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Commonwealth v. Trump

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

December 15, 2017




         The interests at stake in this litigation are great, but the issues that must be decided here on Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction are narrow. This case implicates access to healthcare, religious freedom, women's rights, and executive power. However, the Court currently addresses only two precise questions: Did the Defendants here follow the proper procedure in issuing new rules that greatly expand exemptions to the law requiring health plans to cover women's preventive services at no cost, and do the new rules contradict the text of the statute that they are meant to interpret?

         Plaintiff, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (“Commonwealth”), seeks to enjoin enforcement of two Interim Final Rules (“New IFRs”), referred to as the Moral Exemption Rule and the Religious Exemption Rule, modifying the Affordable Care Act. The New IFRs were issued by the Departments of Health and Human Services, the Department of Treasury, and the Department of Labor on October 6, 2017. They permit employers to opt out of providing no-cost contraceptive coverage on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs or sincerely held moral convictions. The parties here have vastly different perspectives on the import of the New IFRs. The Defendants assert that they are meant to permit a small number of religious objectors to opt out of covering contraceptive services in their employer-sponsored health plans because the requirement to provide contraceptive coverage imposes a substantial burden on their exercise of religion. Quite to the contrary, the Commonwealth argues that the Rules allow almost any employer to withhold insurance coverage for contraceptive services from their female employees, thus impacting millions of women - all in contravention of the Affordable Care Act and the United States Constitution.

         The Commonwealth has sued President Donald J. Trump, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Donald J. Wright, [1] United States Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin, and United States Secretary of Labor Rene Alexander Acosta in their official capacities, as well as each of their agencies (collectively, “Defendants”). It now seeks to enjoin the Defendants from enforcing the New IFRs for a variety of constitutional and statutory violations. For the reasons explained below, the Motion for a Preliminary Injunction shall be granted.

         I. Background[2]

         In March 2010, Congress enacted the Affordable Care Act. See Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Pub. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010). The ACA included a provision called the Women's Health Amendment, which mandated that group health plans and health insurance issuers offering group or individual health insurance provide coverage for preventive health services and screenings for women without cost-sharing responsibilities. The preventive services that must be covered include, “with respect to women, such additional preventive care and screenings . . . as provided for in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).” See 42 U.S.C. § 300gg-13(a)(4). Thus, Congress left the decision about which preventive care and screenings should be covered by the ACA up to the HRSA, which is an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

         The HRSA commissioned the Institute of Medicine (“the Institute”) to issue recommendations identifying what specific preventive women's health services should be covered under the ACA's mandate. See 77 Fed. Reg. 8725-26. The Institute is an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, an organization that Congress established for the explicit purpose of furnishing advice to the federal government. See Pub. Citizen v. Dep't of Justice, 491 U.S. 440, 460 n.11 (1989). The Institute, in turn, convened a committee of sixteen members (the “Committee”), including specialists in disease prevention, women's health issues, adolescent health issues, and evidence-based guidelines, to formulate specific recommendations. The Committee defined preventive health services to include measures “shown to improve well-being and/or decrease the likelihood or delay the onset of a targeted disease or condition.” Institute, Clinical Prevention Services for Women: Closing the Gaps 23 (2011) (“Institute Report”).

         On July 19, 2011, the Institute, through the Committee, issued a comprehensive report that identified health services that should be covered under the Women's Health Amendment. Id. at 8-12. It recommended that the ACA cover “the full range of [FDA]-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for women with reproductive capacity.” Id. at 109-10. The Committee considered: (1) the prevalence of unintended pregnancy in the United States; (2) potential health risks of pregnancy; (3) that decreased intervals between pregnancies lead to an “increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes”; (4) the effectiveness of contraceptives in preventing unintended pregnancy; (5) the health benefits of contraceptives for other diseases and conditions; and (6) the barrier to contraceptive access presented by its cost. See Id. at 104-10.

         Original Religious Exemption

         On August 1, 2011, HRSA adopted the Institute's recommendations in guidelines, which required, among other things, that plans must cover all FDA-approved contraceptive methods (“Contraceptive Mandate”). 45 C.F.R. § 147.130(a)(1)(iv); 29 C.F.R. § 2590.715-2713(a)(1)(iv); 26 C.F.R. § 54.9815-2713(a)(1)(iv). This requirement applied to all health insurers offering individual or group insurance, as well as all group health plans, with the exception of certain “grandfathered” plans. See 29 C.F.R. § 2590.715-1251. Simultaneously, the Departments of HHS, Labor, and the Treasury (“the Agencies” or “Defendant Agencies”) also promulgated an Interim Final Rule (“IFR”) exempting certain religious employers from providing contraceptive services (“Original Religious Exemption”). See 76 Fed. Reg. 46621. To take advantage of that exemption, an employer must: (1) have the inculcation of religious values as its purpose; (2) primarily employ people who share its religious tenets; (3) primarily provide services to persons who share its religious tenets; and, (4) be a church, its integrated auxiliary, or a convention or association of a church, all of which are exempt from taxation under 26 U.S.C. § 501(a). See Id. at 46623.

         Second Religious Exemption and Accommodation Process

         Following several legal challenges to the Contraceptive Mandate, the Agencies began to consider changes to the religious exemptions. In March 2012, they issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning a potential accommodation process for religious objectors to the Contraceptive Mandate. 77 Fed. Reg. 16501. After a comment period, they then issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing changes to the definition of religious organizations in the exemption and creating an accommodation process for religious objectors to the Contraceptive Mandate. 78 Fed. Reg. 8456. The Agencies published final regulations on July 2, 2013 (“Second Religious Exemption”). See 78 Fed. Reg. 39870. These regulations redefined a religious employer to only refer to churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches, eliminating the need to fulfill the first three requirements of the prior regulations of the exemption. Upon a covered entity claiming the exemption, the provider or administrator would then have to provide the legally required contraceptive services directly to women covered under the employer's plan (“Accommodation Process”).

         Third Religious Exemption and Accommodation Process

         Following enactment of the ACA and the Second Religious Exemption, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether the Contraceptive Mandate violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-1 (RFRA). In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 134 S.Ct. 2751 (2014), the Supreme Court concluded that applying the Contraceptive Mandate to closely held corporations violated RFRA. In Wheaton Coll. v. Burwell, 134 S.Ct. 2806 (2014), the Court identified an alternative process by which Wheaton College could comply with the Contraceptive Mandate without informing its health insurer or third-party administrator: The Court permitted Wheaton College to “inform[] the Secretary of Health and Human Service in writing that it . . . has religious objections to providing coverage for contraceptive services. Id. at 2807. In response to Hobby Lobby and Wheaton College, the Agencies issued a third set of IFRs to augment the Accommodation Process to comply with the Supreme Court's s. See 79 Fed. Reg. 51092, 51118 (expanding the Accommodation Process to include for-profit corporations and to adjust the Accommodation Process). The Agencies finalized the IFRs on July 14, 2015 (“Third Religious Exemption”). See 80 Fed. Reg. 41318, 41324.

         One year later, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether the Accommodation Process violated RFRA. The question before the Supreme Court was whether the requirement to notify plaintiffs' insurers of their religious objections substantially burdened their exercise of religion in violation of RFRA. The Supreme Court did not address the question head on. Rather, it vacated the judgments of the courts of appeals and remanded the cases to provide the parties “an opportunity to arrive at an approach going forward that accommodates petitioners' religious exercise while at the same time ensuring that women covered by petitioners' health plans ‘receive full and equal health coverage, including contraceptive coverage.'” Zubik v. Burwell, 136 S.Ct. 1557, 1560 (2016). The Agencies then issued a Request for Information (“RFI”) seeking public comment on options for modifying the Accommodation Process in light of Zubik. See 81 Fed. Reg. 47741. On January 9, 2017, the Department of Labor announced that it was unable to develop an approach that could “resolve the concerns of religious objectors, while still ensuring that the affected women receive full and equal health coverage, including contraceptive coverage.” Department of Labor, FAQs about Affordable Care Act Implementation Part 36 (Jan. 9, 2017).

         Executive Order 13798: “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty”

         On May 4, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty.” Exec. Order No. 13798, 82 Fed. Reg. 21675. The Order directed the Agencies to “consider issuing amended regulations, consistent with applicable law, to address conscience-based objections to the preventive-care mandate promulgated under [the Women's Health Amendment.]” Id. § 3.

         Fourth Religious Exemption and Accommodation Process

         The Agencies issued the New IFRs on October 6, 2017, citing a goal of being “consistent with the President's Executive Order and the Government's desire to resolve the pending litigation and prevent future litigation from similar plaintiffs.” See 82 Fed. Reg. 47792 (“Religious Exemption Rule”); 82 Fed. Reg. 47838 (“Moral Exemption Rule”). The New IFRs embodied two exemptions to the Contraceptive Mandate. First, under the Religious Exemption Rule, any non-profit or for-profit entity, whether closely held or publicly traded, may claim the exemption based on sincerely held religious beliefs. Second, under the Moral Exemption Rule, any non-profit or for-profit entity, so long as it is closely held, may claim the exemption based on sincerely held moral convictions.

         The Religious Exemption and Moral Exemption Rules make significant changes from prior exemptions. First, the new rules greatly expand the scope of who may opt out of the Contraceptive Mandate. Second, the rules render the Accommodation Process optional. Third, they eliminate requirements to provide notice of an intent to take advantage of either exemption. In other words, entities that stop providing contraceptive care “do not need to file notices or certifications of their exemption and [the Exemption Rules] do not impose any new notice requirements on them.”[3] See 82 Fed. Reg. 47850, 47858. Fourth, the New IFRs permit employers to opt out of coverage on the basis of “sincerely held” religious beliefs and moral convictions.

         The Agencies issued the new rules as IFRs and requested post-issuance comments by December 5, 2017, 60 days after they were issued. The Commonwealth filed this suit in the interim seeking to enjoin enforcement of the New IFRs because: (1) they fail to comply with the notice-and-comment procedures required by the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”), 5 U.S.C. § 551, et seq.; (2) they are “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law” in violation of the substantive provisions of the APA, 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A); (3) they violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000-2(a); (4) they violate the Equal Protection Guarantee of the Fifth Amendment, U.S. Const. amend. V; and, (5) they violate the Establishment Clause. U.S. Const. amend. I.

         II. Standing

         A threshold question is whether the Commonwealth has standing. Standing is a litigant's ticket to federal court. It is a constitutional requirement, “limit[ing] the category of litigants empowered to maintain a lawsuit in federal court to seek redress for a legal wrong.” Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540, 1547 (2016); U.S. Const. art. III, § 2, cl. 2. The Commonwealth contends that it is properly before the Court because the New IFRs are causing, or will imminently cause, direct harm to its sovereign, quasi-sovereign and proprietary interests. Additionally, it asserts that it has parens patriae standing to protect the health, safety and well-being of its residents in ensuring that they enjoy access to healthcare services. The Defendants, on the other hand, contend that the Commonwealth has not suffered any legal wrong that would allow it to step foot into federal court.

         “No principle is more fundamental to the judiciary's proper role in our system of government than the constitutional limitation of federal-court jurisdiction to actual cases or controversies.” Raines v. Byrd, 521 U.S. 811, 818 (1997). The doctrine of standing ensures that federal judicial power is properly limited to these cases or controversies. See Finkleman v. Nat'l Football League, 810 F.3d 187, 203 (3d Cir. 2016). Thus, if a plaintiff lacks standing, the case must be dismissed. See Id. at 195. And, as Plaintiff, the Commonwealth has the burden of establishing that it has standing. See Clapper v. Amnesty Int'l USA, 568 U.S. 398, 411-12 (2013).

         To do so, it must satisfy “the irreducible constitutional minimum of standing, ” which “contains three elements.” Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560 (1992). First, the Commonwealth must have suffered an “injury in fact, ” defined as “an invasion of a legally protected interest which is (a) concrete and particularized and (b) actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical.” Id. (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). Second, the Commonwealth must show that there is a “causal connection between the injury and the conduct complained of.” Id. That is, the injury must be “fairly traceable” to the “challenged action of the defendant.” Id. Third, the Commonwealth must show that it is “likely, as opposed to merely speculative, that the injury will be redressed by a favorable decision.” Id. at 561 (internal quotation marks omitted). “Each element [of standing] must be supported in the same way as any other matter on which the plaintiff bears the burden of proof, i.e., with the manner and degree of evidence required at the successive stages of the litigation.” Id. Thus, because the Commonwealth here seeks a preliminary injunction, it must adduce evidence demonstrating more than a mere possibility of injury in support of standing. Doe v. Nat'l Bd. of Med. Exam'rs, 199 F.3d 146, 152 (3d Cir. 1999).

         a. Special Solicitude

         This standing inquiry must be made in the context of a clear recognition that States, like the Commonwealth here, “are not normal litigants for the purposes of invoking federal jurisdiction.” Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497, 518 (2007). Accordingly, a State is “entitled to special solicitude in [the] standing analysis” if it has: (1) a procedural right that authorizes it to challenge the conduct at issue; and, (2) a “stake in protecting its quasi-sovereign interests.” Massachusetts, 549 U.S. at 520; see also Texas v. United States, 809 F.3d 134, 151 (5th Cir. 2015), aff'd by an equally divided Court, 136 S.Ct. 2271 (2016).

         In determining whether the Commonwealth has met these conditions, both Massachusetts v. EPA and Texas v. United States are instructive. In Massachusetts v. EPA, Massachusetts sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), alleging that global warming was “the most pressing environmental challenge of our time, ” and that the EPA had “abdicated its responsibility under the Clean Air Act” when it failed to issue rules regulating the emission of greenhouse gases coming from cars. 549 U.S. at 505. The EPA challenged Massachusetts' standing to bring the suit because greenhouse gas emissions are a widespread and generalized harm not unique to any specific plaintiff. See id. at 517. The Supreme Court nonetheless held that Massachusetts had special solicitude in the standing inquiry to challenge the EPA's inaction: First, Massachusetts had a procedural right under the relevant statute, the Clean Air Act, which allowed it to “challenge agency action unlawfully withheld.” Id. (citing 42 U.S.C. § 7607(b)(1)). Second, Massachusetts had a quasi-sovereign interest - a “well-founded desire to preserve its sovereign territory” from the effects of global warming. Id. at 519. Indeed, Massachusetts “own[ed] a great deal of the ‘territory alleged to be affected.'” Id.; see also id. at 522 (affidavits noting that “rising seas have already begun to swallow Massachusetts' coastal land.”). After concluding that Massachusetts was entitled to special solicitude in the standing analysis, the Supreme Court ultimately held that it had Article III standing to sue the EPA based on an injury to its territory that stemmed from global warming. See id. at 526.

         In Texas v. United States, the Fifth Circuit, relying on Massachusetts v. EPA, similarly concluded that Texas, as a State, was entitled to special solicitude in seeking to enjoin implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program (DAPA). 809 F.3d at 154. In that case, non-citizens in Texas could apply for a driver's license if they presented “documentation issued by the appropriate United States agency that authorizes the applicant to be in the United States.” See id. at 155 (quoting Tex. Transp. Code § 521.142(a)). DAPA would have permitted at least 500, 000 non-citizens to qualify for these driver's licenses. Id. Because Texas subsidized its licenses, it would have lost money for each license issued to a DAPA beneficiary. Id. Texas therefore sought injunctive relief to prevent DAPA's implementation. See Id. at 149.

         Applying the Massachusetts v. EPA framework, the Fifth Circuit first considered whether Texas had a procedural right to challenge DAPA. It concluded that Texas' use of the APA to challenge an “affirmative decision” made by a federal agency was similar to Massachusetts' use of the judicial review provision in the Clean Air Act to challenge the EPA's inaction. Id. at 152. Second, as to Texas' quasi-sovereign interest, the Fifth Circuit held that DAPA imposed “substantial pressure” on the State to change its laws to avoid bearing further costs from subsidizing additional driver's licenses. See id. at 153. The Fifth Circuit thus concluded that Texas had special solicitude in suing the federal government under the APA for injunctive relief. Id. at 154-55.

         On writ of certiorari, the Supreme Court summarily affirmed the Fifth Circuit's decision without opinion but with a notation that the affirmance was “by an equally divided Court.” United States v. Texas, 136 S.Ct. 2271 (2016) (per curiam). Notably, one question certified by the Supreme Court included whether Texas had standing. See United States v. Texas, 136 S.Ct. 906 (2016) (granting petition for writ of certiorari for, among other things, whether Texas had standing). Affirmances by an equally divided Supreme Court typically do not constitute binding precedent. See Eaton v. Price, 364 U.S. 263, 264 (1960). However, when the Supreme Court is equally divided on an issue of subject matter jurisdiction, it has determined that the proper course is to remand the issue of jurisdiction to a lower court. See Silliman v. Hudson River Bridge Co., 66 U.S. 582, 584-85 (1861). In other words, if the Supreme Court were equally divided on whether Texas had standing to enjoin DAPA, it would have remanded that issue to the Fifth Circuit. The Supreme Court did not and instead affirmed the Fifth Circuit. It therefore follows logically that a majority of the Supreme Court decided that Texas had standing to pursue its APA claim.[4]

         There is no daylight between the 2015 Texas suit against the federal government and the current Commonwealth suit against the federal government. Like Texas, the Commonwealth challenges agency action in issuing regulations - here, the New IFRs. See Texas, 809 F.3d at 152. It is all the more significant that the Commonwealth, like Texas before it, sues to halt affirmative conduct made by a federal agency. See Id. Whereas Massachusetts v. EPA concerned regulatory inaction - the EPA's order denying a rulemaking petition - the Commonwealth's case here challenges regulatory action that, it contends, affects its legally cognizable interests. See 549 U.S. at 514. Thus, it is especially appropriate to accord the Commonwealth “special solicitude.” Texas, 809 F.3d at 152-53. Furthermore, like Texas and Massachusetts, the Commonwealth seeks to protect a quasi-sovereign interest - the health of its women residents. See Alfred L. Snapp & Son, Inc. v. Puerto Rico, 458 U.S. 592, 600-01 (1982) (holding that a State has a “quasi-sovereign interest in the health and wellbeing - both physical and economic - of its residents in general.”). As the Commonwealth observes, contraceptives offer significant health benefits, including the prevention of unintended pregnancies, and the treatment of menstrual disorders, acne or hirsutism, and pelvic pain. This quasi-sovereign interest in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of its women residents is inextricably intertwined with the Commonwealth's alleged future fiscal injury that, as will be discussed later, goes to the heart of its Article III standing. See Texas, 809 F.3d at 153 (concluding that DAPA affected quasi-sovereign interest by “imposing substantial pressure” on Texas to change its laws to avoid losing more money from driver license subsidies). According to the Commonwealth (and as addressed more fully below), the Agencies' New IFRs will allow more employers to exempt themselves from the ACA's Contraceptive Mandate. Consequently, the Commonwealth contends that Pennsylvanian women will seek state-funded sources of contraceptive care. Such a course of action will likely cause the Commonwealth to expend more funds to protect its quasi-sovereign interest in ensuring that women residents receive adequate contraceptive care. The Commonwealth, then, meets the two conditions outlined in Massachusetts v. EPA and shall be accorded special solicitude in the standing analysis.

         b. Article III Standing

         As previously stated, the three pillars of standing are injury in fact, causation, and redressability. Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560. First, an agency rule that has “a major effect on the states' fiscs” is sufficient to find injury in fact. Texas, 809 F.3d at 152; id. at 155 (Texas “satisfied the first standing requirement by demonstrating that it would incur significant costs in issuing driver's licenses to DAPA beneficiaries.”); see also Wyoming v. Oklahoma, 502 U.S. 437, 448 (1992) (holding that Wyoming had Article III standing because it undisputedly suffered a “direct injury in the form of a loss of specific tax revenues”); Danvers Motor Co., Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., 432 F.3d 286, 291 (3d Cir. 2005) (“While it is difficult to reduce injury-in-fact to a simple formula, economic injury is one of its paradigmatic forms.”).

         The New IFRs will likely inflict a direct injury upon the Commonwealth by imposing substantial financial burdens on State coffers. Specifically, the Commonwealth will have to increase its expenditures for State and local programs providing contraceptive services. This is not a speculative harm. As the Defendants themselves noted in issuing one of the New IFRs, “there are multiple Federal, State, and local programs that provide free or subsidized contraceptives for low-income women.” 82 Fed. Reg. 47803. As more women residents of the Commonwealth are deprived of contraceptive services through their insurance plans and turn to these State and local programs, the Commonwealth will likely make greater expenditures to ensure adequate contraceptive care. And although Defendants point out that the Commonwealth has not yet identified a woman resident of Pennsylvania who has lost contraceptive coverage as a result of the New IFRs, the Commonwealth need not sit idly by and wait for fiscal harm to befall it. See McNair v. Synapse Group Inc., 672 F.3d 213, 223 (3d Cir. 2012) (“When, as in this case, prospective relief is sought, the plaintiff must show that he is “likely to suffer future injury” from the defendant's conduct.”) (quoting City of Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 105 (1983)). As the New IFRs themselves estimate, they will cause at least 31, 700 women to lose contraceptive coverage. 82 Fed. Reg. 47821.

         Indeed, the Commonwealth's affidavits confirm that its women residents will come to rely more on State-funded sources. The Acting Executive Deputy Secretary for the Commonwealth's Department of Human Services concludes that it would not be unreasonable to expect women who do not receive contraceptive care from their insurers to rely on government-funded programs. See Decl. of Leesa Allen ¶ 23 (“Allen Decl.”). The Executive Deputy Insurance Commissioner for the Commonwealth echoes a similar view, expecting women who lose contraceptive coverage to seek coverage from State-funded programs (or pay for the contraceptives themselves). See Decl. of Seth A. Mendelsohn (“Medelsohn Decl.”) ¶ 15. The CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania also expects that, as a result of the New IFRs, many low-income women will have to rely on government-funded programs to obtain contraceptive care. See Decl. of Dayle Steinberg (“Steinberg Decl.”) ¶¶ 24-25. The Commonwealth has furthermore provided evidence from a doctor who practices in Pennsylvania acknowledging that she directs uninsured, low-income women to State programs for contraceptive services. See Tr. 177-78. At bottom, just as Texas' estimated loss due to DAPA supported injury in fact, so too does the Commonwealth's estimated loss due to the New IFRs support injury in fact. See Texas, 809 F.3d at 155.

         Second, the Commonwealth's financial injury is “fairly traceable” to issuance of the New IFRs. By their terms, they expand the scope of the existing religious exemption rule as well as allow employers a new rationale for refusing to provide employees with contraceptive coverage if the refusal is “based on sincerely held moral convictions.” In short, the New IFRs allow more employers to stop providing contraceptive coverage. And as the Commonwealth's various affidavits show, State officials expect that once employers take advantage of the New IFRs more women residents will seek contraceptive care through State-funded programs. The Commonwealth has thus shown a causal connection between the New IFRs and its financial injury.

         Defendants, however, cite to Pennsylvania v. New Jersey, 426 U.S. 660, 664 (1976), and argue that the injury is not “fairly traceable” to the New IFRs because the Commonwealth's fiscal injury is “self-inflicted.” According to Defendants, the Commonwealth cannot shoot itself in the foot and then hobble into federal court by premising injury in fact on costs that flow from elective State programs that offer contraceptive care services to residents.

         Pennsylvania v. New Jersey is distinguishable. In that case, Pennsylvania voluntarily gave tax credits to Pennsylvania residents who paid taxes in New Jersey. Id. at 663. Pennsylvania proceeded to sue New Jersey, contending that the New Jersey tax injured Pennsylvania's fiscs and was constitutionally impermissible. Id. at 662. The Supreme Court found that Pennsylvania lacked standing because the injuries to its fiscs were “self-inflicted, ” resulting, as they did, from a decision of its state legislature. Id. at 664. Pennsylvania was not allowed to “complain about damage inflicted by its own hand” when it enacted a law that incorporated the legislative choices of New Jersey. Id. The harm could have been avoided if Pennsylvania simply changed the law so that it no longer extended credits for taxes paid to New Jersey. See Id. Here, by contrast, funding for the Commonwealth's programs does not explicitly incorporate the legislative choices of the federal government. Rather, the Commonwealth's described injuries flow from the unilateral decision by the Agencies to issue the New IFRs, which will likely cause Pennsylvanian women to seek contraceptive care from other sources, particularly state-funded sources. Consequently, the injunction that the Commonwealth seeks - to enjoin that unilateral federal agency decision - is untethered to any state law that the Commonwealth itself has enacted. See Texas, 809 F.3d at 158 (“The fact that Texas sued in response to a significant change in the defendants' policies shows that its injury is not self-inflicted.”).

         Third, the Commonwealth has satisfied the redressability requirement. Because the Commonwealth is asserting a procedural right under the APA to protect its interests, it “can assert that right without meeting all the normal standards for redressability and immediacy.” See Massachusetts, 549 U.S. at 517-18. If, as here, the litigant is “vested with a procedural right, that litigant has standing if there is some possibility that the requested relief will prompt the injury-causing party to reconsider the decision that allegedly harmed the litigant.” Id. at 518. Enjoining the Agencies' New IFRs based on APA claims should prompt them to reconsider the propriety of the Religious and Moral Exemptions Rules, “which is all a plaintiff must show ...

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