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.
Mo Cann Do Inc. v. Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services (Mo. Ct. App., Feb. 28, 2023): After the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) denied Mo Cann Do Inc.’s (MCD) application for a medical marijuana cultivation facility license, MCD appealed. The Missouri Court of Appeals held that the license denial was unauthorized because DHSS violated its own regulations in failing to notify the facility that its application was missing the certificate. Read the abstract.
Kluge v. Brownsburg Community School Corp. (U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Cir., Apr. 7, 2023): Kluge, a teacher, brought a Title VII religious discrimination and retaliation action against Brownsburg Community School Corporation after being fired for refusing to refer to transgender students by their names as registered in the school’s official database. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, reasoning that “Kluge’s accommodation harmed students and disrupted the learning environment." Read the abstract.
Feds for Medical Freedom v. Biden (U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Cir., Mar. 23, 2023): Feds for Medical Freedom, a non-profit organization comprised of various federal agency employees, challenged two Presidential Executive Orders on COVID-19 vaccination. A federal district court refused to block the contractor mandate, as it had already been blocked nationally in separate litigation, but did block the federal employee mandate. The full Fifth Circuit judicial panel upheld the district court’s order. Read the abstract.
Klossner v. IADU Table Mound MHP, LLC (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Cir., Apr. 10, 2023): The Eighth Circuit held that landlords are not required to accept housing vouchers as a reasonable accommodation for low-income disabled tenants under the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA). Read the abstract.
Braidwood Management Inc. v. Becerra (N.D. Tex., Mar. 30, 2023): A Texas federal district court judge held that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) PrEP coverage mandate, which requires insurance coverage for medication that helps prevent HIV transmission, violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Read the abstract.
U.S. v. Rahimi (U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Cir. Feb. 2, 2023): The Fifth Circuit found unconstitutional a federal law prohibiting firearm possession by persons subject to domestic violence protection orders. Read the abstract.
National Rifle Association v. Bondi (U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Cir., Mar. 9, 2023): The National Rifle Association (NRA) challenged the constitutionality of Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, alleging that the Act violated the Second Amendment. The district court found no constitutional issue with the law, and the NRA appealed. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision. Read the abstract.
Center for Environmental Health v. Perrigo Company (Cal. Ct. App., Mar. 9, 2023): A California appellate court affirmed the dismissal of failure-to-warn claims against generic drug manufacturers because it was impossible for the defendants to comply with state labeling requirements regarding known carcinogens while complying with the federal requirement that generic drugs have the same labeling as their brand-name equivalents. Read the abstract.
In re Hawai’i Elec. Light Co. (Haw., Mar. 13, 2023): The Hawai’i Supreme Court affirmed the state Public Utility Commission’s rejection of a power purchase agreement that proposed burning trees to produce energy. Read the abstract.
Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice v. Drummond (Okla., Mar. 21, 2023): A group of abortion care provider organizations petitioned the Oklahoma Supreme Court to find state laws that criminalize abortion unconstitutional. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution protects a limited right to abortion in life-threatening situations but declined to rule on whether it protects a broader right to abortion. Read the abstract.