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 in public health law and policy from the prior three months. These cases are organized below by name, issuing court, date of issuance, along with a brief synopsis, and include 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.
Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board (Supreme Court of the United States, June 28, 2021): The U.S. Supreme Court left intact a 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision finding that a Gloucester County, Virginia School Board policy requiring transgender students to use multi-stalled, single-sex bathrooms that differ from their gender identities or separate single-stalled bathrooms violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title IX of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Read the abstract here.
Alabama Association of Realtors, et al. v. Department of Health and Human Services, et al. (Supreme Court of the United States, August 26, 2021): The U.S. Supreme Court blocked extension of CDC’s eviction moratorium, which was set to expire on October 3, 2021. Read the abstract here.
Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson (Supreme Court of the United States, September 1, 2021): The U.S. Supreme Court refused to block a Texas abortion restriction which prohibits abortions after fetal heartbeat detection and enables members of the general public to bring lawsuits against anyone believed to be in violation of the prohibition, or in aiding and abetting a violation. Read the abstract here.
Rosebud Sioux Tribe v. United States (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, August 25, 2021): After the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services documented persistent shortcomings in the emergency care Rosebud Hospital provided to members of the federally recognized Rosebud Sioux Tribe, the Tribe sued the United States, seeking a declaratory judgment defining the Government’s duty owed to the Tribe. Read the abstract here.
Norwegian Cruise Lines Holdings, LTD, et al. v. Scott Rivkees, MD (U.S. District Court, S.D. Florida, August 8, 2021): The court temporarily halted application of Florida’s law banning COVID-19 vaccination “passports.” Read the abstract here.
Ryan Klaassen, et al. v. Trustees of Indiana University (U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, August 2, 2021): A three-judge panel denied Indiana University students’ request to block a school policy requiring all students, faculty, and staff to receive COVID-19 vaccinations prior to returning to school unless exempt for religious or medical reasons. Read the abstract here.
Garcia v. Swift Beef Co. (U.S. District Court, N.D. Tex., July 7, 2021): Plaintiffs, Texas meat packing facility employees, sued several corporate employees, claiming they had been made to work during the COVID-19 pandemic despite an April 20 gubernatorial stay-at-home order, after which they contracted COVID-19. Read the abstract here.
Rahimi v. Rite Aid Corp. (U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, June 29, 2021): The 6th Circuit affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a suit claiming that Rite Aid’s Rx Savings Program violated the False Claims Act (FCA). Read the abstract here.
Informed Consent Action Network v. National Institutes of Health (U.S. District Court, D. Ariz., June 24, 2021): Plaintiff, the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN), requested COVID-19 vaccine data from the National Institute of Health (NIH) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Read the abstract here.
Brach v. Newsom (U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, July 23, 2021): Parents and a student sued California state officials, arguing that extended COVID-19 restrictions on in-person learning were unconstitutional. 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, Rebecca Freed, Joshua Kalanick, and Nora Wells. Eastern Region contributors include Kathi Hoke, JD, Kerri McGowan Lowrey, JD, MPH, Mathew R. Swinburne, JD, Brooke Torton, JD, and Megan Griest, MPP.
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