CVS v. Doe
No. 20-1374
United States Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) filed an amicus brief on Friday in support of CVS Pharmacy, arguing that Americans should not be able to sue for monetary damages simply because a well-intentioned policy has a disproportionate negative impact on the disabled.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits federally-financed health programs from discriminating as defined by the Rehabilitation Act. Plaintiffs attorneys filed suit across the country arguing that CVS Pharmacy’s specialty-drug program is discriminatory because it disproportionately impacts those who seek prescription medications related to HIV. CVS gives those who take specialty medicines a couple of options: they may choose to have them delivered to their home or pick them up from a local CVS pharmacy. If they want to pick them up at a different pharmacy, they pay more.

IWLC filed a brief in support of CVS’s argument that Congress did not authorize disparate impact claims under the ACA and Rehabilitation Act.

IWLC argues it is for Congress—and Congress alone—to determine whether a statute creates a particular cause of action.

Jennifer C. Braceras, director of Independent Women’s Law Center, issued the following statement: “If the Ninth Circuit’s ruling is allowed to stand, almost every medical provider, college, university, K-12 school, and business that received federal assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic could face liability for well-meaning programs that have a disproportionate impact on those with disabilities. Courts should not take it upon themselves to redefine illegal discrimination in a way that Congress did not intend.”

Erin Hawley, senior legal fellow at Independent Women’s Law Center, said: “Judicial decisions, like the one entered by the Ninth Circuit below, usurp the role the Founders accorded to Congress. It violates separation of powers principles for an unelected judiciary to create causes of action. The Supreme Court should grant certiorari and make clear that the federal courts must stay in their interpretive lane.”

Read the brief HERE.


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Independent Women’s Law Center advocates for equal opportunity, individual liberty, and respect for the American constitutional order.