Professor Cora True-Frost G’01, L’01 Speaks with USA Today & New Mexico Political Report on SCOTUS Hearing on the Abortion Drug Mifepristone

Professor Cora True-Frost G’01, L’0, discussed with USA Today the recent oral arguments in the Supreme Court of the United States case FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine. The Alliance is seeking to roll back access to mifepristone across the country.

True-Frost noted that by tackling the apparent weaknesses in the doctors’ standing to sue and the broad remedies they demanded, the court was avoiding the knottier question of whether the judiciary should have a say in science-based decisions like the approval of drugs by the FDA.

“For the court to engage the merits of those arguments, they would be substituting their judgment for those of the experts at the FDA,” said True-Frost. “Focusing on the threshold issue of standing is a classic judicial move to conserve court resources and avoid making cases the court would rather not make.”

True-Frost also spoke with the New Mexico Political Report on the case. She discussed the fact that Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito referred to the Comstock Act during oral argument, could be a kind of signal to the anti-abortion movement to try to bring a suit regarding that law.

If the nine justices determine that the case does have standing and rule in favor of the Alliance, then the implications could be devastating, True-Frost said and would go far beyond the question of medication abortion.

She said the effect would be “massive in terms of the impact of the regulatory state.”

“The effect of taking this pill out of circulation, off the menu for women who could choose it, affects this relationship between the administrative branch and the judiciary,” True-Frost said.

True-Frost said the implications are larger than just the FDA. She called it a “multi-prong attack against the doctrine called the Chevron deference,” which she defined as a policy of the courts to defer to agency decisions.