District of Columbia v. U.S. Department of Agriculture
District of Columbia v. U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S. District Court – District of Columbia, March 13, 2020): The federal district court issued a nationwide preliminary injunction halting a federal rule that would remove an estimated 700,000 individuals from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The challenged rule limits a state’s ability to request a waiver of SNAP work requirements for Abled Body Adults without Dependents. USDA is prevented from enforcing the regulation while the court evaluates the legality of the challenged measure. The court reasoned that the plaintiffs were likely to win on the merits of the case because aspects of the rule are “likely unlawful because they are arbitrary and capricious.” The court also held that the injunction was needed to prevent irreparable harm to multiple states, nonprofits, and SNAP recipients. The court highlighted SNAP’s importance to national pandemic response efforts “[e]specially now, as a global pandemic poses widespread health risks, guaranteeing that government officials at both the federal and state levels have flexibility to address the nutritional needs of residents and ensure their well-being through programs like SNAP, is essential.” Read the decision here.
View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – May 1, 2020.