The Network for Public Health Law monitors key court cases and relevant judicial trends in public health. The Network’s quarterly 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.
Upcoming Supreme Court Decisions: Gonzalez v. Google, LLC and Twitter, Inc. v. Taamneh (U.S., cert granted Oct. 3, 2022, oral arguments scheduled Feb. 21-22, 2023): Plaintiffs seek to break through longstanding immunities of social media giants, Google and Twitter, for information policies contributing to the deaths of family members in ISIS terrorist attacks. Read the petition for cert here.
Religious Sisters of Mercy v. Becerra (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Cir., Dec. 9, 2022): Plaintiffs, entities associated with the Catholic Church, challenged the Biden administration’s interpretations of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) section 1557, which prohibits discrimination in health care on the basis of sex. Read the abstract here.
Adams v. School Board of St. Johns County, Florida (U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Cir., Dec. 20, 2022): Adams, a transgender student, alleged that a school policy separating bathrooms based on biological sex violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and Title IX. Read the abstract here.
Let Them Choose v. San Diego Unified School District (Cal. Ct. App., Nov. 22, 2022): A California appellate court invalidated San Diego Unified School District’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement for students 16 and older to attend school in-person and participate in extracurricular activities. Read the abstract here.
Matthews v. Industrial Commission of Arizona (Ariz., Nov. 23, 2022): The Arizona Supreme Court held that a law limiting workers’ compensation claims for mental illness to those arising from “unexpected, unusual or extraordinary” situations did not violate the Arizona Constitution. Read the abstract here.
Chicago Sun-Times v. Cook County Health & Hospitals System (Ill., Nov. 30, 2022): The Illinois Supreme Court held that information concerning years of gunshot-wound patient admissions and corresponding law enforcement notifications were not exempt from disclosure under either the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Read the abstract here.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. FDA (E.D. Tex., Dec. 7, 2022): A Texas district court held that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s requirements for warning labels on tobacco and cigarette products violated the First Amendment. Read the abstract here.
Hudak v. Elmcroft of Sagamore Hills (U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Cir., Jan. 23, 2023): The Sixth Circuit declined full Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act preemption, holding that claims against an Ohio assisted care facility must be tried in state, not federal, court. Read the abstract here.
Louisiana et al. v Biden (U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Cir., Dec. 19, 2022): The Fifth Circuit upheld a decision blocking enforcement of President Biden’s “federal contractor mandate,” finding that the President exceeded his authority under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (the “Procurement Act”). Read the abstract here.
Planned Parenthood South Atlantic v. South Carolina (S.C., Jan. 5, 2023): The South Carolina Supreme Court held that the state’s abortion ban unconstitutionally infringed the right to privacy guaranteed by the South Carolina Constitution. 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. Eastern Region contributors include Kathi Hoke, JD.
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.