A federal judge has thrown out a Trump administration rule that would have let health care providers refuse to perform abortions and other medical procedures on religious or moral grounds.
Judge Paul Engelmayer said Wednesday that the rule was unconstitutional, arbitrary and capricious. He said the rule would have led to some patients facing discrimination because hospitals and clinics that did not comply with it would lose federal dollars.
Critics said gay and transgender patients were particularly at risk of being denied care.
The rule was to have taken effect this month, but 23 states and cities along with Planned Parenthood and other health care providers sued to stop it.
A spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Department said it was studying the judge’s ruling and would not comment.
The rule spun out of President Donald Trump’s promise to expand religious liberty protections under federal law.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), the retail giant’s Cloud arm, has asked a US judge to force a stay of work on Microsoft’s $10 billion Cloud contract until the court can rule on Amazon’s protest over the Pentagon awarding JEDI to Microsoft.
Amazon had sought ‘preliminary injunction’ from the court to temporarily block Microsoft from starting work on the billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) project.
In a statement shared with Fast Company, an AWS spokesperson said that it is common practice to stay contract performance while a protest is pending.
“It’s important that the numerous evaluation errors and blatant political interference that impacted the JEDI award decision be reviewed. AWS is absolutely committed to supporting the DoD’s modernisation efforts and to an expeditious legal process that resolves this matter as quickly as possible,’ the spokesperson added.
Amazon filed a motion asking a federal judge to block Microsoft from working on any substantive tasks for the JEDI project while the court considers the matter. The motion makes good on Amazon’s previous pledge to try to pause work on the contract while the legal challenge is underway.
Amazon last year filed a suit with the US Court of Federal Claims contesting the decision.
“AWS is absolutely committed to supporting the Department of Defense (DoD’s) modernisation efforts and to an expeditious legal process that resolves this matter as quickly as possible,” the AWS spokesperson said.
Microsoft is set to start its work on JEDI Cloud contract from February 11.
The US government in October awarded the much-anticipated $10 billion Cloud contract for Pentagon to Microsoft.
In its complaint against the government decision, Amazon alleged Trump abused his position to put “improper pressure” on decision-makers for personal gains and show his hatred towards Bezos who owns The Washington Post. (IANS)