Las Vegas, Nev. – Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Schumer, Murray, Durbin, Sanders, and Blumenthal and 253 total Members of Congress on an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, in support of the Biden administration’s appeal of a federal district court ruling that suspends the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) more than 20-year-old approval of mifepristone as well as the decision by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit—which does not revoke FDA approval of mifepristone in its entirety but does significantly restrict access to the drug nationwide and ultimately overrides FDA’s scientific judgement.
The Members of Congress urged the Supreme Court to grant emergency relief from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s partial denial of a stay pending appeal, and stay the Fifth Circuit’s order in its entirety.
“[T]he district court appears to have second-guessed FDA’s expert determinations with cherry-picked anecdotes and studies, and on that basis, imposed a remedy that could significantly upend the status quo,” write the lawmakers in their brief. “[I]t is an extraordinary and unprecedented step for the district court to invalidate on substantive grounds—and over FDA’s objection—a longstanding approval for a drug with a history of safe and effective use. This Court should stay the entirety of that aberrant decision pending appellate review.”
If the district court ruling were left to stand and go into effect, the Members stress that not only could patients in every state be denied access to the most common form of abortion care—and a key drug used in miscarriage management—but FDA’s authority to determine the safety and efficacy of other drugs would be put at risk, threatening patients’ access to all manner of other medications.
On Tuesday, Members of Congress filed a previous amicus brief urging the Fifth Circuit to stay Judge Kacsmaryk’s district court ruling.
The lawmakers’ amicus brief to the Supreme Court can be read in full HERE.
Senator Cortez Masto has been fierce advocate for women’s reproductive rights. After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Senator Cortez Masto introduced the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act of 2022 to ensure legal protections for women traveling across state lines to receive reproductive care. She has urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect the data privacy of women seeking reproductive health care and introduced legislation to make sure women across the country have access to affordable over-the-counter birth control. Just last month she took on one of the nation’s biggest pharmaceutical wholesalers to ensure Nevadans can access the abortion pill in retail pharmacies, including Walgreens.