United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION RE:
DKT. NOS. 312, 353
HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case, a coalition of thirteen states and the District of
Columbia (collectively, “States” or
“Plaintiff States”) brought challenges to interim
final rules and final rules (collectively, the
“Rules”) promulgated by federal agencies that
create religious and moral exemptions to the contraceptive
mandate contained within the Affordable Care Act.
See Second Amended Complaint, Dkt. No.
In January, the Court preliminarily enjoined implementation
of the Rules within the Plaintiff States. See Dkt.
No. 234. A few weeks later, the Court allowed Oregon to join
the multi-state coalition, Dkt. No. 274, and now Oregon seeks
to expand the geographic scope of the preliminary injunction
to prevent the Rules from being implemented in Oregon pending
a resolution on the merits. See Motion for
Preliminary Injunction (“Mot.”), Dkt. No. 312.
The Court finds that the requested extension is warranted and
therefore GRANTS Oregon's motion for a preliminary
Court recounted the extensive statutory, regulatory, and
judicial background to this case in its January 13, 2019
order granting Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary
injunction and incorporates that summary by reference here.
See Dkt. No. 234 at 2-15.
the Court granted preliminary relief in the Plaintiff States,
Oregon filed its complaint-in-intervention, alleging the
injuries that it predicts the state (and its citizens) will
sustain if the Rules were to be implemented in Oregon.
See Dkt. No. 287 (“Compl.”). Oregon
alleges that if the Rules go into effect, women who lose
their entitlement to free contraceptives will turn to
Oregon's ContraceptiveCare and Reproductive Health Equity
Act programs, thereby increasing costs to the state.
See Compl. ¶¶ 18-19, 22; see also
Declaration of Helene Rimberg (“Rimberg Decl.”),
Dkt. No. 211 ¶ 7. And Oregon predicts that some women
who lose contraceptive coverage because of the Rules may
forgo contraceptive use entirely and unintentionally become
pregnant, which could impose costs on the state's
Medicaid program. Compl. ¶¶ 22-23; see
also Rimberg Decl. ¶ 7-9. Oregon alleges that it
expects at least one instate employer-Hobby Lobby, which has
five stores in Oregon-to invoke the exemption if it goes into
effect. Compl. ¶ 24.
motion, Oregon concedes that granting an injunction would not
have any immediate effect because Federal Defendants are
currently enjoined from implementing the Rules nationwide
based on the district court's order in Pennsylvania
v. Trump, 351 F.Supp.3d 791, 835 (E.D. Pa. 2019).
However, Oregon contends that because the
Pennsylvania injunction is “subject to
appellate review and attack for its scope, ” there is
an “imminent risk that the nationwide injunction could
be lifted and thousands of Oregonian women left without
contraceptive coverage.” Mot. at 8.
Defendants and Defendant-Intervenors March for Life opposed
the extension of the preliminary injunction. See
Dkt. Nos. 361 (“Fed. Opp.”), 359 (“March
Opp.”). Oregon replied. See Dkt. No. 365
plaintiff seeking preliminary injunctive relief must
establish that [it] is likely to succeed on the merits, that
[it] is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of
preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in
[its] favor, and that an injunction is in the public
interest.” Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council,
Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 22 (2008). Alternatively, an
injunction may issue where “the likelihood of success
is such that serious questions going to the merits were
raised and the balance of hardships tips sharply in [the
plaintiff's] favor, ” provided that the plaintiff
can also demonstrate the other two Winter factors. All.
for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1131-32
(9th Cir. 2011) (citation and internal quotation marks
omitted). Under either standard, the plaintiff bears the
burden of making a clear showing that it is entitled to this
extraordinary remedy. Earth Island Inst. v. Carlton,
626 F.3d 462, 469 (9th Cir. 2010).
Court previously concluded that the Plaintiff States were
entitled to a preliminary injunction because they had shown
that: they were likely to succeed (or had at least raised
serious questions going to the merits) on their claim that
the Rules violated the Affordable Care Act, they would suffer
irreparable harm absent preliminary relief, the balance of
hardships tipped sharply in their favor, and the public
interest favored injunctive relief. See Dkt. No. 234
at 21. Because the Court finds that there have not been any
subsequent developments that would alter its analysis as to
the likelihood of success, balance of the hardships, and
public interest factors, the Court incorporates by reference
its prior discussion of these factors. See Id. at
leaves irreparable harm. Oregon contends that “[i]f the
nationwide injunction is lifted, the Rules will inflict
irreparable harm.” Mot. at 28. According to Oregon, the
Rules will likely cause unintended pregnancies to rise and
women to turn to state family planning programs, imposing
unrecoverable costs on the state. Id. at 28-30.
Federal Defendants respond that Oregon has not established
irreparable injury because of the pre-existing nationwide
injunction and its delay in moving for a preliminary
injunction. See Fed. Opp. at 11-13. The Court
considers each of Federal Defendants' arguments in turn.
Defendants contend that this Court should not “enter a
duplicative injunction” with the one issued by the
district court in Pennsylvania. Fed. Opp. at 11.
Federal Defendants cite to Hawai'i v. Trump, in
which a district court granted the government's motion
for an emergency stay pending an appeal in a similar case in
the same circuit and noted that a parallel “nationwide
injunction already provides [Hawai'i] with the
comprehensive relief it seeks in this lawsuit.” 233
F.Supp.3d 850, 853 (D. Haw. 2017). However, this example is
belied by the fact that the district court later issued a
preliminary injunction that overlapped with one issued by a
Maryland district court. See State v. Trump, 265
F.Supp.3d 1140, 1146 (D. Haw. 2017). Moreover, overlapping
injunctions appear to be a common outcome of parallel
litigation, rather than a reason for the Court to pass on
exercising its duty to determine whether litigants are
entitled to relief. For example, in recent litigation
challenging the Secretary of Commerce's decision to add a
citizenship question to the census, three district courts
issued parallel injunctions against the policy. See New
York v. United States Dep't of Commerce, 351
F.Supp.3d 502, 677 (S.D.N.Y. 2019); State v. Ross, ...