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 published cases from the prior 3 months in public health law and policy. These cases are organized below by name, issuing court, date of issuance, along with a brief synopsis, link to the case abstract, and hyperlink to the full decisions (when publicly available). For more information, including a topic digest of these and other cases, see below. Questions, comments, thoughts? Contact the Network for more information.
Parents for Privacy v. Barr (U.S. Court of Appeals – Ninth Circuit, Feb. 2, 2020): The Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by parents and students who alleged a school district’s policy that permits students to use facilities that match their gender identity violated the constitution and federal civil rights protections under Title IX. Read the abstract and access the decision here.
White v. Cuomo (Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, New York, Feb. 6, 2020): A New York appellate court ruled that fantasy sports contests constitute illegal gambling in violation of the state’s constitutional ban on gambling. Read the abstract and access the decision here.
Kliger v. Healey (Massachusetts Superior Court, Dec. 31, 2019): A state court held plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that their due process or equal protection rights were violated by Massachusetts’ prohibition of Medical Aid in Dying. Read the abstract and access the decision here.
N.C. v. Department of Children and Families (Florida Second District Court of Appeal, Jan. 31, 2020): A Florida state appellate court found in favor of a mother whose children were placed in foster care, stating that the Florida Department of Children and Families could not provide immunizations to the children over their mother’s objection. Read the abstract and access the decision here.
In re: HCV Prison Litigation (U.S. District Court – District of Nevada, Feb. 18, 2020): A district court granted class status to incarcerated persons challenging the Nevada Department of Correction’s Hepatitis C Virus treatment policy. Read the abstract and access the decision here.
City of Costa Mesa v. U.S. (U.S. District Court – Central District of California, Feb. 21, 2020): A California district court lifted a temporary restraining order blocking the transfer of individuals exposed to, or infected with, COVID-19 to a state-owned facility in Costa Mesa. Read the abstract and access the decision here.
Coming Attractions Bridal and Formal, Inc. v. Texas Health Resources (Supreme Court of Texas, Feb. 21, 2019): The Texas Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of a case by a bridal shop that went out of business after it was visited by a nurse who contracted Ebola. Read the abstract and access the decision here.
Callahan v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (U.S. District Court – Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, Jan. 16, 2020): A district court declined to issue a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and United Network for Organ Sharing. Transplant patients, hospitals, and transplant centers claimed that HHS failed to follow legal procedures in developing its liver allocation policy, instead choosing to defer virtually all decision-making to a private government contractor. Read the abstract and access the decision here.
Cigar Association of America v. U.S. Food & Drug Administration (U.S. District Court – D.C. Feb. 3, 2020): The U. S. District Court for D.C. granted summary judgment in favor of the cigar industry rejecting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s argument that its health-warning label requirements under the deeming rule apply to premium cigars. Read the abstract and access the decision here.
Bottomlee v. State of Arizona (Arizona Court of Appeals, Jan. 28, 2020): A state appellate court reversed the dismissal of a wrongful death lawsuit by the mother of an infant who suffocated at a daycare. Read the abstract and access the decision here.
TOPICS: These and other cases are organized on the Network website under the topics below (adapted from chapter titles in Public Health Law in a Nutshell (3rd Edition) by James G. Hodge, Jr., Director, Network for Public Health Law—Western Region). Select a topic below to view all cases under that topic.
1. Source & Scope of Public Health Legal Powers
2. Constitutional Rights & the Public's Health
3. Preventing & Treating Communicable Conditions
5. Addressing Chronic Conditions
6. Mitigating the Incidence & Severity of Injuries & Other Harms
7. Public Health Information Management, Privacy & Security
9. Monitoring Property & the Built Environment
JTPH is a collaboration of the Network’s Western and Eastern Region Offices edited by April Shaw, JD, PhD, Staff Attorney, at the Western Region Office. Additional contributors include: James G. Hodge, Jr., JD, LLM, Kathi Hoke, JD, Leila Barraza, JD, MPH, Kerri McGowan Lowrey, JD, MPH, Mathew R. Swinburne, JD, Megan Griest, MPP, Michelle Notrica, Pharm.D., J.D., MPH, and Claudia Reeves.