May 19, 2024 7:48 pm

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Inslee and Ferguson respond to Supreme Court abortion pill decision

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 21, 2023—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted an emergency request by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on behalf of the FDA and other defendants, to halt a lower-court’s ruling that suspended the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the abortion pill, mifepristone.

“The April 7, 2023, order of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, case No. 2:22–cv–223, is stayed pending disposition of the appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari, if such a writ is timely sought,” the response to the Application of Stay reads.

The stay was approved 7-2 with justices Clearance Thomas and Samuel Alito dissenting.

“Our granting of a stay of a lower-court decision is an equitable remedy,” Alito writes as one of his reasons against approving the stay. “It should not be given if the moving party has not acted equitably, and that is the situation here. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has engaged in what has become the practice of ‘leverag[ing]’ district court injunctions ‘as a basis’ for implementing a desired policy while evading both necessary agency procedures and judicial review.”

He further stated that because the Fifth Circuit court will be hearing the DOJ’s appeal within the next 26 days, “the applicants are not entitled to a stay because they have not shown that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm in the interim.”

The abortion pill, mifepristone, is to remain available nationwide as litigation plays out in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The oral arguments in the lower-court for the case are scheduled at 1 p.m. CT, on Wednesday, May 17.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas, halted the FDA’s approval of the abortion pill Mifepristone on Friday, April 7, just three days after Governor Jay Inslee announced the purchase of a three-year supply of the abortion-inducing pill.

Governor Jay Inslee, praised the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision and hopes the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas overturn’s Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling calling it “misguided” and “dangerous.”

“Continuing the stay is a half-step in the right direction,” Gov. Inslee tweeted on Friday. “Hopefully this court will ultimately overrule the entire misguided and dangerous ruling from Texas. Until then, the threat to reproductive freedom remains.”

Attorney General Bob Ferguson reminded residents in a tweet Friday, that mifepristone remains accessible in Washington state thanks to his lawsuit which U.S. District Court Judge Thomas O Rice of Eastern District of Washington, granted an injunction on April 7 in Washington and 17 other states from, “altering the status quo and rights as it relates to the availability of Mifepristone.”

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