Dec 21, 2017

Another federal judge temporarily halts Trump's birth control rule

A one-month pack of hormonal birth control pills. Photo: Rich Pedroncelli / AP

A federal judge in California temporarily blocked the Trump administration from enforcing new contraception rules, Reuters reports. The rules would have allowed employers to deny an Obamacare requirement mandating them to provide insurance that covers women's birth control.

Why it matters: This ruling follows a similar decision made last week by a federal judge in Philadelphia against the policy. That judge said it would cause serious and irreparable harm, according to multiple reports.

On Thursday, Judge Haywood Gilliam, Jr., said the administration failed to carry out a notice and comment process before implementing the policy, which allows businesses or nonprofits to obtain exemptions on moral or religious grounds, per Reuters. The ruling puts the policy on hold while a lawsuit challenging its legality proceeds.

Background: The suit was filed by Democratic attorneys general in California, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia, per Reuters. California officials reportedly said the federal directive would affect about 6.8 million residents.

Go deeper: Trump administration rolls back ACA contraception mandate

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America's future looks a lot like Nevada

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Today's Nevada caucus will foreshadow the future of American politics well beyond 2020.

Why it matters: The U.S. is in the midst of a demographic transformation, and the country's future looks a lot like Nevada's present. Today's results, in addition to shaping the 2020 race, will help tell us where politics is headed in a rapidly changing country.

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 15 hours ago - Health