk a racial slur. Or at least apparently tried to. There are some spelling issues to work out.

The families of Sandy Hook shooting victims are one step closer to being able to hold assault rifle manufacturers responsible for their marketing of these guns to civilians.

The New York Times faces another gender discrimination lawsuit, this time from a female advertising executive who says she was fired for taking maternity leave.

We should end on some good news. In an important win for abortion providers, Maryland’s highest court unanimously ruled state officials can keep secret the names of applicants for abortion clinic licenses.

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