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Stormans, Inc. v. Selecky

Federal court challenge to a Washington law that requires all pharmacies to carry and deliver prescription drugs, including emergency contraception. The law does not require individual pharmacists to deliver all drugs, but does require that all pharmacies fill any valid prescription. In November 2007, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington temporarily enjoined the law. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the injunction as overly broad and, based on an erroneous legal standard, sent the case back to the district court in July 2009. Following a rehearing in October 2009, the 9th Circuit again vacated the injunction and sent the case back to the district court. Before the district court reevaluated Plaintiffs’ temporary injunction request, the parties agreed to stay enforcement of the rules against the Plaintiffs while the state Board of Pharmacy considered amending the disputed rule. Ultimately, the board decided not to amend the rule, and the case proceeded to trial in the district court. In February 2012, the district court struck down the law as violating individual pharmacists’ right to religiously object to dispense emergency contraception. The state appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the district court opinion in July 2015, holding that the law operates neutrally for the purpose of the Free Exercise Clause. Current Status: In January 2016, plaintiffs filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court. (See the law here. See the July 2009 9th Circuit opinion here. See the October 2009 9th Circuit opinion here. See the 2012 district court opinion here. See the July 2015 9th Circuit opinion here.)