U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam of the Northern District of California has issued a preliminary injunction barring the Trump administration’s rule changes allowing some employers to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage under an Affordable Care Act regulation.
Gilliam found the process leading to the changes violated the Administrative Procedure Act, a ruling that mirrored findings by U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, who ruled against the administration in a similar case last week.
In October, the Trump administration issued rule changes expanding the scope of the exemption for religious organizations under the contraceptive coverage mandate, and created a new exemption based on “moral objections.”
The states of California, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia sued in the Northern District of California, and sought an injunction barring the rule changes in early November. The states argued the administration’s moves would put scores of women at risk of losing their no-cost contraceptive coverage under the ACA. The states also argued the rule changes violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires a notice-and-comment period prior to most federal rulemaking.