1. On January 24, 2023, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced S.29, “AMERICANS Act,” to provide remedies to members of the Armed Forces discharged or subject to adverse action under the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The bill was referred to the Committee on Armed Services.

2. On January 25, 2023, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced S.75, “A bill to ensure equal treatment for religious organizations in the Federal provision of social service programs, grantmaking, and contracting, and for other purposes.” The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance. This bill addresses the issues addressed by the nine agency proposed rulemaking entitled, “Partnerships with Faith-Based and Neighborhood Organizations.”


1. On January 9, 2023, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ-5) introduced H.R.66, “Native American Education Opportunity Act.” The bill was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

2. On January 9, 2023, Rep. Matthew Rosendale Sr. (R-MT-2) introduced H.R.194, “SECURE America Act,” which would, among other things, make an alien “inadmissible for holding certain beliefs, such as . . . believing that a system of religious law should be implemented in the United States.” The bill was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

3. On January 11, 2023, Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA-1) introduced H.R.279, “Pharmacist Conscience Protection Act.” The bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

4. On January 17, 2023, Rep. Gregory W. Steube (R-FL-17) introduced H.R.392, “To direct the Secretary of Defense to revise and update the Department of Defense regulations to allow trademarks owned or controlled by the Department of Defense to be combined with religious insignia on commercial identification tags (commonly known as ‘dog tags’) and to be sold by lawful trademark licensees, and for other purposes.” The bill was referred to the House Armed Services Committee.

The Executive Branch 


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 10, 2023, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requested information and comments on its Draft Strategic Enforcement Plan for 2023-2027. The plan states that the EEOC will focus on religious discrimination in recruitment and hiring practices, pandemic-related harassment based on religion, and systemic harassment in “all forms and on all bases” including religion. The plan notes that it defines sex discrimination to include pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Comments are due on Feb. 9, 2023.

3.     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.

4. On January 30, 2023, the IRS, Employee Benefits Security Administration, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced notice of proposed rulemakings 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.


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.


1. On January 10, 2023, the White House posted new recommendations on collection practices for data on sexual orientation and gender identity in federal statistical surveys.

2. On January 13, 2023, twenty-two state attorneys general wrote to the FDA Commissioner urging him to reverse the FDA’s recent decision to authorize the remote prescription and administration of abortion-inducing drugs such as mifepristone.

The letter explains, among other things, that the FDA’s abandonment of its restrictions on remote prescriptions and administrations of abortion pills will endanger women, due to the risks of taking mifepristone later in pregnancy, and violates 18 U.S.C. § 1461, a federal statute specifying: “Every article or thing designed, adapted, or intended for producing abortion . . . [i]s declared to be nonmailable matter and shall not be conveyed in the mails or delivered from any post office or by any letter carrier.

3. On January 18, 2023, the National Institutes of Health announced updated language for non-discrimination legal requirements for all NIH funding opportunity announcements and notices of awards for grants issued on or after December 23, 2022. The updates include new language that sex discrimination requirements “include[] discrimination on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy.”

4. On January 22, 2023, HHS published a “Roe Report” to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Roe and summarize the actions HHS has taken to protect access to abortion and contraception since the Dobbs decision.

5. On January 22, 2023, the White House announced that President Biden would issue a memorandum to protect access to the abortion pill.

6. On January 30, 2023, President Biden announced in a speech to Congress that he will end the COVID-19 national and public health emergencies on May 11, 2023. 

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 [email protected].