The Network for Public Health Law monitors key court cases and relevant judicial trends in public health. The Network’s monthly reporter, Judicial Trends in Public Health (JTPH), highlights select, recently-published cases in public health law and policy from the prior 3 months. Case abstracts are organized within 11 key topics (adapted from James G. Hodge, Jr., Public Health Law in a Nutshell, 4th ed. (2021)), including hyperlinks to the full decisions (where available). Contact the Network for more information, questions, or comments.
Range v. Garland (U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Cir., Nov. 16, 2022): The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that a man who had been convicted of fraudulently obtaining food stamp assistance (“SNAP” benefits) was rightfully prohibited from purchasing firearms under a federal statute prohibiting the sale of firearms to persons convicted of a crime punishable by over one year imprisonment. Read the abstract here.
Commonwealth v. K.W. (Supreme Judicial Court, Commonwealth of MA, Sept. 8, 2022): The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts overturned a municipal court’s refusal to expunge the petitioner’s 2003 and 2006 arrests for marijuana possession, conduct that was criminalized then but is now legal under state law. Read the abstract here.
Yaw et al. v. Delaware River Basin Committee (U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Cir., Sept. 16, 2022): The Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that a collection of Republican state senators, the Republican Caucus of the state senate, and several cities and counties in Pennsylvania do not have standing to challenge a fracking ban in the Delaware River Basin, due to lack of injury. Read the abstract here.
Shoemaker v. UMPC Pinnacle Hospitals (Superior Court of PA, Sept. 22, 2022):A Pennsylvania appellate court held that a lower state court overstepped its authority when issuing an injunction requiring health care providers not credentialed in intensive care to administer ivermectin to a COVID-19 patient at the request of the patient’s power of attorney (POA) and against hospital policy. Read the abstract here.
Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd. et al. v. State Surgeon General, Florida Department of Health (U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Cir., Oct. 6, 2022): In a 2-1 decision, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated Florida’s ability to enforce a 2021 law prohibiting businesses from requiring customers to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination (or “vaccine passports”). Read the abstract here.
JTPH is a collaboration of the Network’s Western and Eastern Region Offices led by Editor-in Chief, Jennifer Piatt, JD, Deputy Director, Western Region Office. Additional Western Region contributors include James G. Hodge, Jr., JD, LLM, Erica N. White, JD, Madisyn Puchebner, and Lauren Krumholz, Cleo Goeckner, and Gus Vanderdonck. Eastern Region contributors include Kathi Hoke, JD, and Brianne Schell, JD, MA.
Legal information or guidance provided in this transmission or website does not constitute legal advice or representation. For legal advice, please consult specific legal counsel in your state.