Wednesday, April 21, 2021

5th Circuit Remands Religious Medical Providers' Challenge To Anti-Discrimination Rules

In Franciscan Alliance, Inc. v. Becerra, (5th Cir., April 15, 2021), the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals remanded to a Texas federal district court a challenge by religious medical providers to a 2016 Health and Human Services rule that prohibited discrimination on the basis of "termination of pregnancy" and "gender identity." The appeals court noted that since the district court decision, "the legal landscape has shifted significantly." It pointed out: 

HHS repealed the 2016 rule and finalized a new rule in 2020; the Supreme Court interpreted Title VII’s prohibition of “sex discrimination” to include gender identity...; two district courts entered preliminary injunctions against the 2020 rule....; President Biden issued an executive order declaring that his administration would apply Bostock’s interpretation of Title VII to other statutes prohibiting sex discrimination; and HHS is again considering a new rule....

The court said that on remand the district court should consider they type of relief that should be granted and whether the case is moot.