On March 13, A&B obtained a nationwide preliminary injunction barring the U.S. Department of Agriculture from implementing a new regulation that would have terminated food stamp assistance for almost 700,000 low-income people across the country. The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued the new rule last December, and it was slated to take effect on April 1, 2020. The A&B team worked through the yearend holidays and filed the case in D.C. Federal District Court in January, developing cutting-edge legal arguments under the Administrative Procedure Act and establishing the factual and legal basis to prove that an injunction was needed to prevent irreparable harm. Maintaining these essential nutrition benefits for such a large number of low-income people took on added significance as the COVID-19 economic crisis coincided with the issuance of the injunction.
The A&B team, Dan Jarcho, Kelley Barnaby, Rae Bimmerle, Jean Richmann, Hilla Shimshoni, Kaelyn Wietelman and Janet Armbruster, has worked closely on this case with two of the most prominent pro bono organizations in D.C., which have deep and longstanding ties to Alston & Bird: The Legal Aid Society of D.C. serves as A&B’s co-counsel in the case and Bread for the City is one of the plaintiff organizations. The case has also involved coordination with 19 state attorneys general, who filed a parallel case, counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives, which filed an amicus brief, and pro bono organizations throughout the country. The case is not over; additional proceedings in D.C. District Court and a potential appeal to the D.C. Circuit lie in the future.
COVID-19 – Virtual Opportunities and More!
The Firm’s Disaster Relief Blog has been activated and continues to be updated on a regular basis to keep everyone connected with resources, activities for employees and families, as well as virtual volunteer and pro bono experiences. Click here to access the blog and be sure to check back frequently for current opportunities and updates.