OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 8:35 AM – Saturday, April 15, 2023
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito temporarily blocked a Texas court decision, which restricted patients from obtaining Mifepristone by mail, making the drug widely available again.
In the order issued by Alito, the Court has blocked the decision that was issued by Texas-based U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk on April 7th. The decision by the Texas judge had placed a hold on the abortion drug while a lawsuit challenging the safety of the drug was proceeding in court.
The ruling by Kacsmaryk gave the federal government seven days to appeal the decision.
The Justice Department and Danco Laboratories had both asked the Supreme Court to step in and overturn Kacsmaryk’s ruling.
On Wednesday night, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to suspend the original Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of mifepristone, handing the agency a small victory in the case. However, the Court of Appeals had agreed to restrict the accessibility of the drug, and kept in place the prohibition of the drug being available by mail.
Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar said in the filing from the Justice Department that if the ruling was to stand, then it would “inflict grave harm on women, the medical system, the agency, and the public.”
Danco, the manufacturer of the drug, asked the justices to intervene in an emergency basis. Jessica L. Ellsworth, an attorney for the drug company, said that the decision by Kacsmaryk will “irreparably harm Danco,” preventing it from being able to both conduct its business nationwide, while also complying with its “legal obligations under the FDCA nationwide.”
“The lack of emergency relief from this Court will also harm women, the healthcare system, the pharmaceutical industry, States’ sovereignty interests, and the separation-of-powers,” the attorney told the justices.
On Friday, the Supreme Court intervened and placed the hold on the decision by Kacsmaryk. Justice Alito released a statement and said that the hold would remain in place until midnight on Wednesday in order for the justices to have more time to consider the issue as a whole.
The move by the Supreme Court means that the abortion drug will now be available to women by mail once again, while the battle in court continues.
When the pause by the Supreme Court was confirmed, the Biden administration released a statement saying that they “stand by the FDA” and that “the stakes of this fight could not be higher.”
President Joe Biden also slammed the Texas court and the decision, saying that the issue at hand is “out of their domain.”
“I think it’s outrageous what the court has done, relative to concluding that they’re going to overrule the FDA on whether something is safe or not,” he said. “I think it’s out of their domain.”
The case being played out in the courts is the most important abortion-related case that the Supreme Court has been involved in since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022.
A decision by the Supreme Court is expected by midnight on Wednesday April 19th.
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