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Case Name State of Washington v. Trump FA-WA-0005
Docket / Court 2:17-cv-01510-JLR ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Speech and Religious Freedom
Case Summary
On October 9, 2017, the State of Washington filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The State sued the President of the United States, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and the U.S. Department of ... read more >
On October 9, 2017, the State of Washington filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The State sued the President of the United States, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The State, represented by public counsel, sought injunctive, declaratory, and monetary relief as well as attorney’s fees and costs, claiming violations of the APA and the First and Fifth Amendments. The case was assigned to Judge Ronald Leighton.

The State challenged two sets of rules the Trump Administration introduced that expanded an employer’s ability to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage for female employees that in turn greatly undercut contraceptive coverage introduced by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The first set of policies allowed any employer who asserted a religious objection to contraception—not just a church or religious order—to exempt itself from providing contraception coverage to its employees. The second set of policies allowed employers with moral objections to contraception to opt out of the ACA’s requirement.

The State alleged these rules violated the APA because the Trump Administration did not provide public notice or an opportunity for comment before changing substantive rights and obligations springing from the ACA, as required by the APA. But the State argued that even if the Administration had acted in accordance with the APA, the First and Fifth Amendments would have still been implicated. Furthermore, the State alleged that the policies substantially harmed its female residents.

On December 11, 2017, the defendants moved to dismiss, and alternatively for summary judgment, arguing that the State lacked standing to bring this lawsuit. The defendants also argued that the new regulations did not violate the Fifth Amendment’s Equal Protection clause, the First Amendment’s Establishment clause, or the APA. On January 2, 2018 the State filed an amended complaint to bolster its claims for standing to sue. Two days later, the defendant moved again to dismiss and alternatively moved for summary judgment in response.

The State moved to stay the lawsuit and the court granted this motion on January 19, 2018. The court ordered that all pending and forthcoming deadlines of this lawsuit were to be stayed as long as either the December 21, 2017 injunction in California v. Hargan, or the December 15, 2017 injunction in Pennsylvania v. Trump remain in full force and effect.

This case is ongoing.

Sean Whetstone - 06/25/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Establishment Clause
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
Sex discrimination
General
Religious programs / policies
Medical/Mental Health
Reproductive health care (including birth control, abortion, and others)
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Non-government non-profit
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) President of the United States of America
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of Treasury
Plaintiff Description The State of Washington.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
2:17-cv-01510-RBL (W.D. Wash.)
FA-WA-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/19/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
FA-WA-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/09/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 45]
FA-WA-0005-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/02/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Leighton, Ronald B. (W.D. Wash.)
FA-WA-0005-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Alexander, Cynthia L. (Washington)
FA-WA-0005-0002 | FA-WA-0005-0003 | FA-WA-0005-9000
Ferguson, Robert W. (Washington)
FA-WA-0005-0002 | FA-WA-0005-0003 | FA-WA-0005-9000
Sprung, Jeffrey Todd (Washington)
FA-WA-0005-0002 | FA-WA-0005-0003 | FA-WA-0005-9000
Udashen, Audrey L. (Washington)
FA-WA-0005-0002 | FA-WA-0005-0003 | FA-WA-0005-9000
Young, Alicia O (Washington)
FA-WA-0005-0002 | FA-WA-0005-0003 | FA-WA-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Gerardi, Michael J. (District of Columbia)
FA-WA-0005-9000
Kade, Elizabeth Lanier (District of Columbia)
FA-WA-0005-9000
Other Lawyers Kniffin, Eric N. (Colorado)
FA-WA-0005-9000
Norton, Michael Jeffrey (Colorado)
FA-WA-0005-9000
Nussbaum, L. Martin (Colorado)
FA-WA-0005-9000
Patterson, Michael A. (Washington)
FA-WA-0005-9000

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