President Trump came into office with record levels of evangelical Christian support, perhaps surprising given his somewhat checkered past in terms of marital fidelity and family values.
But he embraced issues of key concern for evangelicals, including abortion and health care, reversing from an earlier pro-choice position to call for a 20-week abortion ban and advocate for de-funding Planned Parenthood.
While he was never able to effectively win on the promised repeal of Obamacare, he did work with the Congressional Republicans to gut key aspects of the health care law and has flexed executive power to further weaken Obama’s landmark policy victory.
One of those steps, which was of paramount importance to the conservative Christian community, was broadening the exemption for employers who would otherwise be forced to provide contraception to employees in violation of their own values.
This week, those changed rules hit a major roadblock when two separate judges blocked them. The Economist reports:
“On January 13th, Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. in Oakland, California temporarily blockedimplementation of the rules in 13 states and the District of Columbia. A day later, in Pennsylvania, Judge Wendy Beetlestone issued a similar ruling that enjoins the new rules nationwide.”
The cases will be appealed and may end up at the Supreme Court, where Trump is likely to emerge victorious given the makeup of the high court.
But for now, Trump has to accept another setback in the midst of growing public pressure over the government shutdown.