Public Health Law News

November 2019


The Tribal Legal Preparedness Project.external icon Public health emergencies are issues every community faces. It is critical for all jurisdictions to understand how law can be used to enhance public health preparedness, as well as to improve coordination and collaboration across jurisdictions. As sovereign entities, tribal governments have the authority to create their own laws and take steps to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies. This project was established to assist tribal nations interested in expanding their legal preparedness capacity.

Call for Proposals: National Tribal Public Health Summit.external icon The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is hosting the 11th  Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit on March 17–19, 2020, in Omaha, Nebraska. Abstracts must be related to 1 of 5 summit tracks: 1) Health Promotion and Disease Prevention; 2) Public Health Policy, Infrastructure, Workforce, and Systems; 3) Substance Misuse and Behavioral Health; 4) Environmental Health and Climate Change; and 5) Traditional Public Health Practice. NIHB encourages abstracts that are interactive, actionable, and that highlight the social determinants of health. Proposals must be received through the online portal by 11:59 pm (EST) on Sunday, December 15.

HRSA Funding Opportunity: State Offices of Rural Health Coordination and Development Program.external icon The purpose of this program is to develop and maintain activities that will build the capacity of the 50 State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) and rural stakeholders nationwide through strengthening leadership, increasing opportunities for collaboration, offering education on policy and emerging health issues, and supporting the core functions of the SORH. Program goals are to support the SORH and rural stakeholders to better coordinate and improve rural health services. The cooperative agreement involves an ongoing partnership with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in the final development and implementation of the submitted work plan. The deadline for grant applications is December 20.

Webinar: Tribal Forensic Healthcare Training Project—The Danger Assessment.external icon This webinar—to be held on Thursday, November 21, from 1:00 to 4:30 pm (EST)—will feature an overview on domestic violence homicide of women in the United States, including homicide of Native American women. Discussions will include 1) the importance of lethality assessment using the Danger Assessment (DA) instrument, with data supporting its accuracy, 2) how to administer the DA with domestic violence victims/survivors and the weighted scoring for the DA, 3) resulting levels of danger, and 4) recommendations for safety strategies at each level. If you’re unable to join the webinar, you can access the training in the archived webinarsexternal icon.

Measles: How Local Health Departments Are Responding to This Latest Public Health Outbreakexternal icon. Although measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, more than 1,200 cases of measles have been confirmed so far in 2019. In this article by the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, health officials from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Public Health–Seattle and King County describe their health departments’ response to measles outbreaks.

Legal Tools

E-Cigarette and Vaping Resource Library.external icon The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) has created a searchable database of research articles, media stories, factsheets, and other materials related to e-cigarettes. The library contains more than 150 materials that can be filtered by topic and resource types.

From the Field: Improving Immunization Coverage and Services at the Local Level.pdf icon[PDF – 3MB]external icon This compendium of stories highlights local health department (LHD) immunization initiatives. The stories were written by LHD staff who participated in the National Association of County and City Health Officials’ (NACCHO’s) 2017 Assessment of Local Health Department Immunization Programs and follow-up interviews. Each story highlights a local immunization challenge and the initiative implemented by the LHD to address the need to increase local immunization coverage rates. NACCHO’s goal with these stories is to strengthen LHD capacity to provide comprehensive immunization services by facilitating information exchange and peer learning.

Applying the Evidence: Legal and Policy Approaches to Address Opioid Use Disorder in the Criminal Justice and Child Welfare Settings.pdf icon[PDF – 730KB]external icon This report provides recommendations for policymakers and was released by the Addiction and Public Policy Initiative from their inaugural “Applying the Evidence“ meeting, where policymakers, criminal justice and law enforcement leaders, and addiction treatment experts convened to discuss immediate interventions to reduce overdose deaths—and the steps that can be taken to move community response from rescue to recovery.

Top Stories

California: Snooze you can use: California legislates more sleep for better healthexternal icon
Kaiser Health News   (10/28/2019)   Mark Kreidler

Story Highlights

How much sleep we get can have profound effects on our health. CDC declared sleep deprivation a public health epidemic in 2014. One-third of US adults report usually getting less than the recommended amount of sleep, and evidence suggests later school start times have sleep benefits for students, and California is the first state to issue a statewide response to address claims that chronic lack of sleep impairs teens.

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed a law mandating later start times for most students; middle schools cannot start earlier than 8 am, and high school no earlier than 8:30 am. The law will be phased in over three years. It exempts some rural districts and makes allowances for optional “zero period” early classes. Schools in other regions—such as Minneapolis, Seattle, and Kentucky’s Jessamine County—also have delayed start times and have seen positive health and educational improvements in students.

Critics argue that communities and school boards should have the power to decide their own start times, and that the law will disproportionately affect lower-income families, who might not be able to alter morning work schedules to accommodate later rides to school. Despite this opposition, momentum continues at the state level, with lawmakers in Ohio, Indiana, South Carolina, and New Jersey also considering later school start times.

[Editor’s note: Read more about the billexternal icon. Learn more about sleep and sleep disorders.]

New York: New York becomes first state to require ingredients list on pads, tamponsexternal icon
TODAY, NBC News   (10/12/2019)   Francesca Gariano

Story Highlights

Over the last few years, a conversation about menstrual and period equity has gained momentum. This movement is committed to making menstrual products affordable, safe for women and the environment, and available to women in need. Some menstrual products contain potentially toxic or allergy-causing chemicals. So, on October 11, also recognized as the “International Day of the Girl,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law requiring disclosure of all ingredients in tampons, pads, and other menstrual products on their packaging. New York thus becomes the first state to require such labeling on menstrual products. The law will take effect in 180 days, and manufacturers will have 18 months to develop packaging that complies with it.

Tampons are currently considered medical devices by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so manufacturers do not have to list ingredients on the packaging. The FDA requires tampons to go through a clearance process to prove safety and effectiveness, which includes material safety, absorbency, and microbiological testing. One study commissioned by the FDA revealed that one regular tampon would provide less than 0.2% of a woman’s recommended maximum intake of dioxin—an organic pollutant found in tampons and pads. Yet, supporters of the new law state that the exposure is exacerbated over time based on the length of time the tampons and pads are used, and on the number of menstrual products that a woman uses throughout the years before menopause.

Within the last few years, New York has eliminated the sales tax on menstrual products and mandated that all public schools and state and local correctional facilities provide free menstrual products in restrooms.

[Editor’s note: Read the Governor’s press releaseexternal icon. Read more about the lawexternal icon that will go into effect in 2020.]

Briefly Noted

New Jersey: Airbnb suffered a big defeat in Jersey City. Here’s what that meansexternal icon.
New York Times   (11/05/2019)   Luis Ferré-Sadurní
[Editor’s note: Read about the ordinancepdf icon[PDF – 949KB]external icon.]

New York: After cyclist deaths, city adjusts traffic lights to slow carsexternal icon
New York Times   (10/23/2019)   Winnie Hu

New York: New library is a $41.5 million masterpiece. But about those stairs.external icon
New York Times   (11/05/2019)   Sharon Otterman
[Editor’s note: Read the Americans with Disabilities Actexternal icon.]

North Carolina: Closing the gaps in state sexual assault lawsexternal icon
Route Fifty   (11/05/2019)   Kate Elizabeth Queram
[Editor’s note: Read more about the billexternal icon.]

Oregon: US judge blocks Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrantsexternal icon
New York Times   (11/02/2019)   The Associated Press
[Editor’s note: Read the case holdingpdf icon[PDF – 211KB]external icon.]

Pennsylvania: Pa. high court tosses seven-year medical malpractice limitexternal icon
Modern Healthcare   (11/01/2019)   Harris Meyer

West Virginia: The opioid files: ‘They looked at us like an easy target’external icon
Washington Post   (10/18/2019)
Debbie Cenziper, Emily Corio, Kelly Hooper and Douglas Soule

Wisconsin: How hundreds of cities have simplified solar external icon
Route Fifty   (11/01/2019)   Kate Elizabeth Queram
[Editor’s note: Read about how to live a more sustainable lifestyle.]

National: Facebook vows strict privacy safeguards as it rolls out preventive-health toolexternal icon
STAT News   (10/28/2019)   Rebecca Robbins

National: Knockoff car seats are infiltrating the market, and they could be deadlyexternal icon
The Washington Post   (11/05/2019)   Lauren Gravitz
[Editor’s note: Learn more about child passenger safety.]

National: Vaping illnesses are linked to vitamin E acetate, CDC saysexternal icon
New York Times   (11/08/2019)   Denise Grady
[Editor’s note: Learn more about CDC’s response to the outbreak of lung injuries associated with the use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products.]

Global News

Australia: Police probing Facebook post about Australian mom giving out chickenpox-tainted candy: reportexternal icon
The Hill   (11/01/2019)   Marty Johnson

Canada: Investigation: Lead in some Canadian water worse than Flintexternal icon
AP News   (11/04/2019)   Martha Mendoza

Cuba: Judge dismisses health care challenge by prisoner at Guantanamo Bayexternal icon
New York Times   (11/04/2019)   Carol Rosenburg
[Editor’s note: Read the case memorandum and orderpdf icon[PDF – 390KB]external icon.]

Democratic Republic of Congo: Exclusive: WHO, Congo eye tighter rules for Ebola care over immunity concernsexternal icon
Reuters   (10/31/2019)   Alessandra Prentice

France: How France is persuading its citizens to get vaccinatedexternal icon
CNN   (11/05/2019)   Alex Whiting, Mosaic

India: New Delhi, choking on toxic air, declares health emergencyexternal icon
New York Times   (11/01/2019)   Kai Schultz and Suhasini Raj

Uganda: Uganda moves to allay fears over anti-gay sex lawexternal icon
Thomson Reuters Foundation   (10/26/2019)   Nita Bhalla

Global: New WHO report to bolster efforts to tackle leading causes of urban deathsexternal icon
WHO   (10/31/2019)
[Editor’s note: Read the World Health Organization’s Power of Cities: Tackling Noncommunicable Diseases and Road Traffic Injuries Reportexternal icon.]

Global: Not a single country on earth is properly prepared for a disease epidemic, first-of-its-kind study revealsexternal icon
Newsweek   (10/25/2019)   Aristos Georgiou
[Editor’s note: Read more about the Global Health Security Indexexternal icon.]

Profile in Public Health Law: Emily Wang, MD, MAS

Title: Director, Health Justice Lab; Transitions Clinic Network Co-Founder, Connecticut; Associate Professor of Medicine, Yale University

Education: BA, Harvard University; MD, Duke University; MAS, University of California, San Francisco

Public Health Law News (PHLN): Please describe your career path and what drew you to public health and health justice.

Wang: I went to medical school during the AIDS epidemic in the late 1990s, when hospital wards were filled with patients dying of AIDS and I was squarely fixated on being an HIV physician. One school night, I found myself talking to someone who ran a prison education program. I learned that the US has the largest prison system in the world. One in a hundred US adults is behind bars and there are large racial disparities in who is behind bars. While blacks and whites commit crimes at the same rates, blacks serve longer sentences and are disproportionately represented on death row. People who are incarcerated have higher rates of infectious diseases than the general population, including HIV. As a budding HIV doctor, this blew me away, so I made a point of visiting a women’s prison in Raleigh, North Carolina, to learn more. I discovered that the rates of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases were four times higher in these young women than the general population.

I was asked to lead a health education program in prison focused on young women’s health. It was through these classes that I started to see how the skills we were learning in medical school and even the tools we have to prevent unwanted health outcomes, like becoming HIV-infected (wear a condom, get tested for HIV), was lay squarely on the individual and rarely addressed the bigger issues at hand. Every single one of these women had been physically and often repeatedly assaulted in their lives, their insurance didn’t cover certain types of birth control, and they lost their jobs when they didn’t have paid parental leave. The doctoring tools I had at my disposal felt weak. Imploring these women to change their behaviors in the face of these realities seemed to miss the bigger picture. It is the structural determinants—the policies, practices, and laws that constrain or promote these women’s health—that really impact their own health and their families.

I took a year off and worked with CDC in Botswana. I was assigned, by chance, to work in the prison system in Gaborone and to study what risk factors put people at risk for acquiring tuberculosis in prison. The contrast was stark – this prison was like nothing I had seen in the US. Open air, visitors at all hours. My first memory walking into the prison was seeing an officer sitting in the middle of the prison courtyard with a person who is incarcerated cutting his hair with large shears. This would never happen in the US. Our notions of punishment, justice, retribution, and the actual ways in which we incarcerate are unparalleled worldwide. I returned to the US knowing that I wanted to work at the intersections of health and criminal justice.

PHLN: Please tell us about your role in the Health Justice Lab.

Wang: I direct the Health Justice Lab, which is a collaborative, interdisciplinary team focused on improving the health of individuals and communities who have been affected by mass incarceration. The Lab has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation for studies ranging from the epidemiology of incarceration and cardiovascular health to mitigating the community impact of gun violence using a participatory approach and assets-based framework.

Our research and policy work are grounded in our clinical practice, providing primary care for people just released from correctional systems and guided by the values, preferences, and needs of people with a history of incarceration. I have the privilege of going to work each and every day working with people who are deeply committed to the urgent reality that our prisons and jails cause deep and permanent harm to the health of our communities, and who are certain that healthcare, research, education, and advocacy are equally critical to achieving de-carceration.

PHLN: How does criminal justice relate to public health?

Wang:  In this country, we have incarcerated at such an unprecedented scale that we have no choice but to consider how the criminal justice system impacts broader public health. Let me throw out a few statistics. A recent study led by colleagues at Cornell University found that 50% of Americans have a family member who has spent time in a correctional facility. One in 33 Americans is currently under the purview of the criminal justice system, either in prison or jail or on parole or probation. Research indicates that those with a history of incarceration have higher rates of infectious disease (like HIV and hepatitis C), chronic conditions (like hypertension and asthma), and substance use disorders compared with the general population. Because people who experience incarceration are connected to families, their incarceration can have implications for the health and wellbeing of their partners and children as well. Findings from two studies suggest a link between parental incarceration and child mortality, and others show that romantic partners of men who are incarcerated have worse health and higher risk for obesity and stroke compared with those whose partners had not been incarcerated.

PHLN:  How is the health and welfare of a formerly incarcerated person linked to community health?

Wang: Individuals who experience incarceration spend, on average, far more time out of prison than in it. For instance, black men who ever experience prison incarceration spend a little more than a tenth of their working lives in prison. So, in considering the lifelong health effects of incarceration, the period after release is of crucial importance. Individuals just released from correctional facilities often have no housing, employment, or family support, and face discrimination in finding jobs and housing. Individuals convicted of drug felonies are also prohibited from accessing safety-net services, such as public housing and food subsidies. Patients with chronic conditions are often released without medications or a follow-up appointment in the community health system. Even when provided with a prescription at release, many do not obtain them. Individuals recently released from correctional facilities are less likely to have a primary care physician, disproportionately use emergency departments for healthcare, and have high levels of preventable hospital admissions compared with the general population. Because individuals with a history of incarceration are also at disproportionately high risk for mental health problems that can interfere with their ability to follow through with care for serious medical conditions, these obstacles to receiving care are even more important. Even after the expansion of Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act, individuals with justice involvement were not more likely to engage in care, indicating that they face barriers to healthcare beyond insurance access.

PHLN:  What are the most prevalent public health issues in communities affected by mass incarceration?

Wang: I think what is at the root of many issues faced by communities affected by mass incarceration are structural racism and the commodification of health and well-being. They have been used to justify policies, practices, and programs, and they have enabled disinvestment in communities affected by mass incarceration over generations. We live in a country where communities affected by mass incarceration are considered “less than” because of the deficiencies of the individuals that live there, as opposed to the policies and laws that create mass disinvestment.

PHLN: How is the Health Justice Lab working to improve the health of people who are incarcerated, or were formerly incarcerated, and their communities?

Wang: We are working to catalyze intervention, health services, and outcomes research to prevent or mitigate the health-harming effects of incarceration in communities. Our research agenda is focused on identifying assets in communities that have been impacted by mass incarceration, which can become the basis of community-led interventions that are designed, tested, and scaled to improve community health. We currently have grants studying some of the top causes of death and illness in this population: overdose, cardiovascular disease, gun violence, and cancer. The research is driven by patients and grounded in clinical care, tackling structural and social determinants of health and, especially the laws, policies, and practices that create racial/ethnic and socioeconomic inequities.

PHLN: Why is it important to include formerly incarcerated individuals in every aspect of transitioning from incarceration and health?

Wang: Having formerly incarcerated individuals work as community health workers as part of the primary care team at Transitions Clinic Network program is critical to the success of the program. The community health workers build trusting relationships with our patients, who are often distrustful of physicians and the medical institution. Having them as members of the healthcare team works to destigmatize incarceration in clinic and the healthcare system at large. Finally, because formerly incarcerated community health workers have lived through and been successful with transitioning home from correctional facilities, they can provide firsthand advice on what might help and how to navigate the social service and clinical care system.

PHLN: What are the challenges to including formerly incarcerated people at the table? How does the Health Justice Lab work to overcome these challenges?

Wang: One large challenge to including formerly incarcerated people at the table is hiring. Within the Transitions Clinic Network programs and our research team, we are committed to hiring people with histories of incarceration to work in our clinical and research programs. This practice has kept our work grounded in the issues that are most important to people with histories of incarceration, builds capacity and leadership among individuals with a history of incarceration, and challenges institutions to confront barriers to hiring people with histories of incarceration and discriminatory practices. We thus work closely with national organizations such as JustLeadershipUSA, the Transitions Clinic Network, and also the National Employment Law Project to identify qualified people and give guidance about the law, and how we can support health systems and universities be less discriminatory in their hiring of people with criminal records.

PHLN: What is the Transitions Clinic Network?

WangIt is a network of 40-plus programs in the US that provide primary care for thousands of individuals who have returned home from incarceration. Interdisciplinary teams are the crux of the Transitions Clinic Network model, where community health workers with personal histories of incarceration are hired by and embedded within primary care teams to identify and support patients returning home from incarceration who are at risk for poor health outcomes. Community health workers interact with patients in and out of the clinic to address re-entry related social determinants of health, such as housing, food access, or employment, and link patients with community agencies. They use their personal experience of incarceration to educate the healthcare team about patients’ challenges, facilitate patient-provider communication, help patients navigate and build trust in the medical system, and advocate on patients’ behalf in interactions with the criminal justice system—especially courts, probation, and parole, when appropriate.

Transitions Clinic Network programs also address, through advocacy of the community health workers and the primary care team, the structural determinants of patients’ health, including hiring policies in health systems and collateral consequences that restrict patients’ abilities to obtain housing, food, and employment. We have demonstrated the program’s efficacy in reducing emergency department utilization among patients returning home from prison (Wang, AJPH 2010external icon) and reducing days in jail and probation and parole violations (Wang, BMJ Open 2019external icon). For this, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Reentry Council named the Transitions Clinic Network a “best” practice.

PHLN: How can communities, specifically healthcare entities, create a network to care for people with a history of incarceration?

Wang: Join our network, which is led by Dr. Shira Shavit at the University of California San Francisco!

PHLN: What role does law play in encouraging organizations to hire people with a history of incarceration? Does it help or hinder efforts?

Wang: An estimated 70 million people in the United States—nearly one in three adults—have a prior arrest or conviction record. The US criminal justice system, which disproportionately incarcerates people of color, has created an entire generation of racial and ethnic minorities with criminal records who are being excluded from gainful employment. A conviction in one’s past shouldn’t be a life sentence to joblessness. Expanding fair-chance hiring laws are critical to encouraging organizations to hire qualified people with histories of incarceration.

PHLN: Who else do you believe needs to be at the table for improving the health of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people and their communities?

Wang: Health systems, insurers, and payors of healthcare have largely been absent from criminal justice reform, in spite of the large role they play in improving the health of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people and their communities and employing capable community members.

Public Health Law News Quiz

The first reader to correctly answer the quiz question will be featured in a mini public health law profile in the December 2019 edition of the News. Email your entry to with “PHL Quiz” as the subject heading (entries without the heading will not be considered). Good luck!

Public Health Law News Quiz Question — November 2019

What are the acceptable levels of lead in India, Mexico, and Egypt according to the countries’ government websites?

October 2019 Quiz Winner

Zachary Heth

October Question:
According to a May 2019 report by the US Department of Agriculture, what is the median distance to the nearest food store for rural populations in 2015?

Winning Answer:
3.11 miles

Employment organization and job title:
I am an epidemiologist at the Tennessee Department of Health in the Division of Viral Hepatitis.

A brief explanation of your job:
Much of my position involves conducting data analysis, improving data quality, and assuring data integrity. All of these efforts help support our surveillance and evaluation of hepatitis B and C viruses in Tennessee.

Master of Public Health from Emory University; Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology from Arizona State University.

Favorite section of the Public Health Law News
My favorite part is to see what other jurisdictions (local, state, federal, or international) are doing to address public health concerns. I love seeing how similar issues are being handled differently; it allows us to easily synthesize different approaches and learn about novel solutions.

Why are you interested in public health law?
I’m interested in public health law because as an epidemiologist, I see the downstream affects law can have on health. Whether it is rules regulating the environment to create clean air and water, or laws dictating housing standards and the criminalization of homelessness, they all play a part in the health and wellbeing of the public. Using legal epidemiology, we as public health practitioners can help evaluate the role of laws in either improving or worsening the public’s health. It’s my hope that we can use an understanding of public health law and legal epidemiology to create not only healthier cities and people, but a healthier environment as well.

What is your favorite hobby?
You’ll most likely find me either planning my next vacation or taking it. Traveling and exploring are my favorite hobbies—be it new places, cultures, or new corners of my own city.

Court Filings and Opinions

California: Connor Evans, a teen who was hospitalized as a result of a vaping-related lung illness, has filed a complaint in California against JUUL, the vapor products manufacturer. In May 2019, Evans fell critically ill and was placed in a medically induced coma for eight days while he required intubation. He received a “working diagnosis” of “acute pneumonitis secondary to [viral infection or] inhalation exposure (vaping).” Evans contends that he used JUUL products so frequently because the misleading advertising caused him to believe that JUUL was safe. He alleges that JUUL made material misrepresentations in marketing and failed to warn about the harm its products may cause. The lawsuit alleges negligence, strict liability, failure to warn, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of implied warranty, breach of express warranty, deceit by concealment, and constructive fraud.

Evans v. JUULexternal icon
Superior Court of California – Los Angeles County
Case No. 19STCV37327
Filed October 21, 2019

Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Superior Court denied a preliminary injunction against the vaping ban issued by the governor and health department. The court examined the balance of harms to the plaintiffs, who are primarily vapor product retailors, and to the public. While the court acknowledges that there is no consensus among government agencies about how best to address the vapor-related lung illness, the “evidence indisputably demonstrates numerous vaping injuries and death.” The court found that the health department failed to use the proper process to enact its emergency regulation, but the proper remedy was to allow the department to come into compliance with the administrative procedures set forth in Massachusetts law, not to strike down the emergency regulations themselves. Since this order addresses only a preliminary injunction and not a ruling on the merits, further litigation is anticipated.

Vapor Technology Association v. Bakerexternal icon
Superior Court of Massachusetts – Suffolk
Case No. 2019-3102-D
Decided October 21, 2019
Associate Justice Douglas H. Wilkins

Federal: A federal judge in the Southern District of New York vacated a United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Rule that was to take effect on November 22 on multiple grounds in a 147-page opinion. The court referred to the substantive provisions of the Rule as the “Conscious Provisions,” which addressed a wide array of topics, but generally stated that “no individual may be required to perform or ‘assist in the performance’ of any HHS-funded health service program or research activity contrary to his religious or moral belief.” The court found that, because of the substantive nature, the rules superseded Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Additionally, the court found that HHS had “exceeded its statutory authority” entirely for some of the contested rules, and partially from those rules that related to the Affordable Care Act and Medicare and Medicaid statutes. The court further found that HHS did not meet a heightened “reasoned explanation” standard for implementing the rule as required under law when an agency changes its position. In essence, the court found multiple different grounds on which to vacate the rules, both substantively and procedurally.

New York v. US Department of Health and Human Servicespdf icon[PDF – 670KB]external icon
Southern District of New York
Case No. 1:19-CV-04676-PAE
Decided November 6, 2019
United States District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer

Quote of the Month

“The Internet is the Wild West. People know that by law they need to have their kids restrained, but they have no training in safety and see something for $12 and say, ‘That’s a good deal,’” said Stephanie Tombrello, a child-passenger safety technician (CPST) instructor and executive director of the nonprofit SafetyBeltSafe USA, who has been working in car-seat safety since 1970. “

[Editor’s note: This quote is from the article “Knockoff car seats are infiltrating the market, and they could be deadlyexternal icon.” The Washington Post, 11/05/2019.]

The Public Health Law Newsis published the third Thursday of each month except holidays, plus special issues when warranted. It is distributed only in electronic form and is free of charge.

The Newsis published by the Public Health Law Program in the Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support.


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Public Health Law News (the News) content is selected solely on the basis of newsworthiness and potential interest to readers. CDC and HHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented from other sources. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or HHS. Opinions expressed by the original authors of items included in the News, persons quoted therein, or persons interviewed for the News are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or HHS. References to products, trade names, publications, news sources, and non-CDC websites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or HHS. Legal cases are presented for educational purposes only, and are not meant to represent the current state of the law. The findings and conclusions reported in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of CDC or HHS. The News is in the public domain and may be freely forwarded and reproduced without permission. The original news sources and the Public Health Law News should be cited as sources. Readers should contact the cited news sources for the full text of the articles.

Page last reviewed: November 21, 2019