header image

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

Inside
Weather


 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
April 21
1994 - Sand Canyon homeowner Eddie Murray sets MLB record for switch-hit home runs in games (11 times) [story]
Eddie Murray


By Helen Christophi

OAKLAND – More than a dozen states asked a federal judge in Oakland on Thursday to block new Trump administration rules that will allow most employers to opt out of covering birth control on religious and moral grounds.

The request by California and 13 other state attorneys general for a nationwide preliminary injunction halting the final exemption rules comes after the Ninth Circuit scaled back a previous nationwide block of interim rules to just the five states prosecuting the case at the time.

On Dec. 13, the appellate panel held an injunction limited to the five plaintiffs is sufficient for ensuring they wouldn’t be forced under the new rules to pay for additional birth control coverage and health care costs associated with unintended pregnancies.

In response, the plaintiffs added eight more states and the District of Columbia to their lawsuit, bringing the total number of plaintiffs to 14.

They also expanded the scope of the requested injunction to the final rules, which take effect Jan. 14. The previous injunction applied only to the interim rules announced by the Trump administration in October 2017 which expire when the final rules are enacted.

“We successfully fought the Trump administration’s interim final rules because employers have no business interfering in women’s health care decisions,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement Thursday.

“But the Trump administration is continuing to trample on women’s rights and access to care with this illegal final rule,” Becerra said. “Women across the country have benefitted from the [Affordable Care Act’s] cost-free birth control. California will continue the fight against any actions that attempt to restrict women’s access to affordable, quality health care.”

The Affordable Care Act requires employers to cover contraception under their health plans with no co-payment. Religious institutions are exempt from 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 insurers provide separate coverage.

But the Trump administration issued new interim exemption rules in October 2017 allowing any employer or health insurer with religious or moral objections to providing birth control to opt out of the 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, a provision the plaintiffs contend will create disastrous interruptions in coverage for affected women.

Making their case Thursday, the plaintiffs argued a new nationwide injunction is necessary to “ensure complete relief to the plaintiff states.”

To support this argument, they listed various examples of women residing in the plaintiff states being affected by decisions made by employers located outside these states. For example, some residents of the plaintiff states work for out-of-state employers in states that aren’t part of the litigation, they said. And some plaintiff states are home to students who are on their parents’ employer-sponsored health plans, and those parents and employers are out-of-state.

“These scenarios demonstrate that this court cannot simply draw a line around the plaintiff states and impose an injunction only as to those states to ensure complete relief,” the plaintiffs argued in a legal brief.

They also argued they will likely prevail on the merits of their allegations, including that the final exemption rules violated the Administrative Procedure Act by permitting public comment only after the interim rules were enacted.

Both presiding U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. in Oakland and the Ninth Circuit concluded the administration lacked good cause in refusing to permit public comment before the interim rules took effect. Noting these twin findings Thursday, the plaintiffs argued the administration’s “post-promulgation acceptance of comments is no substitute” for permitting public comment beforehand.

“Because defendants failed to follow the APA’s notice and comment procedures, the rules are invalid,” they wrote.

Both courts have also held the plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm absent an injunction, with the Ninth Circuit concluding last week that the harm was “not speculative; it is sufficiently concrete and supported by the record.”

The Justice Department declined to comment Thursday. In a statement issued after last week’s appellate ruling, Justice Department spokeswoman Kelly Laco said the department “will continue to fight injunctions that are contrary to the law and the Constitution.”

A hearing on the motion for a preliminary injunction is set for Jan. 11.

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
Friday, Apr 19, 2024
May 5: ‘Free to Be Me Festival’ at West Creek Park
The city of Santaw Clarita will host the Free To Be Me Festival for its third year at an exciting new location. On Sunday, May 5, from noon to 3 p.m., celebrate Santa Clarita’s special needs communities and their families at West Creek Park, 24247 Village Circle Drive, Valencia, CA 91354.
Friday, Apr 19, 2024
April 23: City Council to Discuss Measure H Funds, Traffic Improvements
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold a regular meeting on Tuesday, April 23 at 6 p.m. The council will meet at City Hall, City Council Chambers, Items on the agenda include: Measure H funding, awarding construction contracts for traffic improvements and updating criteria for speed hump installation or removal.
Friday, Apr 19, 2024
April 27: Day at The Rocks Family Fun Event
Visit Vasquez Rock Natural Area and Nature Center for a Day at The Rocks, a family fun event and tribal celebration of the Village of Mapipinga. A Day at The Rocks will be held Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1994 - Sand Canyon homeowner Eddie Murray sets MLB record for switch-hit home runs in games (11 times) [story]
Eddie Murray
1874 - First train out of L.A. to reach new town of San Fernando; Newhall 2 years later [story]
train tunnel
Hello Auto Group has announced its partnership with the Santa Clarita Veteran Services Collaborative for the second annual Military Spouse Appreciation Event. This event, dedicated to honoring military spouses, will take place on Military Spouse Appreciation Day Friday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Anthony Vince Nail Spa at 24250 Town Center Drive #140, Valencia, CA 91355.
May 10: Second Annual SCV Military Spouse Appreciation Event
The Santa Clarita Artists Association has announced the 2024 scholarship award recipients. These deserving individuals have shown excellence in their high school art education and shared their plans to continue their artistic endeavors.
SCAA Announces 2024 Scholarship Award Honorees
The Valley Industry Association of Santa Clarita is set to ignite innovation and transformation with its VIA Workforce Development Conference 2024 at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on Thursday, May 16. Jorge Marquez, chairman of the Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board, has been added to the list of speakers appearing at the event. He will serve as the opening speaker at the conference.
May 16: VIA Adds County Leader to Workforce Development Speakers List
The city of Santaw Clarita will host the Free To Be Me Festival for its third year at an exciting new location. On Sunday, May 5, from noon to 3 p.m., celebrate Santa Clarita’s special needs communities and their families at West Creek Park, 24247 Village Circle Drive, Valencia, CA 91354.
May 5: ‘Free to Be Me Festival’ at West Creek Park
The Los Angeles County Department of Economic Opportunity and its regional partners have held the first of several upcoming rapid response events to urgently connect soon-to-be laid off local workers, impacted by the recent bankruptcy and closure of dozens of local 99 Cents Only Stores, to critical workforce services.
L.A. County Offers Help for Workers of 99 Cents Only Stores
Youth in Los Angeles County foster care as young as 13 can open their own checking and savings accounts without an adult co-owner through the Youth Access Banking program.
Foster Youth Access Banking Program Available in L.A. County
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold a regular meeting on Tuesday, April 23 at 6 p.m. The council will meet at City Hall, City Council Chambers, Items on the agenda include: Measure H funding, awarding construction contracts for traffic improvements and updating criteria for speed hump installation or removal.
April 23: City Council to Discuss Measure H Funds, Traffic Improvements
Visit Vasquez Rock Natural Area and Nature Center for a Day at The Rocks, a family fun event and tribal celebration of the Village of Mapipinga. A Day at The Rocks will be held Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
April 27: Day at The Rocks Family Fun Event
Princess Cruises, headquartered in Valencia, and ship builder Fincantieri of Monfalcone, Italy have announced the mutual decision to postpone the delivery of the next Sphere Class ship, Star Princess.
Princess Cruises Postpones Delivery of Star Princess, Inaugural Cruises Cancelled
1880 - Pico Oil Spring Mine Section 2 patented by R.F. Baker and Edward F. Beale [story]
E.F. Beale
The Master's University men's golf team shot a 13-under 275 to finish second at the Golden State Athletic Conference Men's Golf Championships held at Briarwood Country Club in Sun City West, Ariz.
TMU Men’s Golf Places 2nd, Women 5th at GSAC Championships
Join local nonprofit Project Sebastian for an exhilarating day of racing and community support at its Rare Warrior 24 race on Saturday, June 1, at Heritage Park in the heart of Santa Clarita.
June 1: Rare Warrior 24 Race Benefiting Project Sebastian
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station Station deputies will be taking part in the “DEA National Drug Take Back Day,” Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in front of the SCV Sheriff’s Station, located at 26201 Golden Valley Road.
April 27: Drug Take Back Day at SCV Sheriff’s Station
The College of the Canyons Center for Civic and Community Engagement—in collaboration with COC’s Golden Z Club—invites the community to attend the Nonprofit Community Resource Fair on Tuesday, April 30.
April 30: COC Hosts Nonprofit Community Resource Fair
College of the Canyons made quick work of visiting L.A. Valley College in a shortened 11-3 home victory that came on a day in which the program unveiled its newly named Michele Jenkins Softball Team Room during a pre-game dedication ceremony.
Lady Cougs Outslug L.A. Valley 11-3
For aspiring scientists at The Master’s University, taking up a student research project is no small commitment.
Retired Professor Continues to Mentor Aspiring TMU Scientists
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is warning residents not to use a Vietnamese herbal ointment called “Cao Bôi Trĩ Cây Thầu Dầu” (Castor Oil Hemorrhoid Extract) because it contains lead and can be fatal.
Public Health Urges Residents to Avoid Vietnamese Hemorrhoid Cream
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond hosted a California Apprenticeship Summit Wednesday to raise awareness of apprenticeship opportunities and career technical education pathways that connect California’s youth to high-wage, high-growth career opportunities.
State Apprenticeship Summit Connects Youth to High-Wage Opportunities
College of the Canyons student-athletes Nichole Muro (softball) and Angelo Aleman (baseball) have been named the COC Athletic Department's Women's and Men's Student-Athletes of the Week for the period running April 8-13.
COC Names Nichole Muro, Angelo Aleman Athletes of the Week
California State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced Wednesday his bill improving transparency between parents and schools’ sexual education curricula passed out of the Senate Education Committee.
Wilk’s Sex Education Transparency Bill Clears Senate Committee
1945 - Actors Harry & Olive Carey sell Saugus ranch after 29 years; now Tesoro del Valle [story]
Carey Ranch
The 76.6-mile-long Antelope Valley Line has the third-highest ridership in Metrolink’s system with an estimated average of 9,000 passengers daily. However, the uneven terrain and single-tracking along the line in some areas forces trains to travel at a slower speed which results in an estimated travel time of approximately one hour between Santa Clarita and Union Station.
Metrolink to Hold Public Meetings on AV Line Capacity, Improvements
SCVNews.com