San Francisco successfully blocks discriminatory health care rule

Court blocks so-called ‘conscience rule’ that would have denied critical medical care to patients.

SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 19, 2019) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera released the following statement today after a federal court issued a summary judgment invalidating a discriminatory federal health care rule sometimes referred to as the “conscience rule”:

“The decision today is a victory for health care equality and patients’ rights. Discriminatory regulations cannot be allowed to threaten patient health. No one should have to fear being denied critical medical service in their time of need. In particular, this rule targeted women, LGBTQ communities and other vulnerable patients, but it would have put anyone in an emergency situation at risk. We’re not about to let the Trump administration jeopardize public health and safety with this unconscionable rule.” [Read more]


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Climate Change

City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Oakland City Attorney Barbara J. Parker filed separate lawsuits on behalf of their respective cities against the top five oil and gas companies, asking the courts to hold them responsible for the costs of the infrastructure necessary to protect their cities from the consequences of climate change caused by their massive production of fossil fuels.

Sanctuary Cities

On January 31, 2017 City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump and his administration for his executive order directing enforcement action against sanctuary cities and threatening to withhold federal funding from these cities. The suit claims that the order is unconstitutional and exceeds the president’s power.

Gun Safety

Five online suppliers that had been flouting both state and San Francisco law by selling illegal large-capacity magazines as “repair kits” to customers in California have agreed to a wide-ranging injunction that compels them to follow the law. The settlement agreement improves safety in California communities and ensures that rogue companies comply with the law.

Affordable Housing

In efforts to combat the affordable housing crisis in San Francisco, City Attorney Dennis Herrera has taken broad actions ranging from filing lawsuits against unscrupulous landowners like Academy of Art University to cracking down on affordable housing fraudsters.


Featured Highlights

Accepting Internship Applications

The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office’s Law School Internship Program is a unique and competitive educational offering that draws applicants from across the nation.  Participants are chosen based on their promise to emerge as leaders and difference-makers in government and public-interest law, and they work closely with mentors on a wide range of meaningful cases.  But you can’t be accepted if you don’t apply on-time.  Applications for the Spring 2020 program must be received by October 18th, 2019.

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Major Cases Map

Our new major cases map feature (still in beta) enables users to browse neighborhoods, navigate the city, and click on geo-tags for informational pop-ups about the City Attorney’s Office’s work there. Each pop-up  links to news releases to read more on the case. 

Deputy City Attorneys Jon Givner and Andrew Shen

Political activities

The City Attorney’s Office’s annual political activities memo offers a useful overview of basic rules that city officials and employees must follow if they choose to take part in activities for political campaigns.  There is also helpful guidance for commissions and departments.

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Good Government

Check out the extensive resources that the City Attorney’s Office offers to help ensure adherence to good government practices by city officials and employees. Most of these are also helpful for residents, to further their understanding of local law and government. There is also helpful guidance for commissions and departments.

About the Office

Learn why the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office has been honored by the American Bar Association for “outstanding excellence,” and praised as “one of the most aggressive and talented city law departments in the nation” by American Lawyer magazine.