Jacobson v. Bassett

Case Number: 3:22-cv-00033-MAD-ML


The State of New York implemented a policy that rationed COVID-19 treatment based on the patient’s race rather than their medical need.


AFL sent the State of New York a cease-and-desist letter demanding that the state stop using race as the basis for rationing life-saving COVID-19 treatment. Unlike the states of Minnesota, Utah, and New Mexico, however, New York did not reverse course after receiving AFL’s letter, so AFL sued the state on behalf of its client, Cornell Law School Professor William Jacobson. AFL moved for a preliminary injunction and class certification to stop New York from using race as a criterion to determine whether or not a patient was eligible for medical care.


The District Court and the Second Circuit ruled against our client based on standing. We disagree with those decisions, but they have largely been overcome by events related to the elimination of measures concerning COVID-19.

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