The Executive Branch

OPPORTUNITIES FOR PUBLIC COMMENT

1.     On December 29, 2022, HHS announced a new proposed rule, “Safeguarding the Rights of Conscience as Protected by Federal Statutes.” Comments are due on March 6, 2023. HHS proposes to partially rescind the Trump 2019 Conscience Rule and will determine what additional regulations, if any, are needed to implement certain conscience protection laws.

2.     On January 13, 2023, nine federal agencies announced a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled, “Partnerships with Faith-Based and Neighborhood Organizations.” The NPRM proposes to amend the agencies’ regulations regarding federally funded social services and the rights and obligations of organizations, including religious organizations, providing such services. Public comments should be submitted on or before March 14, 2023.

3.     On January 30, 2023, the IRS, Employee Benefits Security Administration, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced notice of proposed rulemakings (NPRMs) entitled, “Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act.” The NPRMs propose to rescind the moral exemption rule to the ACA’s contraceptive mandate. Public comments are due on Monday, April 3, 2023.

4.     On February 9, 2023, HUD published the notice of proposed rulemaking, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.” Public comments are due on April 10, 2023.

5.     On February 10, 2023, HHS requesting information on “promising practices for advancing health equity for intersex individuals.” Comments are due on March 13, 2023. HHS also posted a corrected notice on February 22.

6.     On February 24, 2023, ED published a notice of proposed rulemaking, “Direct Grant Programs, State-Administered Formula Grant Programs,” that will roll back its previous regulation known as the “Free Inquiry Rule.” Comments are due on March 24, 2023. Relatedly, ED published on February 22 a request for information titled, “Request for Information Regarding First Amendment and Free Inquiry Related Grant Conditions.” Comments are also due March 24, 2023.

OPPORTUNITIES TO REQUEST EO 12866 MEETINGS

Request an EO 12866 Meeting by entering the rule’s RIN number here.

1.     The Department of Labor will soon propose, “Revision of the Regulations Implementing Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to Clarify Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Requirements and Obligations Related to Sex.” RIN is 1291-AA44. These proposed regulations would clarify that discrimination on the basis of sex includes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The regulations would also clarify that “termination of pregnancy” is a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. 

2.     ED will soon propose “Discrimination Based on Shared Ancestry or Ethnicity in Response to EO 13899 on Combating Anti-Semitism and EO 13985 on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities,” (RIN 1870-AA15). In its abstract for the proposed rule, ED states that ED OCR has received complaints of harassment and assault directed at Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and other students based on shared ancestry or ethnicity. 

OTHER NEWS

1.     On February 16, 2023, DOJ released its directed policies on command notification of pregnancy, administrative absence for non-covered reproductive health care, and travel allowances for non-covered reproductive health care. 

2.     On February 22, 2023, DOJ announced an indictment charging eight people with federal civil rights offenses and violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. 

3.     On February 27, 2023, HHS announced it had restructured its Office of Civil Rights.

 

4.     On March 1, 2023, DOL announced a final rule, “Recission of Implementing Legal Requirements Regarding the Equal Opportunity Clause’s Religious Exemption Rule.”

Note from the Editor: The Federalist Society takes no positions on particular legal and public policy matters. Any expressions of opinion are those of the author. We welcome responses to the views presented here. To join the debate, please email us at info@fedsoc.org.