LOOP: Second judge stops religious protection rule nationwide

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TUESDAY, JANUARY 15
SECOND COURT BLOCKS RELIGIOUS PROTECTION   A federal judge has issued a nationwide injunction against religious liberty exemptions from the HHS contraception mandate. The Trump administration had offered moral and religious exemptions from the mandate for employers who objected to providing sterilizations, abortificients, and contraception.  READ
STEVE KING SIDELINED   House Republican leaders have stripped Rep. Steve King, R-IA, of all committee assignments, including the Agricultural Committee, which could hurt his ability to win reelection in Iowa in 2020.  READ
PRO-LIFE MARCH  Vice President Mike Pence will address the annual dinner associated with the March for Life. Lawmakers scheduled to speak at the annual rally Friday include Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-IL; Sen. Steve Daines, R-MT, and Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J.  READ
PRO-LIFE MILLENNIALS  A new poll shows that 70% of millennials support limits on abortion. Only 7% of millennials had the same position on abortion as the Democratic Party’s platform. READ
MUELLER REPORT   The report from special counsel Robert Mueller still hasn’t been released. But ABC reporter Jonathan Karl said sources close to the Mueller team said the report is “almost certain to be anti-climactic.”  READ
MARKETING MISTAKE?   Razor brand Gillette released a new ad criticizing the phrase that “boys will be boys.” But the ad sparked a backlash from people who said the ad was “dripping with contempt for men.”  READ
LETTER FOR McCARRICK  Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano wrote an open letter to Archbishop Theodore McCarrick suggesting that if he publicly repented it would bring “healing to a gravely wounded and suffering Church.”  READ
1,000 ULTRASOUND MACHINES  The Knights of Columbus have donated their 1,000th ultrasound machine to a free clinic in Manassas, Virginia. In 2009, the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus said they would pay for half the cost of an ultrasound machine if local councils paid the rest. READ
POLL: CATHOLICS LOSING TRUST   According to a new Gallup poll, only 31% of American Catholics now rate the honesty of clergy as “high” or “very high” — a drop of 18 points since 2017. READ
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SAINT OF THE DAY  Saint Paul the Hermit first experienced life in the desert at about age 15 during the persecution of Decius. The life must have agreed with him, because he is reported to have lived about 112 years. Little else is known about him, but there are legends.  READ
DAILY READINGS  “You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands.” (Ps 8:7)  READ
FAST FOOD DURING SHUTDOWN  With White House chefs furloughed because of the government shutdown, President Donald Trump paid from his own pocket for fast food from McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Domino’s for the national champion Clemson football team. SHARE
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The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org

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Joshua Mercer is a co-founder of CatholicVote.org, where he serves as Political Director. Mercer previously served as Washington Correspondent for the National Catholic Register and Chairman for Students for Life of America. He lives in Michigan with his wife and six children.

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