[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
69°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
June 18
1925 - Newhall lawman Jack Pilcher buried; funeral expenses paid by local Ku Klux Klan [story]
Jack Pilcher


By Helen Christophi

SAN FRANCISCO – A divided Ninth Circuit on Thursday partly lifted a nationwide injunction barring enforcement of the Trump administration’s interim rules letting employers opt out of covering birth control on religious and moral grounds, limiting the injunction to California and four other states.

In a 2-1 decision, the appellate panel’s majority affirmed findings by U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. that the administration probably violated mandated procedures for issuing the rules and that their enforcement would “imminently” financially harm plaintiffs California, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia as women turn to state-funded programs for coverage.

But it ruled the preliminary injunction’s nationwide scope “overbroad” and lifted it for the remaining 45 states, concluding a scaled-back version would sufficiently protect the plaintiffs.

In doing so, it rejected Gilliam’s justification that federal officials violated the Administrative Procedure Act as to every state by failing to provide a notice-and-comment period for agencies around the country.

Writing for the majority, U.S. Circuit Judge J. Clifford Wallace said Gilliam “abused [his] discretion in granting a nationwide injunction.”

“District judges must require a showing of nationwide impact or sufficient similarity to the plaintiff states to foreclose litigation in other districts, from Alaska to Puerto Rico to Maine to Guam,” Wallace, a Nixon appointee, wrote in a 48-page decision.

In a statement, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra didn’t address the decision to limit the injunction. But he called the ruling “an important step to protect a woman’s right to access cost-free birth control and make independent decisions about her own reproductive healthcare.”

He added, “A woman’s health decisions should be made by a woman and her doctor – not her employer or politicians.” Congress, he said, “made clear that all women and their families have the right to access cost-free birth control under the ACA. The Trump Administration’s rules attempt to trample these rights, with no regard for public comment or the rule of law.”

The Affordable Care Act requires employers to offer health insurance that covers contraception with no co-payment. Houses of worship have an exemption to the mandate, and nonprofits were allowed to opt out via an accommodation by which an employer certifies its objection to the mandate to the federal government. The government is consequently tasked with confirming that insurers provide separate coverage.

But the Trump administration issued new interim rules in October 2017 letting any employer or health insurer with religious or moral objections to providing birth control opt out of the ACA requirement. Under these rules, exempted entities no longer need to certify their objection or otherwise notify the federal government of their decision to stop providing coverage.

The appellate panel on Thursday also admonished Gilliam over the delay his decision to freeze the case during the appeal had caused. But it affirmed the reasoning on which he based the injunction.

On the Administrative Procedure Act claim, Wallace said federal officials had satisfied none of the APA’s three exceptions to notice-and-comment rulemaking. He chided as disingenuous their insistence there was no time for notice and comment because violations of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act had to be immediately eliminated, noting federal officials in January 2017 “explicitly declined to change the accommodation in light of Zubik and RFRA.”

“They then let nine months go by and failed to specify what developments necessitated the agencies to change their position and determine, in October 2017, that RFRA violations existed,” Wallace said. “The [Interim Final Rules] are devoid of any findings related to the issue. Indeed, the agencies cited no intervening legal authority for their justification … “Given these failures, the agency action cannot be upheld on unexplained about-face.”

Wallace next found it “reasonably probable that loss of contraception coverage will inflict economic harm to the states.” To back this up, he cited the administration’s own estimates that up to 120,000 women nationwide will lose some contraception coverage under the rules at a cost of up to $63.8 million annually, and specific employers it had identified as likely to use the expanded exemptions, like Hobby Lobby.

“The injury asserted is traceable to the agencies’ issuing the IFRs allegedly in violation of the APA’s requirements, and granting an injunction would prohibit enforcement of the IFRs. The states have thus established standing,” Wallace wrote.

Dissenting, U.S. Circuit Judge Andrew Kleinfeld said the states had not in fact established standing.

The George H.W. Bush appointee relied on the Supreme Court’s 1976 decision in Pennsylvania v. New Jersey, in which the high court held the plaintiff states couldn’t “demonstrate that the injury for which [they sought] redress was directly caused by the actions of another state.”

“The reason they lack standing is that their injury is what the Supreme Court calls ‘self-inflicted,’ because it arises solely from their legislative decisions to pay these moneys,” Kleinfeld wrote. “Under the Supreme Court’s decision in Pennsylvania v. New Jersey, we are compelled to reverse.”

The majority, however, questioned the application of Pennsylvania in light of a newer Supreme Court ruling in Wyoming v. Oklahoma. The 1992 ruling concluded Wyoming had standing to challenge an Oklahoma statute that decreased some Wyoming tax revenues because Wyoming had suffered a “direct injury” caused by the Oklahoma law.

But, Wallace wrote, “we need not decide whether Pennsylvania’s ‘self-infliction’ doctrine applies to the ordinary injury-in-fact requirement of Article III standing because…the injury here is not “self-inflicted” within the meaning of Pennsylvania.”

Justice Department Spokeswoman Kelly Laco said in an email, “The ruling by the Ninth Circuit today to eliminate the nationwide preliminary injunction is a victory for restoring the constitutional order of the federal government and ending abuses of judicial power. The Constitution does not grant to a single, unelected judge the power to veto executive branch actions and issue a ruling that affects people across the nation and the world, regardless of whether they were part of the case or not. The Department of Justice will continue to fight injunctions that are contrary to the law and the Constitution.”

Last month, the federal government published final versions of challenged rules. Once they take effect in January 2019, the alleged APA violations will become moot.

U.S. Circuit Judge Susan Graber, a Clinton appointee, also sat on the panel.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Tuesday, Jun 18, 2019
Newsom Issues Apology for State’s Wrongdoings to Native Americans
SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom issued an apology Tuesday through executive order on behalf of California to California Native American Peoples for the many instances of violence, mistreatment and neglect inflicted upon California Native Americans throughout the state’s history.
Tuesday, Jun 18, 2019
ACLU Blasts Lacey Over Continued Pursuit of Death Penalty Despite Moratorium
LOS ANGELES (CN) – A report released Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union blasted Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, finding she has only secured death penalty convictions against people of color since taking office in 2012.
Tuesday, Jun 18, 2019
June 22: Deadline to Join SCV Fourth of July Parade
While you’re starting to make your plans for Independence Day, don’t forget the Santa Clarita Valley Fourth of July Parade.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Stay Green Inc., a Southern California-based landscape industry leader, has once again been named to Lawn and Landscape Magazine's list of the Top 100 landscaping companies in North America.
Local Landscape Firm Named Among Nation’s Top 100
SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom issued an apology Tuesday through executive order on behalf of California to California Native American Peoples for the many instances of violence, mistreatment and neglect inflicted upon California Native Americans throughout the state’s history.
Newsom Issues Apology for State’s Wrongdoings to Native Americans
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a proposal Tuesday by Board Chair Janice Hahn to explore master leasing agreements with motels across the County in order to use rooms as interim housing for chronically homeless individuals.
County to Explore Motel Leasing Agreements as Interim Housing for Homeless
LOS ANGELES (CN) – A report released Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union blasted Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, finding she has only secured death penalty convictions against people of color since taking office in 2012.
ACLU Blasts Lacey Over Continued Pursuit of Death Penalty Despite Moratorium
While you’re starting to make your plans for Independence Day, don’t forget the Santa Clarita Valley Fourth of July Parade.
June 22: Deadline to Join SCV Fourth of July Parade
The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is rolling back into Valencia this Saturday, June 22, from 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
June 22: Hello Kitty Cafe Truck at Westfield Town Center
The following events are scheduled for the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce:
POP-Up Biz Expo, Patriots Luncheon, Empowering Women’s Lunch Coming Up at SCV Chamber
According to a recent report by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), homelessness in LA County has climbed 12 percent over the past year, in a dramatic reversal from a four percent decline the previous year. Homelessness has been a persistent issue in California, stymied by the lack of a comprehensive system-wide solution and resources.
CalArtian Easing LA’s Homeless Crisis One Bag at a Time
Recently, the Probation Reform and Implementation Team (PRIT) released comprehensive recommendations outlining its proposed authority and structure for the civilian Probation Oversight Commission (POC) for Los Angeles County’s Probation Department, the largest in the U.S. The proposal includes a call for subpoena power, authority to investigate complaints, and empowering former Probationers as community liaisons to serve as the County’s “eyes and ears.”
County Releases Recommendations for Civilian Oversight Commission
The Santa Clarita Public Library is looking for a fun and friendly team of volunteers to help out during the Summer Reading Program, taking place now through July 27 at all Santa Clarita Public Library branches.
Volunteers Needed for Santa Clarita Library’s Summer Reading Program
This weekend, The Power Plant, a leading contemporary visual art gallery in Toronto, Canada, opens If you end up with the story you started with, then you're not listening along the way, by artist Mario Pfeifer (Film/Video 09).
CalArts Grad Opens New Solo Show in Toronto
The San Fernando Valley Council of Governments Transportation Committee, whose members include Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean, will hold a meeting Thursday, June 20, at 1:30 p.m.
June 20: SFV Council of Governments Transportation Committee Meeting
The Master's University women's soccer team has signed Alexis Mendoza, a technically-sound midfielder who head coach Curtis Lewis described as "calm on the ball."
SoCal Midfielder Alexis Mendoza Signs with TMU
Officials working on the construction of Castaic High School believe they’ll be able to meet the deadline to open the school, just days after it was revealed the school site was without gas piping and hookups weeks before opening.
Officials Now Believe Castaic High Will Meet Deadline After County Expedites Permits
With the onset of summer temperatures, Crime Prevention Unit deputies parked the patrol cars and took to foot patrol, checking the welfare of homeless individuals on Monday.
Crime Prevention Deputies Check In on Welfare of Homeless Individuals
The Canyon Country Advisory Committee (CCAC) meeting will be held Wednesday, June 19, from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
June 19: Canyon Country Advisory Committee Meeting
1925 - Newhall lawman Jack Pilcher buried; funeral expenses paid by local Ku Klux Klan [story]
Jack Pilcher
The Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival is back, and continuing an expanded season with Summer Theatre Festival 2019 events through August.
Shakespeare Festival Sets 2019 Summer Theatre Events
In her latest "Director's Blog" entry, Los Angeles County Animal Care & Control Director Marcia Mayeda offers information about pet aging and tips senior pet care.
County Animal Care Director Offers Tips for Senior Pet Care
Fourth of July 2019 is only a few weeks away and, as you begin to make plans to celebrate, do not forget about all the fun activities that are happening throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.
Top 10 Tips to Make this a Great Fourth of July in SCV
The Public Outreach and Legislation Committee of SCV Water is scheduled to meet next on Thursday, June 20, at 5:30 p.m.
June 20: SCV Water Public Outreach, Legislation Committee Meeting
The nonprofit Santa Clarita Valley Committee on Aging will host its annual assembly at the new Bella Vida senior center in Canyon Country on Thursday, June 20, starting at 5 p.m.
June 20: Annual Assembly at Bella Vida Senior Center
Two people were airlifted to the hospital Monday afternoon after being plucked from a ravine where their box truck plunged into the dry creek bed near Agua Dulce.
Two Airlifted from Crash After Truck Plunges into Ravine
The Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is set to approve its 2019-20 budget at a special meeting on Wednesday, June 19, at 7:45 a.m.
Hart Board Set to OK 2019-20 Budget at June 19 Special Meeting
%d bloggers like this: