There's many reasons to criticize the ruling by a federal judge in Texas, Matthew Kacsmaryk, declaring that the abortion medication mifepristone has to be withdrawn from the market by the FDA.
I talked about some of those reasons in my first post about this wacko legal decision.
Today the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an initial ruling on an appeal by the Justice Department which provides more fodder for those of us who consider this to be a classic case of judicial overreach and incompetence.
It was great to see that executives of leading pharmaceutical companies, along with many others, have signed a letter condemning Judge Kacsmaryk's decision and warning of the consequences for other safe and effective drugs.
Here's the core of the letter.
Note the warning: "If courts can overturn drug approvals without regard for science or evidence, or for the complexity required to fully vet the safety and efficacy of new drugs, any medicine is at risk for the same outcome as mifepristone."
This is what today's anti-abortion zealots and their enablers in the Republican Party have brought us.
Chaos that threatens lives. They're not pro-life. They're pro-death, because they want to make it possible for a single extreme right-wing federal judge to be able to ban any safe and effective drug for no good reason.
Hopefully the Supreme Court will recognize the danger of letting Kacsmaryk's screwy ruling stand. After all, this is the court that said in their decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, we want to allow the states to decide whether to keep abortion legal.
A New York Times story describes how hollow that promise may turn out to be.
When the Supreme Court eliminated the constitutional right to abortion in June, overturning a half-century of precedents, it made a vow. Writing for the majority in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said that “the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.”
“Women on both sides of the abortion issue,” he wrote, should “seek to affect the legislative process by influencing public opinion, lobbying legislators, voting and running for office.” The early evidence suggests that supporters of abortion rights are winning those political battles.
By contrast, the new case, taking issue with an administrative agency’s scientific assessment of the safety of the pill, indicates that opponents of abortion continue to think that the judiciary is their most potent ally.
There's so much wrong with both Kacsmaryk's initial ruling and the Fifth Circuit's decision that left much of that bad ruling intact.
Today I've heard attorneys castigate the bizarre notion that some emergency room doctors had the legal standing to challenge the FDA approval of mifepristone because statistically speaking, eventually a pregnant woman who takes the drug will have a side effect that requires an emergency room visit where one of the doctors will have to take the time and trouble to treat her.
Aside from this notion being at odds with a Supreme Court precedent governing standing, this is what E.R. doctors are supposed to do. Treat people who come to an emergency room. That isn't a burden needing a judicial remedy. It's what E.R. doctors do every day -- help sick people.
If you're into legal stuff like this -- I find it fascinating -- I recently discovered Chris Geidner, the "Law Dork," on Twitter. I believe his full time job now is weighing in on important legal issues via Twitter and his substack newsletter, which I've subscribed to.
Through Geidner, I found "Adam's Legal Newsletter," another substack newsletter. It has a great piece about this case, Mifepristone and the rule of law, part III.
The Fifth Circuit’s decision is less wrong than Judge Kacsmaryk’s decision. However, it is still very, very wrong. In this post, I will attempt to explain why.
Adam does just that. I heartily recommend his piece for those who like to delve into legal geekiness.