How the SCOTUS ‘Supermajority’ is shaping policy on everything from abortion to guns

June 6, 2023
By Dave Davies
44-Minute Listen

Constitutional lawyer Michael Waldman says that there's an increasing distance between the American people and the Supreme Court. He points out that Democrats have won the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections, but Republican presidents have appointed six of the nine justices now on the Supreme Court.

"In a sense, the country is moving in one direction and, with this locked-in majority supermajority, the Court is moving fast in another direction," Waldman says.


USA – Outspoken abortion provider LeRoy ‘Lee’ Carhart dies at 81

by Lisa Baumann, The Associated Press
Apr 28, 2023

LeRoy “Lee” Carhart, who emerged from a two-decade career as an Air Force surgeon to become one of the best-known late-term abortion providers in the United States, has died. He was 81.

Carhart died Friday, according to Clinics for Abortions & Reproductive Excellence in Bellevue, Nebraska, where he was the medical director. His cause of death was not released by the clinic.

Carhart began focusing on abortions after retiring from the Air Force in 1985. He was one of only a handful of late-term abortion providers in the U.S. and was among the most vocal.


Abortion pill mifepristone is banned or restricted in some states despite Supreme Court ruling

THU, APR 27 2023
Spencer Kimball

The abortion pill mifepristone is either banned or restricted to varying degrees in 27 states despite a Supreme Court decision that — for now — maintains Food and Drug Administration regulations allowing easy access to the medication.

The Supreme Court, acting on an emergency basis, last week blocked lower federal court orders that had imposed severe restrictions on mifepristone even in some states where abortion remains legal.


Abortion pill mifepristone remains legal for now. What happens next?

UT law professor Stephen Vladeck discusses what’s to come in the ongoing legal challenges to abortion after the Supreme Court voted to preserve access to the abortion pill.

By Glorie Martinez and Laura Rice
April 24, 2023

Last Friday, the U.S. awaited action from the Supreme Court in the biggest case involving abortion since Roe v. Wade was overturned. That case traces back to a recent ruling by federal judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Amarillo, who revoked FDA approval for the abortion pill mifepristone which has been widely available since the early 2000s.

Within minutes of the Amarillo ruling, another federal judge in Washington State issued an order for the FDA to keep mifepristone available – a direct challenge to competing court orders. To prevent regulatory chaos, the Biden administration asked the Supreme Court to intervene.


How the latest U.S. abortion pill attacks may have ripple effects in Canada

By Saba Aziz, Global News
April 23, 2023

The escalation of attacks on access to abortion in the United States since the fall of Roe v. Wade last year should “spur” Canada to get its own house in order to provide safe and stable access, experts warn.

In a high-stakes case on Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an attempt by a lower court to restrict access to mifepristone, one of the two drugs used in the abortion pill. While the move preserves access to the drug that is used in more than half of all abortions in the U.S., the case has put the spotlight on the next chapter of attacks on access to abortion in that country.


US supreme court blocks ruling limiting access to abortion pill

Federal judge in Texas ruled in early April to suspend FDA-approved mifepristone used in more than half of abortions in US

Poppy Noor and agencies
Sat 22 Apr 2023

The supreme court decided on Friday to temporarily block a lower court ruling that had placed significant restrictions on the abortion drug mifepristone.

The justices granted emergency requests by the justice department and the pill’s manufacturer, Danco Laboratories, to halt a preliminary injunction issued by a federal judge in Texas. The judge’s order would significantly limit the availability of the medication as litigation proceeds in a challenge by anti-abortion groups.


The Supreme Court Can’t Stop Underground Abortion Networks. And They’re Thriving.

“No matter what laws and bans are out there, people are going to find a way to get access to the care that they need.”

By Carter Sherman
April 21, 2023

A common, safe, and effective abortion pill could be yanked from the market or placed under restrictions by midnight Friday, depending on the outcome of the first major abortion case to hit the Supreme Court since Roe v. Wade was overturned last year. Abortion clinics across the country have spent weeks bracing for this moment, consulting with lawyers and rapidly recalculating if and how they will perform abortions if they’re forced to change how they use the drug, mifepristone.

But regardless of any ruling from the Supreme Court on the fate of mifepristone, the nation’s highest court can only control the legal market for the drug. It has no real ability to dictate what happens within the thriving world of underground abortion networks—where mifepristone has continued to flow and where demand for the drug will likely skyrocket, rather than fall, if the Supreme Court tries to cut off the U.S. health care system’s supply.


MSF statement on Supreme Court mifepristone decision

April 21, 2023

Today, the United States Supreme Court granted the Biden Administration’s emergency request to allow the continued use of mifepristone—one of two drugs used for medication abortions—while lower courts consider an appeal of an earlier ruling revoking the FDA’s approval of the drug.

Dr. Carrie Teicher, director of programs for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) USA, gave the following statement:
MSF has witnessed the devastating complications from unsafe abortion when people don’t have access to this essential health care. As a provider of safe abortions in countries all over the world, we know that medication abortion reduces maternal death and suffering.


The Anti-Abortion Movement Finally Went Too Far for This Supreme Court

Mifepristone will remain legal in blue states, despite a lawless judicial effort to ban it.

APRIL 21, 2023

On Friday evening, the Supreme Court halted U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s unprecedented effort to remove a key abortion drug, mifepristone, from the market nationwide. The order, which appears to be 7–2, ensures that mifepristone will remain legal and accessible in states where it remains lawful to prescribe. Only Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito noted their dissents, but not a single justice even tried to defend the decision by Kacsmaryk, a Donald Trump appointee whose ruling earlier this month represented a particularly lawless attempt to assert power over the Food and Drug Administration. Friday’s stay sends a strong message to the lower courts that SCOTUS will not entertain this cynical attempt to impose new nationwide restrictions—and potentially even a ban—on abortion.


The Supreme Court’s new abortion pill decision, explained

The justices hand down the first decision in the mifepristone litigation saga that is not completely unhinged.

By Ian Millhiser 

Apr 21, 2023

The Supreme Court handed down a brief order on Friday in Danco Laboratories v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, a lawsuit asking the federal judiciary to effectively ban mifepristone, a drug used in more than half of all abortions in the United States.

The most immediate impact of the Court’s new order is that the justices voted to stay lower court decisions that would have cut off access to mifepristone, at least for the time being. That means that mifepristone remains available, and that patients who live in states where abortion is legal may still obtain the drug in the same way they would have obtained it if this lawsuit had never been filed.